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reception in historical novels  

Tom Stevenson

Reception in historical novels set in ancient Greece and Rome differs fundamentally between the 19th and the 20th/21st centuries. In the 19th century, reception was governed heavily by imperial attitudes and religious controversies, particularly in regard to claims about the true Christian faith under the Roman Empire. Hence, novels set in Rome or the Roman Empire dominated the field. In the 20th century, attitudes to empire and religion were drastically revised in the wake of World War I. The growing authority of academic history in an age of scientific progress was another factor which helped to produce a decline in the reputation of historical fiction. Other changes, however, were more stimulating in nature, including the use of ancient Greece as a setting, more impressive source analysis, the rise of female novelists, different subjects and perspectives, and new social and sexual attitudes. These and other developments lifted the reputation of historical fiction once more.


Fratarakā, Sub-Seleucid Dynasty in Persis  

Josef Wiesehöfer

Shortly after his reconquest of Babylonia in 312bce, Seleucus, a former general of Alexander the Great, was able to conquer the Achaemenid heartland of Persis (Fars), and in the second half of the 2nd centurybce, it was the Arsacids who put themselves in possession of this prestigious region. Shortly before, Fars had been allowed to enjoy a brief period of independence, when the Seleucid empire, at least after Antiochus III’s heavy defeat by Rome, had shown clear signs of an internal and external crisis. Scholars have openly discussed the date and duration of Persid independence, and even sometimes denied the existence of conflicts between Seleucids and Persid dynasts (Fratarakā; cf. Engels). In these debates, the dating and interpretation of the coins of sub-Seleucid dynasts and independent rulers of Fars are decisive, but this procedure should not be tackled without taking into due and independent consideration the existing archaeological, epigraphic, and literary evidence.



Alfred Hiatt

The terms antipodes and antichthones, along with others such as antoikoi and perioikoi, referred to hypothetical peoples dwelling beyond the extent of the known world. These terms were the product of a mathematically based astronomy in which the spherical nature of the Earth was a fundamental element. Calculations of the size of the Earth resulted in the conjecture that inhabited land existed beyond the known world of Asia, Europe, and Africa/Libya. Such land was usually thought to be inaccessible owing to the expanse of Ocean, or because of the extremes of heat and cold found, respectively, at the Equator and the poles.The concept of the antipodes appears to have emerged from Pythagorean thought. Pythagoras was credited with the doctrine that inhabitation was not restricted to the known world, and specifically that there were inhabitants on the opposite side of the Earth, whose “down” was “up” for those in the known world; certain Pythagoreans conceived of an antichthon, or counter-Earth, in relation to the known world (Diog. Laert., Vitae Philosophorum 8.


Panskoye I  

Vladimir F. Stolba

Panskoye I is one of the most prominent and best-studied settlements in the rural territory of Chersonesus on the Tarkhankut Peninsula (north-western Crimea). Founded in the late 5th century bce as a fortified outpost (tetrapyrgia) protecting the south-eastern frontiers of Olbian territory, around 360 bce it was subjugated to Tauric Chersonesus, a close relationship which it maintained until the settlement’s catastrophic destruction around 270 bce. In 1969–1994, a significant part of the settlement and associated necropolis were investigated by the Tarkhankut Archaeological Expedition of the Leningrad Institute of Archaeology, Academy of Sciences of the USSR (since 1991, Institute for the History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg). The settlement’s stratigraphy and size, as well as its unique structure and layout, representing an agglomeration of compactly placed free-standing farmsteads, adjoining house blocks, and monumental buildings accommodating more than one household, distinguish it from other rural settlements in the area. Its rich and original material culture shows a remarkable intermingling of various cultural components, both Greek and non-Greek.



Saskia Hin

People’s life courses are shaped by the complex interactions of contextual factors, of individual behavior, and of opportunities and constraints operating at the macro level. Demography studies these processes with a focus on particular transitions in the life course: birth, leaving home, marriage, and other transitions in civil status (divorce, remarriage, and transitions into widowhood), the birth and survival of offspring, migration, and finally the end of the life cycle—death.

Initial work on the ancient world focussed primarily on macro-level data, trying to establish overall trends in population development on the basis of census figures and other population estimates. This approach has received further impetus with the advent of survey demography (see Population Trends). More recently, attention has turned to single events in the life course. Core demographic studies have attempted to establish patterns and rates of marriage, fertility, migration, and mortality. Others have taken a complementary approach with a stronger focus on qualitative data. These support investigation of sociological, cultural, and economic aspects of demographic phenomena. The remainder of this article focusses on a concise evaluation of current understanding of marriage, fertility, migration, mortality, and population trends in the ancient Greco-Roman world.



