6,461-6,480 of 6,528 Results

Article

John Davies

Classical societies developed a range of responses to the universal ambition of individuals to amass property and possessions. One extreme response, characteristic of societies where the wealthy had retained or regained preponderant influence in public affairs, was to impose little or no restriction on accumulation: early Hellenistic Sparta and late republican Rome were examples. Conversely, Greek colonies were often founded on an ‘equal and like’ basis, and Roman colonial foundations regularly assigned the same land-area to each colonist. However, few colonies remained egalitarian for long (Diod. Sic. 5. 9. 4–5 for an exception, Lipara; see aeoliae insulae). See colonization, greek and roman.More normally, attitudes oscillated unsystematically within such extremes. Amassing wealth, possessing it, and spending it aroused differing responses, and varied also with the nature and the status of the gainful activity (Cato, Agr. pref.; Cic.Off. 1. 150 ff. and 2. 52 ff.). Greeks saw the rich as potentially hubristic, extravagant, profiteering, and soft, probably dishonest if newly wealthy and lucky rather than worthy if of longer standing, but also as prudent and as potentially generous and magnanimous benefactors (cf. Arist.

Article

Gloria Vivenza and Neville Morley

Roman attitudes to wealth were complex and sometimes ambivalent. Wealth was an essential basis for political and social life, but also a topic of extensive debate, which focused on the proper uses of wealth and the proper ways of attaining it. These moral, philosophical, and literary debates had practical implications for how the Romans spent their wealth and how they acquired it.Wealth was a central theme in Roman politics and society. The citizen body was divided between different census classes on the basis of property holding, and access to political office and status depended on a formal assessment of personal wealth.1 Furthermore, winning election to office required considerable resources. Neither a long family tradition of public service nor individual political genius was enough, and Julius Caesar’s debt problems, partly due to his political campaigns, are well known. Conversely, a homo novus like Cicero, with no political tradition in his family, could engage in politics if he had .

Article

Frederick Norman Pryce, Mabel L. Lang, and David William John Gill

The balance (σταθμός, libra, bilanx) of two pans at equal distance from the point of suspension is an invention of the earliest times; in Mycenaean tablets (see mycenaean language) it is the symbol for the largest unit of weight, and Homer is familiar with its use, which persisted through antiquity. The steelyard, in which the rod is unequally divided, the object to be weighed being suspended from the short arm against a sliding counterweight on the longer, does not appear before Roman times (statera: originally statera campana, from an alleged Campanian origin; see campania); but from its greater convenience it became the most popular form of balance. There may be alternative positions for the fulcrum, and two different scales can be marked on the bar. Inscriptions can guarantee the standard. Trutina is a pan-balance for large masses; momentana and moneta are for small objects, or coins. Weighing instruments were only as accurate as the weights used, and it seems that some error was created by using worn items. See weights.

Article

weights  

Frederick Norman Pryce, Mabel L. Lang, and David William John Gill

Weights of the Greek bronze age are usually flattened cylinders of stone or metal, incised circles on the upper surface indicating the unit of measurement. Other forms are the duck and the bull's head. An octopus weight from Minoan Cnossus weighs 29 kg. (64 lb.) and the average weight of nineteen copper ingots from Agia Triada is 29.132 kg. (64 lb. 4½ oz.) Several standards appear to have been current, extant Minoan weights (see minoan civilization) having been related to the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Phoenician systems. Mycenaean texts from *Cnossus, *Pylos, and *Mycenae (see mycenaean language) allow an approximate table of values to be created:

The typical weight of historic Greece is a square plaque of lead with a badge, and sometimes the denomination, the name of the issuing city, or other official guarantees on the top in relief. The principal types on the most widespread series of Attic weights are the astragalos (stater), dolphin (mina), amphora (one-third stater with half-amphora as one-sixth), tortoise (one-fourth stater with half-tortoise as one-eighth). There were many other forms, as caprice or local custom dictated. Roman weights show less variety, the common form being a spheroid of stone or metal, with flattened top and bottom; the denomination is generally expressed in punctured characters on the top.

Article

Modern expressions for the Greeks of Italy and Sicily, cf. magna graecia. (But ‘western Greece’ can mean the western part of Greece proper.).

