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Vulci  

D. W. R. Ridgway

Vulci (Etr. Velχ-), 20 km. (12½ mi.) north-west of *Tarquinii in central Italy, situated on a plateau overlooking the river Fiora and with a commanding view of Monte Argentario and Cosa, was one of the twelve cities of Etruria (see etruscans). It was an important centre by the late 8th cent. bce, rich in painted pottery and bronze; its *orientalizing period has much in common with that of *Vetulonia. From the late 7th cent., Vulci was the centre of schools of stone-carving, vase-painting, and of the manufacture of bronze utensils that were widely exported. Official and clandestine attention has been mainly concentrated on the tombs, dating from the Villanovan period onwards (see villanovan culture), several thousands of which had been emptied by the mid-19th cent.: Vulci was the principal importer to Etruria of Attic black- and red-figure vases (see pottery, greek).

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

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

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

W. M. Murray

Zacynthus, the southernmost of the western Greek islands, located in the *Ionian Sea south of *Cephallenia, 16 km. (10 mi.) west of *Elis. Prehistoric remains (paleolithic to Mycenaean; see mycenaean civilization) attest to the early habitation of Zacynthus which bears the distinctive ‘-nthus’ form of pre-Greek names. A part of *Odysseus' realm in *Homer's Catalogue of Ships (Il. 2. 634), in historical times the island was settled either by the Achaeans (Thuc. 2. 66) or the Arcadians (Paus. 8. 24. 3; see achaea; arcadia) and may have served as a staging point for Greek colonization to the west (see colonization, greek). During the *Peloponnesian War, Zacynthus was a fleet station for Athens, and after the war, allied to Sparta. The island participated in the panhellenic alliance with *Philip (1) II and *Alexander(3) the Great, was conquered by the Romans in 211, and was granted the status of a ‘free state’ in 189.

Article

Zama  

R. J. A. Wilson

Zama was the name of more than one locality in present-day Tunisia. It is best known as the alleged site of Hannibal's defeat by P. *Cornelius Scipio Africanus (see punic wars; and next entry) in 202 bce (so Nep. Hann. 6. 3); but Hannibal only camped at Zama (Polyb. 15. 5. 3), before moving to another camp (15. 6. 2) immediately before the battle. Livy (30. 29) says explicitly that Scipio camped before the battle at Naraggara (the Margarion of Polyb. 15. 5. 14 is probably a corruption), and this is modern Sakiet Sidi Youssef on the Tunisio-Algerian border 32 km. (20 mi.) west of Sicca; the battlefield of ‘Zama’ must lie nearby. The town of Zama where Hannibal camped is likely to have been Zama Regia, besieged unsuccessfully by Q. *Caecilius Metellus Numidicus in 109 bce (Sall.Iug. 56. 1), and Juba I's capital (hence Regia) until its capture by T.

Article

Zela  

Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton and Stephen Mitchell

Zela (mod. Zile), an ancient temple-state of *Pontus with a large and fertile territory and a considerable population of sacred slaves (*hierodouloi) attached to the land and to the service of Anaitis (*Anahita) and ‘the Persian deities’. Here *Mithradates VI defeated C. *Valerius Triarius in 67 and Caesar *Pharnaces II in 47 bce, the occasion of his famous remark ‘veni, vidi, vici’, ‘I came, I saw, I conquered’. Originally ruled by priests, it became one of Pompey's Pontic cities. It was handed over to dynasts by Antony (M. *Antonius(2)) but was reannexed with the rest of the kingdom of *Polemon(1) in ce 64.

Article

Brian Herbert Warmington

The name, of unknown origin, sometimes applied to the northern part of the province of Africa (see africa, roman), centred on *Carthage. It is used by *Pliny(1) (HN 5. 23), but then seems to have gone out of use, to reappear in the 4th cent. when it was occasionally used of Africa (Proconsularis), now much smaller in area after the division of the old province of Africa by *Diocletian.