Kelly L. Wrenhaven

In ancient Greece and Rome, masturbation was viewed with good-humored disdain. Although it was not apparently subject to the same kinds of scathing attacks that Greek comedy makes on male same-sex activity, it was certainly connected with a lack of sophistication. In line with sexual subjects in general, references are found primarily in Greek comedy and sympotic art of the Archaic and Classical periods, where it is typically associated with barbarians, slaves, and satyrs, all of whom fall into the category of the “Other,” or the anti-ideal. All were deemed lacking in sophrosyne (“moderation”) and enkratia (“self-control”) and were associated with uncivilized behavior. The Greeks had a varied terminology for masturbation. The most commonly found verb is dephesthai (“to soften”), but several other words and euphemisms were used (e.g. cheirourgon, “self-stimulation”).1The comedies of Aristophanes (1) provide the majority of references to masturbation and largely associate it with slaves. The lengthiest reference is a joke that occurs near the beginning of Knights, when Slave B tells Slave A to masturbate in order to give himself courage.


legislation (nomothesia)  

Mirko Canevaro

From the earliest stages, the Greeks understood the distinction between legislation and day-to-day administration. They gave laws a special status and often created specific, separate procedures to enact them. In the Archaic period, specially appointed lawgivers were normally in charge of giving laws to the polis; these laws were intended to be immutable, and their stability secured through entrenchment clauses. Making laws was not considered to be among the normal tasks of the government of the polis, and there were no standard procedures to change the laws once these had been given. Assemblies in Greek city-states often enacted rules that had the force of law, but the legislative changes were not institutionally acknowledged, and the laws enacted by the lawgivers could not be changed. This gave rise to significant problems of legitimacy, and it introduced inconsistencies in the legal system of the polis, a problem that we can observe in 5th-century bce Athens.


Achaeus(3), d. 213 BCE  

Guy Thompson Griffith and Susan Mary Sherwin-White

Achaeus (3) (d. 213 BCE), viceroy for *Antiochus (3) III of Seleucid Asia Minor and his kinsman (maternal uncle), probably the grandson of the Seleucid official Achaeus the Elder. In 223/2 he recovered Seleucid possessions in Anatolia from *Pergamum; exploiting Antiochus' involvement in the east (Molon's revolt and war against *Ptolemy (1) IV), he proclaimed himself king (220). His soldiers refused to fight Antiochus, but he maintained power until the king was free to quell his rebellion. After a two-year siege in Sardis, he was captured and duly executed as a traitor.



Simon Hornblower

Aegina, island in Saronic Gulf, inhabited from late neolithic times and in contact with Minoan Crete and Mycenae. Early in the first millennium bce it was resettled by Greeks from Epidaurus (Hdt. 8. 46, 5. 43); protogeometric pottery indicates links with Attica and the Argolid. Aegina belonged to the Calaurian *amphictiony (Strabo 8. 6. 14; see calauria). It was not a great colonizing power, though Aeginetans participated at *Naucratis (Hdt. 2. 178), and are said to have colonized Kydonia (mod. Chania) on Crete, and Italian Umbria (Strabo 8. 6. 16; see atria; spina). Certainly Aeginetan connections with central Italy are attested c.500 bce by a dedication at Gravisca (Etruria) by the wealthy Sostratus of Aegina (Jeffery, LSAG 2 p. 439 + Hdt. 4. 152). The scale of Aegina's trade is indicated by its population of perhaps 40,000 (Figueira; reduced to 20,000 by Hansen) on territory which could support only 4,000 from its own agricultural resources. Aegina struck coins early.


Agatharchides, of Cnidus, Greek historian, geographer, and Peripatetic philosopher, c. 215–after 145 BCE  

Kenneth S. Sacks

Who lived most of his adult life in *Alexandria (1), eventually leaving, perhaps in flight to Athens after 145. He was not, as previously believed, regent to *Ptolemy (1) IX but was in the service of *Heraclides (3) Lembus. His major works, for which there are fragmentary remains, include: Asian Affairs (Τὰ κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν), probably a universal history that extended to the *Diadochi; European Affairs (Τὰ κατὰ τὴν Εὐρώπην), perhaps to his own time; and On the Red Sea (Περὶ τῆς Ἐρυθρᾶς θαλάσσης) in five books (some preserved by Diodorus, bk. 3, and Photius). These large-scale histories, interlaced with *anthropology and *geography, provided a model for *Posidonius (2). He attacked the Asianic prose style, and *Photius calls him a worthy disciple of *Thucydides (2) in expression. He may have voiced hostility toward the Ptolemies, from whom he may have fled.