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Article

rivers  

Brian Campbell

Ancient peoples lived in close proximity to the environment and experienced at first hand natural phenomena and landscape features that, while often helpful or indeed essential to life, were also potentially threatening. The land and its produce were crucial to survival, and in a predominantly rural world dotted with towns and cities, many people will have observed at first hand mountains, rivers, and the relationship of landscape to available space for settlement. Rivers expressed the local community’s link with the landscape and sustained river valley communities by providing water for drinking, washing, irrigation, and watering of animals, as well as offering routes of communication. Many rivers were also a fruitful source of fish, especially if the water was clean, such as the high-quality fish from the Pamisos in Messenia (Paus. 4.34.1–2). But of course rivers could also flood a settlement or sweep it away. In addition, popular reaction to the environment around the local area was often influenced by strong cultural and religious feelings associated with landscape. In this context, it is not surprising that some literary works were exclusively devoted to natural features of the landscape, for example describing rivers, their character, history, and legendary associations. Mythology helped to explain natural phenomena. Furthermore, the theme of rivers in various guises appears repeatedly in the work of geographers, ethnographers, teachers, poets, and historians. Philosophers were also interested in the curiosities of riverine conditions, which, by their timeless quality yet constant movement, seemingly offered a comment on the human condition.

Article

Ludwig Edelstein and V. Nutton

Rufus of Ephesus, physician, lived in 2nd half of 1st cent. ce, studied at *Alexandria(1), visited *Caria and *Cos, and practised at *Ephesus, then a famous medical centre.From his numerous writings, mostly on *dietetics and *pathology, are preserved tracts on anatomical nomenclature, kidney diseases, satyriasis and gonorrhoea, gout, and jaundice, and possibly some of his case notes. His Medical questions is a remarkable guide to bedside *diagnosis in the Hippocratic manner (see hippocrates (2)).His Hippocratism, which earned him the respect of *Galen, was not slavish, for he was prepared to criticize and to extend the theories of Hippocrates. His pragmatism is clear in his descriptions of *anatomy, which he thought essential for good practice, and in his therapies for a variety of diseases and patients, in which he shows sympathy for often neglected groups such as slaves and the elderly. His influence was greater in the east than in the west, and many fragments of his works, e.g. On melancholy, survive only in Arabic intermediaries or paraphrases.

Article

Saserna  

Antony Spawforth

Saserna, name of the father and son whose lost work (early 1st cent. bce) on agriculture *Varro criticized for irrelevance. Saserna may be a non-Latin nomen (cf. the *Etruscan*Perperna (1)) or a cognomen, as with the Hostilii Sasernae, Caesarian senators and possible kinsmen (cf. names, personal, roman).

Article

Satyrus (3) (fl. c. 150 bce), physician, pupil of *Quintus of Rome, and teacher of *Galen at *Pergamum. He was a faithful follower of Quintus in the exegesis of *Hippocrates (2) and in the teaching of *anatomy and *pharmacology.

Article

William David Ross and V. Nutton

Scribonius Largus, Roman physician c. 1–50 ce, studied at Rome in the time of *Tiberius. In 43 he accompanied *Claudius on his British campaign, probably on the recommendation of his patron C. *Iulius Callistus, secretary to Claudius, who also procured the Emperor's patronage for Scribonius' writings. In gratitude Scribonius dedicated to Callistus his only work to come down to us, the Compositiones (prescriptions). The contents of this show him to be an empiricist in method, closely akin to *Celsus. His work was largely used by (among other writers) Marcellus Empiricus. See also pharmacology.

Article

Seleucus (5) of Seleuceia on the Red Sea, astronomer (c.150 bce), is described by *Strabo (16. 1. 6) as a Chaldaean (i.e. an adept of Babylonian *astrology). He supported the heliocentric theory of *Aristarchus (1), connecting it with his own explanation of the tides, which from his observations on the *Red Sea he perceived to be governed in part by the moon; he criticized the tidal theory of *Crates (3).

