141-160 of 6,603 Results



Holt Parker and Nicholas Purcell

The miraculous transferral of the god of healing *Asclepius from *Epidaurus to Rome and the origin of the important healing-cult of the Tiber island there in 292 bce constituted significant moments in Roman narratives of the history of their religion (Val. Max. 1. 8. 2: Ovid made it his final Metamorphosis, Met. 15; 622–745); the summoning of a prestigious god from Greece, in accordance with the Sibylline Books (see sibyl) and perhaps after a consultation of the *Delphic oracle, to remedy a Roman crisis (pestilence), represented a stage in the domestication of external religion and acted as a prototype for the closely related tale of the summoning of the Magna Mater in 204 bce. (See cybele.) In fact the cult was becoming widely diffused at that time everywhere (even our Rome-centred stories preserve some consciousness of the contemporary importance of the cult at nearby *Antium).



Aesepus, god of the Mysian river of that name, Hesiod, Theog.342.



T. W. Potter

Aesernia (mod. Isernia), a strong site near the upper Volturnus river, controlling NW *Samnium. Originally a Samnite town, a Latin colony (see ius latii) established here after the Samnite Wars (263 bce) was staunchly pro-Roman until *Social War (3) insurgents captured it (90 bce) and made it their capital.



J. S. Rusten

Aesop, as legendary a figure as Homer. What we now call *fables (Gk. αἶνοι, μῦθοι, λόγοι), i.e. stories clearly fictitious (often about speaking animals), which illustrate a point or support an argument, are first alluded to by Hes.Op. 202–12 and Archil. fr. 174 West, but by the 5th and 4th cents. such fables in prose are regularly attributed to Aesop (Ar.Vesp.566, Av.471; Arist. fr. 573 Rose; a black-figured portrait of Aesop with talking fox, Beazley, ARV2 2 p. 916 no. 183, K. Schefold, Die Bildnisse der antiken Dichter, Redner und Denker (1943) 57.4). Hdt. 2. 134–5 places him in the 6th cent. bce as the slave of Iadmon, a Samian later murdered by Delphians (cf. Ar. Vesp. 1446–8); Plato Com. fr. 70 KA has his soul returning from the grave (cf. Plut. Sol. 6); the legend suggests a ritual scapegoat (φαρμακός).


Aesopus, tragic actor, 1st cent. BCE  

George Chatterton Richards and M. T. Griffin

Tragic actor, “dignified” (Hor. Epist. 2.1.82), contemporary of Q. *Roscius (Quint. Inst. 11.3.111 “Roscius is livelier, Aesopus more dignified”). He gave *Cicero lessons in elocution (Auct. ad Her. (3.21.34) suggests that he was greatly his senior) and supported Cicero's recall from exile (Sest. 120–123); he returned to the stage for *Pompey's *ludi, 55 bce, without much success (Fam. 7.1.2). See Div. 1.80; Tusc. 4.55; QFr. 1.2.14. His son, M. Clodius Aesopus, was rich enough to be a wastrel (Hor. Sat. 2.3.239; Plin. HN 9.122).



Stephen Halliwell

The nature and scope of aesthetics have been a subject of debate ever since the 18th-century coinage of the term. The application of aesthetics as a theoretical or experiential category to the study of earlier periods therefore needs to be dialectical and pluralistic. But the contribution made by Greco-Roman antiquity to the evolution of ideas such as beauty, creative inspiration, and sublimity is indisputable. It reaches back to issues and values already salient in the pre-philosophical culture of archaic Greece, many of them associated with the uniquely Greek symbolism of the Muses. The early Greek association between song, music, and dance was consolidated and expanded, first by intermedial comparisons and subsequently by the concept of mimesis, into a standard grouping of the “mimetic arts,” which bracketed musico-poetic forms together with visual forms of artistic representation and expression. It was this cluster of activities that provided a frame of reference for philosophical theorizing. In Plato, representational and figurative art forms are seen as carrying great cultural and psychological power, but consequently as in need of educational and political control in an ideal society. Aristotle moves nearer to a recognition of a qualified degree of aesthetic autonomy, while stressing the cognitive and emotional aspects of responses to mimetic art. In Hellenistic philosophy, Stoicism regarded the whole cosmos as imbued with divinely sustained and quasi-moral beauty, while Epicureanism’s simplified standards of pleasure narrowed the valuation of mimetic art. [Longinus], On the Sublime is a prime instance of the way that new thinking could emerge from modifications of older ideas; its own model of creativity entails rivalrous emulation between present and past writers.



