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Serafina Cuomo

An abacus (ἄβαξ, ἀβάκιον), a counting board, was the usual aid to reckoning in antiquity. The Greeks and Romans alike used a board with vertical columns, on which (working from right to left) units, tens, and hundreds; or (where money was in question) units of currency, for instance the Attic signs for ⅛ obol, ¼ obol, ½ obol, 1 obol, drachma and so on, could be inscribed. The Salamis abacus is an example of a type of flat, large counting board, made of stone, of which more than twenty have survived from antiquity (Figure 1).There are also significantly fewer examples of small, bronze abacus. (Figure 2).The extant flat, large counting boards have been found in the Greek-speaking part of the Mediterranean, whereas the small bronze abaci appear to originate in the Roman world, and are engraved with Roman numerals. There are different possible reconstructions of how calculations were carried out on the ancient Greek or Roman abacus, which would seem to indicate that different procedures were also in use in antiquity In general, with addition, the totals of the columns were carried to the left, as in ordinary 21st-century addition.



Alan H. Griffiths

Abaris, legendary devotee of *Apollo from the far north, a shamanistic missionary and saviour-figure like *Aristeas whom *Pindar (fr. 270 Snell–Maehler) associated with the time of *Croesus—perhaps in connection with the king's miraculous rescue from the pyre and translation to the *Hyperboreans. Herodotus, ending his discussion of the latter (4. 36), tantalizes by refusing to say more than that ‘he carried the arrow around the whole world while fasting’ (cf. the mission of *Triptolemus, and *Demeter's search for Persephone).



James Maxwell Ross Cormack and Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond

Abdera, a flourishing Greek city east of the Nestus river on the coast of *Thrace (Diod. Sic. 13. 72. 2). It was traditionally founded as a colony of *Clazomenae in 654 bce, a date for which 7th-cent. Greek pottery affords some support. It was reoccupied by colonists from *Teos (among them *Anacreon) in the second half of the 6th cent. (Hdt. 1. 168; Pind. Paean 2); its site was near Bulustra, a corruption of the name it bore in the Middle Ages, Polystylon. Like *Aenus, Abdera owed its wealth (it was the third richest city in the *Delian League, with a contribution of 15 talents) to its corn production (see the coins), and to the fact that it was a port for the trade of inland Thrace and especially of the Odrysian rulers. Abdera was a resting-place for the army of Xerxes in 480 bce when it was marching to invade Greece (Hdt.



Patty Baker

Complex perceptions existed about abortion in the ancient world, indicated by different medical definitions of what constituted an abortive, contraceptive, and expulsive. According to Soranus (1st/2nd century ce) an abortive was “that which destroys what has been conceived”; a contraceptive (atokion) was something that prevents conception, and an expulsive (ekbolion) could be defined in two ways (Gyn 1.59–65). Some thought it was synonymous with an abortive because both resulted in the termination of a pregnancy. In contrast, others defined an expulsive strictly as shaking and leaping to dislodge the fetus from the womb. In explaining this, Soranus (Gyn 1.60) repeats a story told in the Hippocratic work (see hippocrates) Nature of the Child (13, L7.488–490; late 5th bce) about a dancing girl thought to be six days pregnant. She was told to expel the seed by jumping up and down so her heels touched her buttocks. After the seventh leap, the fetus dropped from her body. This technique for early-stage abortion was preferable to termination caused by pharmaceutical preparations and surgical intervention, which could cause harm to the mother. Therefore, Soranus stated that it was safer to prevent pregnancy than to perform an abortion (Gyn 1.



Stephen Mitchell

Was the best harbour on the Asiatic side of the *Hellespont. In the Iliad (2. 836) an ally of Troy and then a Thracian settlement, it was colonized c.700 bce by Milesians (see colonization, greek; miletus). From 514 it was under Persian control and served in 480 as the Asiatic bridgehead from which *Xerxes crossed into Europe (Hdt. 7. 34, 43 ff.). Thereafter it was successively part of the *Athenian empire until it revolted in 411 (Thuc. 8. 61–2), a Spartan ally until 394, and under Persian rule again until freed by *Alexander (3) the Great in 334. It put up heroic resistance when besieged by *Philip (3) V of Macedon in 200 (Polybius 16. 29–34). In Roman times and in late antiquity it was an important customs-station (OGI521). There are no significant archaeological remains at the site, but its coinage, including early electrum issues, is important.



