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alcoholism, Greek  

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Greeks were unfamiliar with modern concepts of alcoholism, but they were well aware of self-destructive drinking and the effects of habitual drunkenness. In the Odyssey, *Homer makes a speaker note that wine is a bane to those who drink it excessively, and identify overindulgence as the cause of the *Centaur Eurytion's vile behaviour (21. 293–8). In *Hades, Homer's Elpenor admits that heavy drinking was a key factor in his fatal plunge from *Circe's roof (Od. 11. 61). *Pythagoras (1) is credited with the dictum that drinking to achieve drunkenness is a training-ground for madness, and he advises drunkards to take an unflinching look at their inebriate behaviour if they wish to alter it (Stob. Flor. 3. 18. 23, 33). In the Republic, *Plato (1) writes about men who welcome any excuse to drink whatever wine is available (475a). *Aristotle's treatise On Drunkenness has been lost, but his extant works confirm an abiding interest in wine's pernicious effects.


Antigonus (4), of Carystus, writer and bronze-worker, fl. c. 240 BCE  

Frank William Walbank and Andrew F. Stewart

Antigonus (4) of Carystus (fl. c. 240 BCE), writer and bronzeworker, lived at Athens and (apparently) at *Pergamum.

An inferior anecdotal collection survives: (a) Ἱστοριῶν παραδόξων συναγωγή, collection of paradoxical stories (see paradoxography) (Rer. nat. scr. Graec. min. 1. 8 f.); *Diogenes (6) Laertius and Athenaeus (1) use (b) Lives of Philosophers; (c) treatises on sculpture and painting (Plin. HN 1. 33, 34; 34. 84; etc.); (d) Περì λέξεως, on diction (Ath. 3. 88a; 7. 297a: probably this Antigonus).

A reliable biographer (see biography, greek) with a flowing, periodic style, Antigonus achieved considerable popularity. His art-historical writing analysed style and authorship (e.g. Plin. HN 35. 67; [Zenobius] 5. 82), and he was among the sculptors the Attalids (see attalus i–iii) selected to celebrate their Celtic victories.


Biton, 3rd or 2nd cent. BCE  

Simon Hornblower

Biton (Βίτων) (3rd or 2nd cent. bce), the author of a small extant work on siege-engines, Κατασκευαὶ πολεμικῶν ὀργάνων καὶ καταπαλτικῶν (‘The Construction of War-machines and Catapults’; see artillery; siegecraft), and of a lost work on *optics.


books, Greek and Roman  

H. Maehler

Books existed in *Egypt long before they came into use in Greece. Systems of writing had been invented and developed for administrative purposes in both Egypt and *Mesopotamia by c.3000 bce. While the Sumerians (see sumerian) and Babylonians used clay tablets for their *cuneiform scripts, the Egyptians used papyrus. A blank sheet of papyrus was found in the tomb of the vizier Hemaka in Saqqara of c.3000 bce. The oldest surviving inscribed papyrus texts are the temple accounts of Abusir of c.2450 bce. A number of fine statues of seated scribes of the same period suggests that this profession was already well established and that writing had been practised for centuries, long enough for the ‘hieratic’ script to develop through the adaptation of hieroglyphs to the use of reed-brush and papyrus. The hieroglyph for ‘book-roll’ is first attested in the first dynasty (c.


epigraphy, Greek  

H. W. Pleket

The study of inscriptions engraved on stone or metal in Greek letters. Coin-legends (see coinage, greek) are for the numismatist, whereas painted mummy-labels and ink-written texts on *ostraca, especially popular in Egypt, are the realm of the papyrologist; inscriptions painted or incised on vases and pottery (see pottery (greek), inscriptions on) are the combined prey of vase-experts and epigraphists.1 (Superscript figures refer to the bibliographical notes at the end of the article.) Interest in inscriptions is not a modern phenomenon; already in antiquity people studied specific inscriptions. In the early 3rd cent. bce*Craterus (2) published a collection of decrees (Ψηφισμάτων συναγωγή); a hundred years later *Polemon (3) of Ilium received the nickname στηλοκόπας (‘tablet-glutton’) for his fanatical attention to inscriptions. With the Renaissance, interest in antiquities went hand in hand with admiration for the ancient literary inheritance. With Cyriacus of Ancona there began a long series of travelling scholars, who in their notebooks produced beautiful descriptions and drawings of ancient sites and the inscriptions on them. Initially, inscriptions tended to be disregarded or even despised by the champions of the revered literary sources; but when the latter came under the attack of Cartesian rationalism and Pyrrhonian scepticism, epigraphical shares increased in value on the historical stock exchange:2 inscriptions were authentic and direct and could not be disqualified as forgeries or highly biased accounts.