Article

Serapion (1) (or Sarapion) of *Alexandria (1) (fl. late-3rd cent. bce?), succeeded *Philinus of Cos as the leading Empiricist physician (see medicine, § 5.3). He claimed that experience is the sole viable foundation of medicine. Whether he ‘merely used’ analogical reasoning (ὁμοίου μετάβασις) or, like some Empiricists, also regarded it as a constitutive part of medicine, was a controversial issue already in antiquity. His extant drug prescriptions may belong to his best attested work, Therapeutics.

Article

Serapion (2) of Antioch (1) wrote on geography (Cic. Att. 2. 6. 1), and said that the sun was 18 times the size of the earth. He has been erroneously identified with an astrologer Serapion of Alexandria, and with a much later Serapion who commented on *Ptolemy (4)'s Handy Tables.

Article

Serenus of Antinoeia in Egypt (4th cent. ce or later) wrote Section of a Cylinder and Section of a Cone, containing trivial propositions on conics. His commentary on the Conics of *Apollonius (2) is lost, but fragments of his mathematical Lemmas survive in Greek (ed. Heiberg 18–19) and Arabic.

Article

William David Ross and V. Nutton

Quintus Serenus (or Quinctius Serenius), author of a medical textbook in verse, Liber medicinalis, which may be dated between the end of the 2nd and 4th cents. It depends in the main on *Cornelius Celsus, the Medicina Plinii, and *Pliny (1)'s Natural History. The author may have been the poet Serenus Sammonicus (son of the other *Serenus Sammonicus), who was a friend of *Gordian I (b.

Article

Deborah N. Carlson

The Lake Nemi ships were two enormous, palatial houseboats built by the Roman emperor Caligula (r. 37–41ce). Lake Nemi is a small volcanic crater lake just 1.8 km (1.1 miles) wide and 35 m (115 feet) deep, situated in the Alban Hills 30 km (18 miles) southeast of Rome. Attempts to recover the Nemi ships drew the attention of key historical figures across five centuries, until in 1928–1929 Benito Mussolini ordered the water pumped from the lake to expose the two wooden hulls, which were in a superb state of preservation following immersion in fresh water for almost two millennia. At a length of more than 70 m (230 feet), the Nemi ships remain the largest ancient ships discovered to date. The ships’ complete destruction by fire at the close of World War II constitutes one of the great tragedies of nautical archaeology.

Article

John F. Lazenby

The Greek national epics focused on the siege of a city, but it took ten years to capture *Troy, even if, in the end, the ‘wooden horse’ was some kind of sophisticated siege device. The inability to take walled towns other than by treachery or blockade persisted into the historical period, despite a growing awareness of such techniques as the Persian siege-mound (cf. Hdt. 1. 162. 2) and undermining (Hdt. 5. 115. 2). *Pericles (1) is said to have been the first to use ‘siege-engines’ (mēchanai) at *Samos in 440/39 bce—they included ‘rams’ and ‘tortoises’ (i.e. sheds to protect undermining parties: Diod. Sic. 12. 28. 2–3). But despite the Athenian reputation for siegecraft (cf. Thuc. 1. 102. 2), they took three years to capture *Potidaea (432–429), and mainly relied on blockade, though in 430 they made some use of ‘siege-engines’, perhaps towers (Thuc. 2. 58. 1). Similarly, though the Spartans and their allies used a mound, battering-rams and even fire against *Plataea (Thuc.

Article

Jonathan Coulston

Early Roman besiegers employed blockade (obsidio) with methodical circumvallation, exploited surprise, and sometimes, especially after weakening the besiegers by obsidio, clinched matters by assault (oppugnatio), using ladders (scalae) and possibly ramps (aggeres) and rams (arietes). *Veii, blockaded 405–396 bce, apparently fell to assault by mine (cuniculus).From the 3rd cent. bce, the Romans assimilated and improved the machinery and techniques of Hellenistic siegecraft, and continued to use elaborate fieldworks. Accounts of the sieges of *Syracuse by M. *Claudius Marcellus (1), of *Piraeus by *Sulla, and those of the Gallic, Jewish, Sasanid, and Gothic wars are instructive, as are the surviving technical treatises. Equipment included bolt-shooting and stone-throwing *artillery, mobile towers, mechanical ladders, movable siege-sheds and rams, protective galleries, mobile screens, wall-borers, and hooks and crowbars for dislodging masonry (cf. *Vitruvius, *Vegetius).

