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abacus  

Serafina Cuomo

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
An abacus (ἄβαξ, ἀβάκιον), a counting board, was the usual aid to reckoning in antiquity. The Greeks and Romans alike used a board with vertical columns, on which (working from right to left) units, ... More

abortion  

Robert Sallares

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Abortion was controversial in antiquity. Doctors taking the Hippocratic Oath (see hippocrates (2)) swore not to administer abortifacients, but other Hippocratic texts suggest that prostitutes (see ... More

Achaean Confederacy, Greek  

R. M. Errington

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Achaean Confederacy, federal organization developed by the twelve Achaean cities (see achaea) united in the cult of Zeus Hamarios. First mentioned in 453 bce as Athenian allies, Achaea's independence ... More

Achaemenids  

Pierre Briant

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Subject:
Near East
The term, as used by Herodotus (1. 125), refers to one of the three clans (phrētrē) of the Pasargadae tribe to which the Persian kings belonged; its eponymous ancestor was supposedly Achaemenes (Hdt. ... More

acoustics  

Massimo Raffa

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
From the earliest stages of Greek thought, sound was thought to originate as the result of an impact between two objects. At first it was believed that the swiftness and force of the impact ... More

acta  

John Percy Vyvian Dacre Balsdon and Andrew Lintott

Online publication date:
Mar 2016
Subject:
Roman Law
Acta means ‘the things that have been done’ and has two specialized, overlapping senses in Roman history; one is a gazette, the other is official acts, especially of an emperor.The Acta diurna were a ... More

Actaeon  

Herbert Jennings Rose and Jenny March

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Actaeon, in mythology son of *Aristaeus and Autonoë, daughter of *Cadmus, and a great huntsman. Ovid gives the most familiar version of his death (Met. 3. 138 ff.): one day on Mt. Cithaeron he came ... More

Actium  

W. M. Murray

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Actium (Ἄκτιον), a flat sandy promontory at the entrance to the Ambracian Gulf, forming part of the territory of Anactorium, as well as the NW extremity of *Acarnania. A cult of Apollo was located ... More

Adriatic Sea  

Max Cary and W. M. Murray

Online publication date:
Jul 2015
Adriatic Sea (Gk. ὁ Ἀδρίας; Lat. Mare adriaticum or superum), used as an alternative to ‘*Ionian Sea’ for the waters between the Balkan peninsula and Italy, and like ‘Ionian’, sometimes extended to ... More

aes  

Michael Crawford

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Aes, bronze, also more loosely copper or brass, hence (a) money, coinage, pay, period for which pay is due, campaign; (b) document on bronze. The earliest Roman monetary system ... More

Aesculapius  

Holt Parker and Nicholas Purcell

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
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 ... More

Aesop  

J. S. Rusten

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
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 ... More

Aesopus, tragic actor, 1st cent. BCE  

George Chatterton Richards and M. T. Griffin

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
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 ... More

Aetna (1), volcano of Sicily  

Arthur Geoffrey Woodhead and R. J. A. Wilson

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
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 ... More

agoranomoi, Greek  

Alain Bresson

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
Subject:
Greek Law
The agoranomoi were the magistrates who, in the Greek cities, were in charge of policing and organizing the market. Their role was to make sure that transactions were conducted according to ... More

Akkadian  

Stephanie Dalley

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
(1) Term used until 1869 for the language now known as *Sumerian. (2) Term used since 1869 for the East Semitic language that is also known by its northern and southern dialects as Assyrian and ... More

Alaric  

Peter Heather

Online publication date:
Jul 2015
Alaric, Gothic leader c. 395–410 ce who created the *Visigoths. By 408 he had united the Tervingi and Greuthungi who had crossed the Danube in 376 with survivors of Radagaisus' force which ... More

alcoholism, Roman  

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Romans were as interested in the harmful effects of excessive drinking and chronic intoxication as their Greek counterparts. In On the Nature of Things, *Lucretius writes that wine's fury ... More

Alexander the Great, reception of  

Diana Spencer

What makes Alexander Great? His story has captured the imagination of authors, artists, philosophers, and politicians across more than two millennia. He has provided a point of convergence ... More

Alexander Romance  

Richard Stoneman

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
The Alexander Romance is a fictionalized life of Alexander III of Macedon (Alexander the Great, 356–323 bce), originating in the 3rd century BC, though the earliest evidence for its ... More

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