John Scheid

The notion of aeternitas, designating perpetuity or eternity, first appears at Rome in *Cicero's day, under the influence of philosophic speculation (notably that of *Stoicism) on αἰών (eternity). From the beginning of the 1st cent. ce, aeternitas became an imperial virtue, advertising both the perpetual glory of the ruler and his power, parallel to the aeternitas populi Romani, and a promise of immortality. Assuming the iconography of the *Aion of Alexandria, ‘Aeternitas Augusta’ or ‘Augusti’ appears on coins and, in 66, Aeternitas even received a sacrifice after the discovery of a plot against Nero. Aeternitas is usually depicted as a veiled woman holding sceptre, globe, and phoenix, or the sun and moon (referring to eternity). But Aeternitas can also be associated with male figures.


Aethicus Ister  

Paola Marone

Aethicus Ister is the unknown author of the Cosmographia, a fictional world travelogue that probably belongs to the 7th to 8th centuries. This work, written in an abstruse Latin, makes use of a whole range of antique (the Bible, the Isidore’s Etymologies, the Pseudo-Augustine’s De mirabilibus sacrae scripturae, etc.) and medieval texts (the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, the Liber historiae Francorum, some Latin translations of the Alexander Romance, etc.). It is one of the most difficult and puzzling early medieval texts, and it has been the object of intense study since its earliest editions. According to a recent theory espoused by Herren, it could have been written c. 675–725 by a Frank with connexions to Ireland and, possibly, England.Aethicus Ister (c. 7th–8th century ce), otherwise known as Aethicus of Istria or the philosopher of Istria, is the supposed author of the Cosmographia, a description of the world that claims to have been written originally in Greek and subsequently translated into Latin by an ecclesiastical called Jerome (not Saint .



Herbert Jennings Rose and Jenny March

Aethra, in mythology daughter of *Pittheus, king of Troezen, and mother of *Theseus by *Aegeus. Since Theseus was often said to be son of *Poseidon, various explanations were given: Aethra was sent by *Athena (hence called Apaturia, ‘the Deceitful’) to the island of Hiera or Sphaeria, where Poseidon came to her (Paus. 2. 33. 1); Poseidon visited her the same night as Aegeus (Apollod. 3. 15. 7, Hyg. Fab. 37. 1); it was a tale invented by Pittheus to save her reputation (Plut. Thes. 6). In the Iliad (3. 144) she is mentioned as waiting-maid to *Helen; a story as old as the *Epic Cycle (Iliu Persis fr. 4 Davies) and illustrated on the chest of *Cypselus (Paus. 5. 19. 3) says that she was carried off by the *Dioscuri when they came to rescue Helen from her abduction by Theseus (Apollod. 3. 10. 7, Epit.



Emily Kearns

Aetiology in religion and mythology refers to an explanation, normally in narrative form (hence ‘aetiological myth’), of a practice, epithet, monument, or similar. Typically such explanations elucidate something known in the contemporary world by reference to an event in the mythical past; they are thus related to the traditions of first inventors (see Culture-bringers) and are quite often found in connexion with etymologies. Comparative evidence suggests that many aetiologies in the ancient world will have been of popular origin, while others could derive from the priestly traditions of individual cults, but it is very likely also that some literary aetiologies represent authorial inventions rather than pre-existing accounts. Aetiological accounts are frequent in classical literature. Implicit in a few Homeric passages (e.g. the tombs of *Sarpedon [Il. 16.666–83] and Phrontis [Od. 3.278–85]), they are seen in more developed form in *Hesiod, notably in the story of *Prometheus’ attempt to deceive *Zeus, explaining the unequal division of sacrificial meat between gods and humans.