D. Sedley

Academy, public *gymnasium at Athens, sacred to the hero Academus, north-west of the Dipylon gate. It gave its name to the school founded there by *Plato (1) in the early 4th cent. and maintained by an unbroken line of successors until the 1st cent. bce. The school's private property was never there, but, at least during the 4th cent., at Plato's nearby house.The Early Academy is the phase of doctrinal Platonism under Plato himself (d. 347) and his successors *Speusippus, *Xenocrates (1), *Polemon (2), and Crates.The ‘New Academy’ is the phase, from c.269 to the early or mid-1st cent. bce (its further subdivision, Sext. Emp. Pyr. 1. 220, is a later imposition), in which the school, initially under *Arcesilaus (1), interpreted true Platonism as scepticism. Dialectical criticism of doctrines, usually Stoic, was orchestrated to demonstrate akatalēpsia, the impossibility of knowledge, resulting in epochē, suspension of judgement.



Emily Kearns

Acamas, son of *Theseus and brother of *Demophon (1). Unknown to the Iliad, the brothers are certainly present at Troy in the Iliu Persis (fr. 4 Davies), and free their grandmother *Aethra from her servitude there. They share other adventures in the later mythological tradition; when young, they are sent to Euboea for safety, and on their return from Troy both are connected with the seizure of the *Palladium and involuntary homicide.



Simon Hornblower

Was probably a 7th-cent. colony of *Andros (Thuc. 4. 84) near the narrowest point of the Akte prong of *Chalcidice, and thus close to the canal dug in 480 bce on the orders of *Xerxes I of Persia (Hdt. 7. 22; Thuc. 4. 109); at this time it was an important Persian base. It remained loyal to Athens for much of the 5th cent. (paying a normal tribute of 3 talents in the *Delian League), until 424 when it was famously seduced by the rhetoric of the Spartan *Brasidas (Thuc. 4.85–7 for the speech, a tour de force), though Thuc. also drily notes (4. 88) that the Acanthians were concerned for their grape-vintage which Brasidas had threatened to destroy. Thuc. 4. 124. 1 (separate mention of Acanthians and Chalcidians in Brasidas' army) implies that like *Torone, Acanthus was not at this time a member of the Chalcidic League (see chalcidice).



W. M. Murray

Acarnan, eponym of *Acarnania. He was the son, with Amphoterus, of Callirhoë (the daughter of Acheloüs) and *Alcmaeon (1) (who had settled in the *Achelous floodplain to escape the *Erinyes). Later, when Alcmaeon was murdered by the sons of *Phegeus, Callirhoë begged *Zeus to age her sons prematurely so they might avenge their father's murder.



W. M. Murray

Acarnania, a district of NW Greece, bounded by the Lonian Sea, the gulf of Ambracia, and the *Acheloüs river. The district is divided into three main regions: (1) a rugged coast with small bays and small alluvial plains,(2) a mountainous interior range that parallels the coast from north-west to south-east, and(3) small plains between the mountains and the Acheloüs river to the east.Although Neolithic, early Helladic, and late Helladic remains have been located near Astacus and elsewhere, evidence for widespread prehistoric settlement is lacking. Homer seems ignorant of the region except as a part of the shadowy ‘mainland’ inside *Ithaca, although names like Melite and Marathus may point to *Phoenician seafarers using this coast for shelter on their westward voyages. Significant Greek influence began during the 7th cent. bce when *Corinth settled Anactorium, Sollium, and Leucas and when (soon thereafter?) *Cephallenia settled Astacus. *Thucydides (2) mentions settlements at Alyzeia, Astacus, Coronta, Limnaea, Medion, *Oeniadae, Palaerus, Phytia (Phoetiae), and Stratus, some of which were surely fortified poleis (Oeniadae, Stratus, Astacus, Palaerus).



Herbert Jennings Rose

Acastus, in mythology, son of Pelias (see neleus); he took part in the Argonautic expedition and the Calydonian boar-hunt (see argonauts; meleager (1)). When *Peleus took refuge with him, Acastus' wife (variously named) loved him, and being repulsed, accused him to her husband of improper advances. Acastus, therefore, stole Peleus' wonderful sword and left him alone on Mt. *Pelion, where he was rescued by Chiron (see centaurs).