Jacqueline DiBiasie-Sammons

Graffiti are informal, unofficial writings or drawings on surfaces not first produced for writing purposes, such as walls, pavement stones, rocks, and ceramics. Graffiti elucidate a great deal about life in the ancient world including topics such as social history, literacy, linguistic variation, sexuality, religious practices, and the use of space in ancient cities. These texts were composed in a variety of media: typically, they were scratched into the physical support, but paint, charcoal, and chalk were used as well. Graffiti have been found in many cities of the Greco-Roman world and in a variety of spaces including houses, tombs, religious spaces, and public areas. Since the texts were often inscribed or written on delicate surfaces such as wall plaster, only a small portion of the thousands that were once inscribed survive to the present.Graffiti (singular graffito) are informal, unofficial writings or drawings on surfaces not first produced for writing purposes, such as walls, pavement stones, rocks, and ceramics. A narrow definition of the word from its Italian root meaning “to scratch” only includes texts or drawings scratched into a hard surface such as plaster, stone, or marble. Because informal writings made with materials such as charcoal and chalk served the same purposes and were written in the same locations, and, in some instances, by the same authors as their inscribed counterparts, they are also included in the genre. The term graffiti, now used in English for writing of this sort from any era, was coined by .


horse- and chariot-races  

Sinclair W. Bell, Jean-Paul Thuillier, and Carolyn Willekes

From the Olympian Games to the modern film Ben-Hur , horse- and chariot-races have proven a potent and enduring symbol of the agonistic culture of Classical Antiquity. Similarities did exist between Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cultures: equestrianism of all forms, due to the expense involved, had aristocratic overtones. But in contrast to the Greeks’ equal passion for mounted horse races and chariot racing, Romans strongly favored the latter, which they developed under the primary influence of the Etruscans and expanded into an empire-wide, professionalized industry.The horse was a significant status symbol in the Greek world, as in the Etruscan and Roman worlds.1 This was due in large part to the cost of purchasing and maintaining equines (see horses), as few regions in the Greek peninsula were suitable for large-scale horse breeding, with regions such as Thessaly and Macedonia being notable exceptions.2 The importance of the horse and horse breeding in Thessaly is evident from the frequent use of equine and equestrian iconography on coinage, including images of mares and foals, as well as horses in naturalistic poses (.



P. J. Parsons

By the end of the 5th cent. bce, books were in general circulation, even if some regarded them as a fad of intellectuals like *Euripides (Ar. Ran. 943, cf. fr. 506 KA); Athens had booksellers (Eup. fr. 327, Aristomenes (2) fr. 9, KA), and exports reached the Black Sea (Xen. An. 7. 5. 14), see euxine. Individuals collected the best-known poets and philosophers (Xen. Mem. 4. 2. 1); an imagined collection of the later 4th cent. bce includes *Orpheus, *Hesiod, *tragedies, *Choerilus (probably (2)), *Homer, *Epicharmus, and all kinds of prose, including Simus' Cookery (Alexis fr. 140 KA). Of famous collectors (Ath. 1. 3a), *Aristotle took first place (Strabo 13. 1. 54); but his library, like that of the other philosophic schools, remained private property (for its chequered history, see Strabo, ibid.; Plut. Sull. 26. 1–2).Institutional libraries begin with the Hellenistic monarchies; the ‘public’ library of *Pisistratus (Gell.



Richard Seaford

Masks, as in many other pre-modern cultures, were used in Greece and Rome in cult and in dramatic representations. We have terracotta representations of grotesque masks worn in adolescent rites of passage in the cult of *Artemis Orthia in Sparta (see Spartan cults), and depictions of the wearing of animal masks in the cult of *Demeter and Despoina at *Lycosura in Arcadia (see Arcadian cults and myths). Masks were often worn in the cult of *Dionysus, and the masks of *satyrs and of Dionysus were sometimes not worn but at the centre of ritual action. Notable among the figures imagined in terms of a frightening mask is the *Gorgon. In Roman religion a notable use was of the *imagines, ancestral masks displayed in the atrium of a noble family and worn by the living at funerals (along with the mask of the deceased). Whereas the Greek word for mask (πρόσωπον) also means face, the Latin persona probably derives from the Etruscan phersu, a masked figure, who is depicted in a 6th-cent.



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.



Theodore Johannes Haarhoff and Nigel Wilson

Museum (Μουσεῖον), originally a place connected with the *Muses or the arts inspired by them. *Euripides speaks of the μουσεῖα of birds, the places where they sing. When a religious meaning was attached an altar or a temple was built to mark the spot. But the predominant significance of the word was literary and educational. Thus Mt. *Helicon had a Museum containing the manuscripts of *Hesiod and statues of those who had upheld the arts (Ath. 14. 629a). Almost any school could be called ‘the place of the Muses’ (*Libanius). There was a Museum in *Plato(1)'s *Academy and in *Aristotle's Lyceum.By far the most famous Museum was that of *Alexandria (1), founded by *Ptolemy (1) I Soter probably on the advice of Aristotle's famous pupil, *Demetrius(3) of Phaleron. It was distinct from the *library.


papyrology, Greek  

H. Maehler

Papyrus, manufactured in Egypt since c.3000 bce from a marsh plant, Cyperus papyrus (see books, greek and roman), was the most widely used writing material in the Graeco-Roman world. The object of papyrology is to study texts written on papyrus (and on ostraca, wooden tablets, etc. in so far as they come from the same find-spots) in Egyptian (hieroglyphs, demotic, Coptic), Hebrew, *Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Pahlavi, and Arabic. Greek papyrology also deals with Greek texts written on parchment (see palaeography, Introduction). The vast majority of Greek papyri have been found in Egypt, preserved in the dry sand; with the exception of some carbonized papyri from *Bubastis and Thmouis, no papyri have survived in the damp soils of the Delta or *Alexandria (1). Outside Egypt, Greek papyri have been found at *Herculaneum, at Dura-*Europus, in Palestine, and one text has come from Greece: the carbonized Orphic commentary found in a burial at Derveni near Salonica; see orphic literature; orphism.