Article

Giusto Traina

The most common words to designate a marsh, a swamp, or a bog are helos in ancient Greek and palus in Latin; beside these terms, less common words were also employed. Literary and epigraphic texts give evidence for marshlands in the countryside, in the coastal areas, and also close to urban agglomerations. The sources often give evidence for drainage activity, but cases of extensive drainage are rare. In fact, they were possible only at public expense, by employing free or slave labor. On the other hand, several territories were characterized by a sort of marsh economy. Although rarely portrayed in literature, and despite the risk of malaria, marshy areas presented some economic potential: fishing, hunting, salt extraction, and farming. In many respects, the negative image of wetlands is a modern invention. The contrast between the rational order of the Roman countryside and the “barbaric” medieval landscape was introduced by the Enlightenment, and must be treated with caution.

Article

widows  

Gillian Clark

In Classical Athens were expected to live under the protection of a male relative and to remarry if possible. There was often an age-gap between husband and wife, and young widows were thought to be at risk of ill-health and sexual temptation. Older widows caused less anxiety and had more freedom of movement. The widow's dowry reverted to the man who took responsibility for her, but in practice some widows (including *Demosthenes(2)'s mother) kept control. Some men, including *Aristotle, made provision by will for their widow's remarriage to a trusted friend. The archon had special responsibility for widows who might give birth to a posthumous heir.Romans admired the univira, the woman who married only once; some Roman rituals were reserved for univirae and in some noble families (according to *Jerome, Ep.54) the women had a tradition of not remarrying. But remarriage was not discouraged, except during the period of mourning which traditionally lasted ten months. Greeks and Romans both acknowledged that a second marriage could disadvantage the children of the first. Roman widows were sometimes given a life interest in their husband's property, provided they did not remarry. They could also be rich and influential on their own account. Some (including *Cornelia(1), mother of the Gracchi) were famous examples of motherhood.

Article

wind  

Liba Taub

In classical times, wind was in some cases understood to be a god, or as being under the influence of a god; it was understood by some to be a phenomenon liable to prediction and/or explanation as a natural (often regarded as seismic) phenomenon. Wind was important for navigation, agriculture and town planning, as well as managing health and disease.Wind, and both its beneficial and destructive powers, features importantly in the earliest Greek texts. Individual winds are themselves gods, or associated with gods. The epic poets offer names for several specific winds: Boreas (the north wind; Op. 505–518), Notus (south), and Zephyrus (west) are described by Hesiod as sons of Astraeus and Eos (Theog. 378–380; see also 869–880), while a fourth wind, Eurus, also features in the Homeric poems (Od. 5.295); other, unnamed winds are also mentioned. Such conceptions of wind pervaded Graeco-Roman popular culture. Aristotle refers to painters’ depictions of wind (Mete.

Article

Alan H. Griffiths

Wind-gods are attested as the object of anxious cultic attention as early as the Mycenaean period, when a priestess of the winds (anemōn iereia) is recorded on the *Cnossus tablets (see mycenaean civilization and mycenaean language); *Hesychius provides the names Anemokoitai ‘Windbedders’ and Heudanemoi ‘Windlullers’ for specialized *priests at *Corinth and Athens respectively. Most *rituals (for which hilltops were the favoured site) aimed at pre-emptive placation of these powerful forces, though the conjuring of beneficent winds also had its place (priests on *Ceos who summon the Etesian winds, Callim. Aet. fr. 75, 36 f.; Achilles' prayer to *Boreas and *Zephyrus to blow on *Patroclus' pyre, Il. 23. 194 ff.). At *Methana, the *sacrifice of a white cock sought to protect the budding vines from the onslaught of the Lips, the SW gale (Paus. 2. 34. 2 f.), while a black lamb is a suitable victim to appease ‘Typhos’ at *Aristophanes(1), Frogs 847 f.