Acca Larentia  

C. Robert Phillips

Acca Larentia, obscure Roman goddess with a festival on 23 December (*Larentalia or Larentinalia). Valerius Antias (fr. 1 Peter) makes her a prostitute, contemporary with *Romulus, who left her property to the Roman people; Licinius Macer (fr. 1 Peter) makes her wife of *Faustulus and hence adopted mother of Romulus. Cato (fr. 16 Peter) initially made the connection of she-wolf (lupa) with prostitute (meretrix); thus the courtesan name Faula is linked with Faustulus (RE 6. 2090–1). The long quantity of the first syllable in Larentia (Auson. Technop. 8. 9 Peiper; p. 179 Green) suggests a connection with *Larunda and not Lar (short a), but this is not decisive, and the Lar as family ancestor would be appropriate (see lares); cf. Ogilvie on Livy 1. 4. 7. Plutarch implausibly assigned her an April festival (Quaest. Rom. 35 with Rose's notes); cf. E.


Accius, Lucius, dramatic poet and literary scholar, 170–c. 86 BCE  

H. D. Jocelyn and Gesine Manuwald

Of freedman birth. In Rome he had friendly relations with D. *Iunius Brutus Callaicus (consul 138). Anecdotes suggest that Accius believed that literary talent demanded in its context more respect than nobility of birth (see the story about C. *Iulius Caesar Strabo Vopiscus at Val. Max. 3. 7. 11) and that he did not tolerate insults to himself (Rhet. Her. 1. 24). Contemporaries were amused by the outsize statue of himself he had placed in the temple of the Muses (Plin. HN 34. 19).Accius had plays produced from at least 140 bce onwards until the turn of the century. Over 40 titles of tragedies of Attic (see tragedy, greek) type are transmitted (Achilles, Aegisthus, Agamemnonidae, Alcestis, Alcimeo, Alphesiboea, Amphitruo, Andromeda, Antenoridae, Antigona, Armorum iudicium, Astyanax, Athamas, Atreus, Bacchae, Chrysippus, Clutemestra, Deiphobus, Diomedes, Epigoni, Epinausimache, Erigona, Eriphyla, Eurysaces, Hecuba, Hellenes, Medea, Melanippus, Meleager, Minos sive Minotaurus, Myrmidones, Neoptolemus, Nyctegresia, Oenomaus, Pelopidae, Persidae, Philocteta, Phinidae, Phoenissae, Prometheus, Stasiastae vel Tropaeum Liberi, Telephus, Tereus, Thebais, Troades), and they seem to cover the whole range of mythic cycles.



Ernst Badian

Vocal expressions of approval and good wishes in ritual form were an important part of Roman life, both private (e.g. at weddings) and public (for actors and the presiding magistrate at public performances, and above all at a *triumph). The title of *imperator was based on the soldiers' acclamation. A magistrate leaving for his province was escorted by crowds shouting ritual acclamations, and his return was received in a corresponding way. (see provincia §2.) Under the empire, these rituals were magnified, but confined to the emperor and approved members of his family. They were also ritually greeted at public appearances, especially at games and on their birthdays. By the 4th cent. ce such greetings had been made mandatory for certain high officials (Cod. Theod. 1. 6. 6, 6. 9. 2). By the late republic, rhythmical shouting at games, sometimes organized, expressed approval or disapproval of politicians. Cicero takes it very seriously, as expressions of public opinion (which of course counted only in the city of Rome), and P.



Stephen J. Harrison

Acestes (ΑἰγέστηςΑἴγεστος), character in mythology, founder and king of *Segesta (Egesta) in Sicily and of Trojan descent (cf. Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1. 52.1–4; Schol. Dan. Aen. 1. 550; schol. on Lycophron Alex.952). In Virgil's Aeneid he is the son of a Trojan mother and the Sicilian river-god Crimisus, and entertains *Aeneas and his men in Sicily; Virgil in fact makes Segesta a foundation of Aeneas and not of Acestes (Aen.