Aëtius (1)  

Malcolm Schofield

Aëtius (1), probably late 1st cent. ce, author of a comprehensive survey of the contrasting views of Greek philosophers on questions in natural philosophy. Hermann Diels convincingly argued that this lost work (the Placita) was reproduced in the ps.-Plutarchean Epitome and in *Stobaeus' Eclogae; and that it in turn derived indirectly, augmented e.g. with Stoic and Epicurean material, from *Theophrastus' Physical Tenets: hence its value as a source especially for Presocratic philosophy.


Aëtius (2), of Amida, physician, fl. c. 530–560 CE  

John Scarborough

In *Alexandria (1) and Constantinople. He wrote an extant medical encyclopaedia, called the Tetrabiblon from its division into four sections. Beginning with a summary of drug theory (see pharmacology), which simplifies many obscurities in *Galen and *Oribasius, the Tetrabiblon compacts pharmacy, *dietetics, general therapeutics, hygiene, bloodletting, cathartics, prognostics, *pathology, fevers, urines, cranial ailments, eye problems (see ophthalmology), *cosmetics, and *dentistry (bks. 1–8). Unavailable are well edited editions of bks. 9–16, containing important accounts of toxicology (bk. 13), and *gynaecology and obstetrics (bk. 16; see childbirth).


Aetius, Flavius, d. 454 CE  

Peter Heather

Aetius, Flavius (d. ce 454), Roman patrician and general, ruler of the western Empire c. 432 to 454. In the 410s he served lengthy periods as a hostage among both the Visigoths (see *goths) and Huns, and a relationship with the Huns provided the cornerstone of his career. Hunnic military support first allowed him to survive the civil war which put *valentinian III on the western throne (Aetius had initially supported a usurper), and then enabled him to defeat rival generals Felix and Boniface and establish a domination over the young emperor manifest in his unprecedented three consulships (432, 437, 446). Subsequently, Aetius also used the Huns to defeat internal rebels and hold in check the centrifugal forces within the western empire represented by internal rebels and outside groups such as the Visigoths (campaigns 433 and esp. 436–9) and *burgundians (435). When the Huns under *attila mounted massive invasions of the western Empire, he was forced to draw on Gothic and Burgundian support to defeat them at the Catalaunian Plains in 451.


Aetna, Latin didactic poem by unknown poet, 1st half of 1st cent. CE  

Liba Taub

Aetna, of unknown authorship, is an example of Latin didactic poetry. It aims to explain the volcanic activity of Mt. Etna (see Aetna (1)). The poem, included in the so-called Appendix Vergiliana, is ascribed to Virgil in our earliest manuscripts and included amongst his juvenilia by the Vita Donati, where, however, doubt is expressed about its authenticity. Few, if any, would now maintain this ascription or any of the other attributions that have been suggested. The poem predates the eruption of Vesuvius in 79ce, for it describes the volcanic activity of the Naples region as extinct. It is generally agreed to postdate Lucretius, and it likely alludes to Virgil and M. Manilius. Because of its resemblances to Seneca’s Natural Questions, and because Seneca himself shows no knowledge of the poem, a late-Neronian or Vespasianic date is perhaps probable, but an earlier date cannot be ruled out.Ancient authors tended to focus on particular examples of volcanic activity instead of generalizing about a broader category. Nevertheless, the devotion of an entire work to Aetna seems to have been unprecedented. The Aetna poet offers an explanation of the volcano as a purely natural phenomenon.


Aetna (1), volcano of Sicily  

Arthur Geoffrey Woodhead and R. J. A. Wilson

Aetna (1), Europe's highest active volcano (3,326 m. (10,912 ft.) in 1966), lying between *Tauromenium and *Catana in eastern Sicily. The lower slopes are remarkably fertile, principally today in vines, olives, lemons, and oranges, and are thickly populated; woods and scrub cover the middle slopes; the upper are desolate. Eruptions were attributed to a giant (*Typhon or Enceladus) beneath the mountain. The Sicans traditionally transferred westwards because of them. Few ancient eruptions are recorded, those of 475, 396, and 122 bce. being the most notable; Etna has apparently been more active in modern times. The mountain is the subject of an anonymous poem, *Aetna, probably late Augustan. Ancient tourists known to have climbed the mountain include the emperors *Gaius (1) and *Hadrian. Etna basalt was widely used, in Sicily and further afield, for corn *mills (Strabo 6. 2. 3; cf. Aetna, 400–1).