Ana Isabel Jiménez San Cristóbal

Persephone/Kore (Περσεφόνη/ Κόρη) is a goddess, Demeter’s daughter by Zeus, wife of Hades, and queen of the underworld. Her most important myth is that of her abduction by Hades, her father’s brother. In Orphic literature, she is Dionysus’ mother by Zeus. Persephone/Kore is often worshipped in association with Demeter and Hades, but independent cults of the goddess are also attested. Persephone was adopted by the Romans as Proserpina.In Mycenaean, the names Persephone (Περσεφόνη), and Kore (Κόρη), have been proposed without agreement for the lemmas pe-re- *82 in Pylos and ko-wa in Thebes (TH Fq 126.2). The name Persephone (Homeric Persephoneia, Lyric Phersephonā), whose etymology is dark, presents variants as Persephassa or Phersephassa (Tragic), Pherrephatta, Perrephatta, or Pherrophatta, Perophatta, Persōphata (on Attic vases of the 5th century bce). The term Persephone stresses her persona as Hades’ wife, whilst as Demeter’s daughter, she is often called Kore, “the Girl.” Mother and daughter are usually named together in expressions like “the Two Goddesses” (tō theō), “the Thesmophoroi” (tō Thesmoforō) or, sporadically, “the Demeters” (Dēmēteres). Kore is more usual as a formal title of the goddess in many state cults, but Persephone is also found in .



Richard Seaford

Phallus, an image of the penis, often as erect, to be found in various contexts, in particular (a) in certain rituals associated with fertility, notably Dionysiac *processions (see dionysus): see e.g. Ar. Ach.243 on the Attic rural Dionysia (see attic cults and myths), *Semos in Ath. 622b-c on groups of ‘ithyphallics’ and ‘phallus-bearers’, *Varro in Aug. Civ. 7. 21 ‘for the success of seeds’ at the Liberalia (see liber pater);(b) as a sacred object revealed in the Dionysiac *mysteries, as in the Villa of the Mysteries fresco at *Pompeii; *Iamblichus (2) (Myst. 1. 11) mentions it as a symbol of secret doctrine;(c) in the costume of comedy (see comedy (greek), old), *satyric drama, and various low theatrical genres; *Aristotle (Poet. 1449a11) says that comedy originated in phallic songs;(d) on permanent display, often as part of a statue such as those of *Priapus or the *herms identified with *Hermes;(e) as apotropaic: e.


theatre staging, Greek  

J. Richard Green

The visual element in Greek theatre is demonstrably strong from the time of the earliest formal drama; the importance accorded to stage production may be judged from *Aristophanes(1)'s *parodies of tragic performances in his comedies, or indeed from the whole development of theatre as a genre in the 5th and 4th centsuries bce; if confirmation were needed, it would come from the reservations *Aristotle expresses about production as opposed to composition in his lectures on composition in the Poetics (1450b17–20; 1453b1 ff.).Theatres in antiquity were constantly modified and rebuilt, and the surviving remains give few clear clues to the nature of the theatrical space available to the Classical dramatists of the 5th cent. In the Theatre of Dionysus at Athens, the wall of conglomerate stone (H, with its projection T), which was traditionally taken as belonging to the stage building of the later 5th century, is now thought by some to date to the mid-4th. (See theatres (greek and roman).



Antony Spawforth

Well-known Greek tourists include *Solon, said (Hdt. 1. 30) to have visited Egypt and Lydia ‘for the sake of seeing’ (theōria), and *Herodotus (1) himself. Sea-borne *trade and sightseeing were surely companions from an early date, as they still were in the 4th cent. (Isoc. Trapeziticus 17. 4). A genre of Greek periegetic (‘travel’) literature arose by the 3rd cent., from which date fragments survive of a descriptive work, On the Cities in Greece, by Heraclides Criticus (ed. F. Pfister (1951); for partial trans. see Austin83); the only fully preserved work of this type is *Pausanias (3) (see polemon(3)), illustrating the thin line between sightseers and pilgrims. Under Rome ancient sightseeing came into its own. A papyrus (PTeb. 1. 33 = Bagnall and Derow 58) of 112 bce gives instructions to prepare for a Roman senator's visit to the *Fayūm, including titbits for the crocodiles; the colossi of *Memnon and other pharaonic monuments are encrusted with Greek and Latin graffiti.