Article

Dimitri van Limbergen

Grape cultivation reached Greece towards the end of the 3rd millennium bce, and Italy around the beginning of the 1st millennium bce. From the 8th century bce onward, systematic viticulture expanded, and wine became deeply embedded in Greco-Roman society at all levels. It was the beverage of choice for both the wealthy and the poor, a major intoxicant in the ancient world, and an essential source of energy in the daily diet. Wine was widely used in religion, feasts, and medicine, and was considered a key marker of civilized culture. Combined with the vine’s high productive potential and its low agronomic needs, all this made wine a primary feature of the agrarian economy and an important product of (inter)national trade. Literature, iconography, and archaeology sketch a picture of significant Greek and Roman realizations in vine-growing techniques and winemaking technology, thus testifying to a level of scientific expertise unmatched until the 19th century. The consumption of wine was stratified and diversified, with the market divided between premium vintages for the rich, ordinary wines for the masses, and winery drinks for the lower classes.

Article

women  

Helen King

Almost all information about women in antiquity comes to us from male sources. Some women could read and write (see literacy), at least to the level needed for their role as guardians of the *household stores (e.g. Xen.Oec. 7.5 and 9.10; see housework), but, although there are many references to literary works by women, very few texts survive. The known exceptions to male authorship include women poets (e.g. *Sappho, *Corinna, *Erinna, *Nossis, Sulpicia (1 and 2)), early philosophers (e.g. *Hypatia; some Hellenistic pamphlets are attributed to Pythagorean women; see women in philosophy), personal letters from women, and the 5th-century ce travel diary of Egeria (*Itinerarium Egeriae). Many attributions to women are problematic. Were women's letters written by scribes? Is a text ascribed to a woman simply in order to attack a man (e.g. Aspasia's alleged authorship of *Pericles(1)'s speeches)?The central source problems, and the strategies developed to overcome them, underpin the large amount of work on ancient women produced since the 1980s.

Article

Emily Kearns

Women played a prominent part in the public religious life of the Greek cities, their roles being in many respects different from those of men. Most, though not all, cults of a female deity were served by a female rather than a male priest, each local sanctuary following its own tradition here. A few cults of male deities, as for instance frequently those of *Dionysus, were also served by priestesses (ἱέρειαι). Some cults stipulated that the priestess must be virgin (thus a little girl), a few (e.g. Paus. 8. 5. 12) that she have ‘finished association with men’, but the majority made no such provision; thus Lysimache was priestess of *Athena Polias in Athens for 64 years in the 5th cent. The role of a priestess was exactly parallel to that of a priest (see priests). Both sexes mediated between worshippers and worshipped, principally by presiding over sacrifices. A woman would not normally deal the fatal blow to the sacrificial victim, but except in the case of very small cults, neither did a male priest; that act was the preserve of a special official. Women other than the priestess also normally had a special role in the act of sacrifice: the basket containing the sacrificial knife was carried in the procession by an unmarried girl (see kanēphoroi), while the moment of the victim's death was marked by ululation (ololygmos) from all women present.

Article

Vicki Lynn Harper

Women in philosophy are recorded in antiquity, though extant writings are few, and there is controversy over dating and authorship of texts. Most of the women whom ancient sources identify as philosophers are associated with schools or societies that admitted women, or are related to philosophers who made education available to them. Women are reported as writing philosophical and mathematical works, and teaching in positions of authority in established schools.Pythagoreanism seems to have been hospitable to women from the start (see pythagoras(1)). This philosophical tradition, which held a doctrine of the *transmigration of *souls, began as a religious society at *Croton in the late 6th cent. bce. Pythagoras taught women as well as men, and many are associated with the society. *Iamblichus(2) names sixteen (Life of Pythagoras267), and other sources such as *Hermesianax (in Athenaeus 13), *Clement of Alexandria (Strom.

Article

wool  

J. P. Wild

Wool (ἔριονlana), the principal textile fibre of the Mediterranean region, was taken from the coat of the European domestic sheep, descendant of the wild mouflon of western Asia. (Goat- and camel-hair, used by ancient weavers, are excluded from the definition.) The structure of wool makes it warm, water-resistant, and easy to spin; throughout antiquity fleece character was enhanced by selective breeding. The best wool was technically ‘generalized medium’ or ‘fine’; pigmented (brown) fibres gave way to un-pigmented (white), but fleece-weights rarely exceeded 1 kg. (unwashed). The beginnings of a Greek woollen industry may be seen in the flock records of Minoan *Cnossus (c.1380 bce), which reveal an advanced management-regime. Sheep were a core component of Greek upland agriculture. The highest accolades for wool quality went to *Miletus, and true ‘fine-wool’ has been identified in extant fabrics from Nymphaeum (mod. Geroevka) in the Crimea (5th cent. bce; see chersonesus(2)).