Article

silver  

Frederick Norman Pryce, John Boardman, and Michael Vickers

While *gold could be easily obtained from alluvial deposits by washing, silver had to be extracted by regular mining processes. The *Phoenicians are said to have been the first to bring silver into general use; several of the silver objects mentioned in *Homer have Sidonian associations (see sidon). The main sources for classical Greece were Mt. *Pangaeus in *Thrace, *Lydia, *Colchis, *Bactria, Siphnos, and *Laurium which provided abundant supplies for *Athens. In the western Mediterranean *Spain was the most prolific source of supply, with *Sardinia, Gaul, and Britain as minor sources. The conquests of Spain and Asia made silver plentiful at Rome, where it had previously been rare.Silver was worked with a hammer into plates which were soldered or riveted together and then decorated with repoussé work (ἐμπαιστική), stamping, chasing, or engraving. Vases might be hammered or cast from a mould and were often adorned with reliefs (emblemata) let into the body of the vessel or crustae soldered upon the surface.

Article

Under *Trajan and *Hadrian (ce 98–138), studied at *Alexandria (1) and practised at Rome.

He wrote around twenty books, their subjects including a wide range of medical topics (e.g. On Hygiene, On Acute and Chronic Diseases), medical biography, commentaries and discussions of grammar and etymology. Those surviving in Greek are sections and fragments of On Signs of Fractures and On Bandages—these may both belong to the same lost work, On the Art of Surgery—and Gynaecology. The latter gives valuable information on *gynaecology and obstetrics in the Roman empire, and is divided into

(1) the midwife, female anatomy and conception;

(2)*childbirth and the care of the newborn;

(3)*pathology and diet;

(4)*surgery and drugs (see pharmacology ).

Soranus shared the theoretical standpoint of the Methodists (see medicine , § 5.3), but his version of Methodism was less schematic in its classification of diseases, giving more space for individual variation between patients.

Article

Astronomer who advised Caesar in his reform of the Roman calendar (47 bce), and possibly composed the astronomical calendar associated with it. See calendar, roman.

Article

Sosigenes (2), *Peripatetic philosopher, teacher of *Alexander (14) of Aphrodisias, is dated to 164 ce by his observation of an annular eclipse. He wrote, besides works on *logic and *optics, on astronomy, criticizing the theory of homocentric spheres (see astronomy) and constructing an enormous period for the return of the heavenly bodies, called τέλειος ἐνιαυτός (Perfect Year).

Article

Sostratus, leading surgeon and zoologist, probably practised in *Alexandria (1) after 30 bce. His medical works dealt chiefly with *gynaecology. In zoology (see animals, knowledge about) he perhaps ranks next after *Aristotle among the Greeks.Περὶ ζῴων (‘On animals’) or Περὶ φύσεως ζῴων (‘On the nature of animals’); .

Article

statics  

Wilbur R. Knorr

Statics (in the phrase of *Pappus), is the branch of *mechanics dealing with the relations of weights in static equilibrium. The classic formulation of the principles is from *Archimedes (Plane Equilibria, bk. 1) in which he proves that the centre of gravity of two weights is the point dividing the line between their respective centres of gravity into segments inversely proportional to the weights (props. 6–7). This is apparently a reformulation in statical terms of the analogous principle of the lever, conceived dynamically in the Peripatetic Mechanica. Archimedes' definition of centre of gravity is not transmitted in his extant mechanical writings, but can be inferred from accounts by *Heron, Pappus, and Eutocius. In a lost work On balances (Peri zygön) Archimedes appears to have applied a version of the equilibrium principle toward the analysis of uneven-armed balances of the bismar type. In the Plane Equilibria he determines the barycentres of the parallelogram, triangle, trapezium, and parabolic segment.

Article

Statilius Crito (Κρίτων), Titus, of Carian Heraclea-Salbace, doctor (archiatros) to Trajan, who designated him an *amicus Augusti, took him on one of his Dacian campaigns, the basis for his Getic History (FGrH 2. 3. 200), and made him an imperial procurator. Through Galen considerable fragments survive of his works Cosmetics and On the composition of drugs.