Aetna (2)  

Arthur Geoffrey Woodhead and R. J. A. Wilson

Aetna (2), the name given to *Catana when *Hieron (1) I settled a colony there. In 461 bce these colonists were expelled, and transferred themselves and the name to Sicel Inessa. *Ducetius captured Inessa-Aetna in 451, but it subsequently became a Syracusan stronghold. *Dionysius (1) I garrisoned it with Campanians whom *Timoleon had difficulty in dislodging. It suffered at *Verres' hands, but continued to be a place of some importance in the early empire, when, as a town on the Catana–*Centuripae road (It. Ant. 93. 6), it served as the starting-point for excursions to the summit of Mt. Etna (Strabo 6. 2. 3; see aetna (1)). Its location has never been satisfactorily identified on the ground. Sites proposed include Poira, Cività (both near Paternò), Paternò itself, and S. Maria di Licodia.



W. M. Murray

Aetolia, a region in west-central Greece roughly shaped like a triangle with its base on the Corinthian Gulf, its apex at Mt. Tymphrestus, and its sides along the lower and middle *Acheloüs river-valley on the west, and a series of mountains from Mt. Oxya to Mt. Gkiona on the east. The topography of the region is rugged, a factor that played a significant role in Aetolia's history, serving as a natural deterrent to invading armies, and contributing to the widespread practice of *brigandage. Along the region's southern coast there are few harbours, although the area was settled from early times. Towns like *Pleuron, Olenus, Pylene, Calydon, and Chalcis are all known to Homer (Il. 2. 638–44).Politically and economically Aetolia remained backward into the 5th cent. bce. *Thucydides (2) mentions settlements at Poti-dania, Crocylium, Tichium, Aegitium, and Proschium, but he describes them as small unfortified villages. During this period, Aetolia was organized as an ethnos (see ethnicity), consisting of at least three major territorial groups: the Ophioneis, the Apodoti, and the Eurytanes.


Aetolian Confederacy  

Peter Sidney Derow

The looser tribal organization of the Aetolians of NW Greece gave way during the 4th cent. bce to a *federal state, or league, which soon acquired considerable power. This increased dramatically in the first part of the 3rd cent. bce, owing to the Aetolians' role in the victory over the invading Gauls (280/79) and their control of the Delphic *amphictiony which soon followed (from 277). Normally hostile to Macedon, they became allies of Rome against *Philip (3) V of Macedon in 212 or 211 bce, Rome's first allies in mainland Greece. After a period of estrangement they allied themselves with Rome against Philip once again (199 bce), but such was their feeling of ill-treatment at the hands of the Romans in the aftermath of Philip's defeat at *Cynoscephalae (197 bce) that they went on to make common cause with the Seleucid king *Antiochus (3) III.


Aetolian cults and myths  

Michael H. Jameson

Relatively isolated, after the Archaic period Aetolia had the reputation of a rough and violent region. In cult the massive conflagration of live birds and wild animals for Artemis Laphria at *Patrae (originally at Calydon, Paus. 7. 18. 8–13) has seemed to characterize Aetolian barbarism. But archaeological evidence permits a more temperate assessment. Aetolian religion had, none the less, some distinctive, conservative features. *Artemis is a great goddess, with exceptionally comprehensive concerns, including human and natural fertility, while her male partner, usually *Apollo, is a lesser figure. This has been taken to be a continuation of a bronze age pattern. There are important early temples in pairs, a larger one usually for the goddess and a smaller one for her companion, at Calydon, Taxiarchis (the modern site name), *Callipolis, and *Thermum, where alone Apollo is more prominent. At Calydon *Dionysus is associated with this pair, and he is important in local myth. *Zeus is relatively insignificant, *Poseidon unknown.



W. M. Murray

Aetolus, eponym of the Aetolians. *Endymion, king of *Elis, had three sons: Paeon, Epeius, and Aetolus. He set them to race at Olympia, promising the kingship to the winner. Epeius won, hence the ancient name Epeii for the people of the district. Paeon left the country and gave his name to the district of Paeonia. When Aetolus was forced to leave Elis because of a blood-feud, he went to the country of the *Curetes and gained control of the region which thereafter took his name (Paus.