Article

J. D. Mikalson

The domestic cult of a Greek family concerned the protection and prosperity of the house and its occupants, with daily small offerings and prayers to *Zeus Ctesius (protector of the stores), Zeus Herceus (protector of the wall or fence surrounding the house), and *Apollo Agyieus (of the streets) whose image stood at the house's street entrance. The hearth, as Hestia, was sacred, and at mealtimes a bit of food was placed there as a *first-fruits offering (Plut.Mor. 703d; Theophrastus in Porph. Abst. 2. 20). Similarly, before drinking wine, libations were poured on the floor to *Hestia (h. Hom. 29. 4–6) or at formal banquets to Zeus and the heroes, to the *Agathos Daimon, or to other deities (Ath. 15. 692f–693f; Arist. fr. 55 Rose). In these family cults the rituals seem of primary importance and hence were widespread while the deities honoured varied from place to place. The father served as priest for the family, however, and that may partially explain the regular appearance of Zeus, father of the gods. The admission of new members to the family (brides, babies, and slaves) was marked by initiation rites, often involving the hearth and featuring fertility symbols. Death brought to the household a pollution which was effaced only by the passage of a set period of time.

Article

Robert Leslie Howland and Stephen Instone

This was a popular exercise among the Greeks. They used a wide variety of holds and throws, many of which are illustrated in vase-paintings and statuettes of wrestlers. The object was to throw an opponent to the ground, and generally three throws were required for victory. In the major *agōnes wrestling was both a separate event and the last of the events of the *pentathlon; though weight was an advantage, general athletic ability was required too.

Article

Xanthippus (1), husband of *Cleisthenes(2)'s niece Agariste and father of *Pericles(1). He prosecuted *Miltiades after his unsuccessful attack on *Paros in 490–489 bce; he was ostracized (see ostracism) in 484, perhaps in a three-cornered rivalry involving *Themistocles and *Aristides(1), but was recalled with the other victims of ostracism before *Xerxes' invasion. As a general in 479 (see persian wars) he commanded the Athenian contingent at Mycale; after the Spartans had returned home, he led some of the Greeks in an attack on *Sestus, which was captured from the Persians after a winter siege. He was presumably dead by 472, when Pericles acted as chorēgos (see chorēgia) for *Aeschylus.

Article

Xanthippus (2) was a Spartan mercenary commander who fought for *Carthage against M. *Atilius Regulus in 255 bce (see punic wars). He reorganized the Carthaginian army and annihilated the Roman expeditionary force, making brilliant use of the Carthaginian *elephants and cavalry to outflank and mow down the Romans. After his victory he left Carthage. He may be identical with the Xanthippus whom *Ptolemy (1) III appointed to govern the lands he claimed to control across the river *Euphrates.

Article

Stephen Mitchell and Antony Spawforth

Xanthus was called the largest city in *Lycia by *Strabo (14. 3. 6, 666), a claim borne out by its extensive remains; prosperity was based on the fertile plain of the river Xanthus, with access to the sea at *Patara. The city was known to Homer, and *Herodotus(1) describes its capitulation to Persia in the famous siege of 545 bce (1. 176); in the 5th cent. it was ruled by a line of Persian client-dynasts (the self-styled ‘genos of Karika’). There are impressive and highly distinctive tombs of the 5th and early 4th cents., notably that of the dynast Gergis, with a trilingual (Greek and two types of Lycian) inscription detailing Xanthian involvement in the *Peloponnesian War (ML 93; c.410 bce), and the famous Nereid Monument (see art, funerary, greek (4)), thought to be the heroon of the dynast Arbinas (c.

Article

P. J. Parsons

Poet mentioned by *Stesichorus, who adapted many works from him, including the Oresteia; he presented *Heracles in his Homeric guise, and said that Laodice (cf. Il. 9. 145) was renamed Electra because of being unmarried (ἄλεκτρος). This information can be traced back no further than the Homeric scholar Megaclides (later 4th cent. bce?).