Catherine A. Morgan

Region on the north-east of the Peloponnese, between the Corinthian Gulf and the Chelmos and Panachaikon mountains. Historically a federation of small territories (Paus. 7).Achaea was settled from the palaeolithic period. During the late bronze age, numerous graves plus settlements (e.g. Aegira and Katarraktis) and the fortification of Teichos Dymaion indicate extensive activity (see ahhiyawa). Geometric settlement has been found along the coast (including an 8th.-cent. temple at Aegira) and inland (the Pharae valley). Achaeans may have joined the Ionian migration; Achaean colonies include *Sybaris (720 bce), *Croton (708), *Metapontum, *Caulonia (all in Italy) and *Scione (in *Chalcidice). See colonization, greek.According to Herodotus (1. 145), Achaea was divided into 12 merides each containing seven or eight dēmoi (cf. Polyb. 2. 41. 7). These comprise Pellene (the seat of games noted by Pindar), Helice, Bura, Aegira, Aegae, *Aegium, Rhypes, *Patrae, Pharae, Olenus, *Dyme, and Tritaea.


Achaean Confederacy, Greek  

R. M. Errington

Achaean Confederacy, federal organization developed by the twelve Achaean cities (see achaea) united in the cult of Zeus Hamarios. First mentioned in 453 bce as Athenian allies, Achaea's independence was guaranteed in 446 (*Thirty Years Peace). In the Peloponnesian War neutrality proved impossible and Achaea fell into Sparta's sphere of influence. Common citizenship existed by 389, when it had already been extended to non-Achaean Calydon. In the 4th cent. coins were issued. Polybius (2. 41. 4–6) claimed the ‘democratic’ constitution of his own time for the early confederacy, but since in 367 the ruling class was exiled and democracy installed (Xen. Hell. 7. 1. 43) this cannot be accurate, unless the two sources mean different things by ‘democracy’. The confederacy was dissolved sometime before its revival in 281/280. It then exploited the political vacuum in Greece after the collapse of the empire of *Demetrius (4) Poliorcetes, soon expanded beyond Achaea, and under the leadership of *Aratus (2) of Sicyon developed a locally expansionist anti-Macedonian policy in the 240s and 230s.


Achaean Confederacy, Roman  

Antony Spawforth

Permitted to reform after 146 bce, at first on a local basis only, the confederacy survived until at least the mid-3rd cent. ce, chiefly as a vehicle (from c.ce 50) for a federal *ruler-cult based at Corinth. For some of the 1st cent. ce, in temporary union with other regional confederacies (Boeotian, Euboean, etc. ), it formed early-imperial *Achaia's nearest equivalent to a provincial *concilium.


Achaemenid art  

Michael Vickers

The official sculpture of the Persian empire was made in a distinctive style which owed much to Mesopotamian forerunners, and like them tended to the glorification of the ruler. It used to be thought that the style arose from the presence of particular groups of foreign craftsmen, notably Ionian Greeks, but it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Median, Persian, Babylonian, Sardian, Egyptian, and Ionian artisans who worked on the great palace complexes subordinated any indigenous traits to an international style devised to articulate the ideology of Achaemenid kings.Only a few sculptured reliefs are preserved from *Pasargadae, the city of *Cyrus (1). *Darius I is shown triumphant over a prostrate usurper in the *Bisutun relief, while *Ahuramazda hovers above. A colossal statue of Darius in Egyptian granite found at *Susa presents many problems: was it (and its lost pair) originally made for an Egyptian setting, or were they commissioned for Darius' Susan palace? The tombs of Darius and his successors at *Naqš-i Rustam show a royal personage on a platform borne by personifications of the lands of the empire.



Pierre Briant

The term, as used by Herodotus (1. 125), refers to one of the three clans (phrētrē) of the Pasargadae tribe to which the Persian kings belonged; its eponymous ancestor was supposedly Achaemenes (Hdt. 7. 11). The statement corresponds in part to *Darius I's account at *Bisutun, where he links himself explicitly to Achaemenes (OP: Haxāmaniš): ‘For this reason we are called Achaemenids. From long ago we have been noble. From long ago we have been kings’ (DB 1. 2–3). But this is the official version promulgated by Darius after his brutal seizure of power. This also led him to erect inscriptions in *Cyrus (1)'s name at *Pasargadae describing the founder of the empire as an Achaemenid: they served to hide the fact that Darius himself had no genealogical claim to the throne in 522 bce. Probably around this time a foundation legend about Achaemenes was created and put into circulation; he is said to have been abandoned as a small child and brought up by an eagle (Ael. NA 12, 21).