Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Dictionary
 
DICE 100.00%
Games with dice were of high antiquity and very popular among the Greeks. They were usually played on a board with a vessel called a tower (pyrgos, turricula, fritillus, etc.), narrower at the top than at the bottom, and fitted inside with gradually diminishing shelves. There were two kinds of games. In the first, three dice (kybos, tessera), and in later times two were used. These were shaped like our dice and were marked on the opposite sides with the dote 1-6, 2-5, 3-4. The game was decided by the highest throw, and each throw had a special name. The best (3 or 4 x 6) was called Aphrodite or Venus, the worst (3 x 1) the dog (kyon or canis). In the second, four dice (astragalos or talus) were used, made of the bones of oxen, sheep or goats, or imitations of them in metal or ivory. They had four long sides, two of which, one concave and the other convex, were broad, and the other two narrow, one being more contracted than the other, and two pointed ends, on which they could not stand, and which therefore were not counted. The two broad sides were marked 3 and 4; of the narrow sides the contracted one was marked 6, and the wider one 1, so that 2 and 5 were wanting. As in the other game, so here, every possible throw had its name. The luckiest throw (Venus) was four different numbers, 1, 3, 4, 6; the unluckiest (canis) four aces. Dicing as a game of hazard was early forbidden in Rome, and only allowed at the Saturnalia. The penalty was a fine and infamia. The aediles were responsible for preventing dicing in taverns. If a private individual allowed it in his house, he had no legal remedy for any irregularities that might occur. In spite of this, dicing was quite common at drinking bouts, especially under the empire. Indeed some emperors, e.g. Claudius, were passionate players. Others however did their best to check the evil. Justinian went so far as to allow a claim for the recovery of money lost at play.
 
TESSERA 100.00%
A die (see DICE). Also
 
PALAMEDES 15.63%
The son of Nauplius and brother of CEax, a hero of the post-Homeric cycle of Trojan legend. Odysseus envied his wisdom and ingenuity, and was bent on avenging himself on Palamedes for detecting his feigned madness. Accordingly, he is said to have conspired with Diomedes and drowned him whilst engaged in fishing; or (according to another account) they persuaded him to enter a well, in which treasure was said to be concealed, and then overwhelmed him with stones. According to others, Agamemnon also hated him as head of the peace party among the Greeks. He accordingly got Odysseus and Diomedes to conceal in his tent a letter purporting to be written by Priam, as well as some money, and then accuse him as a traitor; whereupon he was stoned to death by the people. His brother CEax informed his father of the sad event by writing the news on an oar and throwing it into the sea, upon which he took a terrible vengeance on the returning Greeks (see NAUPLIUS, 2). Palamedes was considered by the Greeks as the inventor of the alphabet and of lighthouses; also of measures and weights, and of dice and draughts and the discus.
 
GAMES 12.36%
(1) Public. Among the Romans public games were intimately connected with religious worship. (For the public games of the Greeks, see ISTHMIAN, NEMEAN, OLYMPIAN, PYTHIAN GAMES.) The Roman ludi, originally races, appear first in the worship of Mars and Consus, the tutelary deities of horses and mules. But it was also a very ancient custom to celebrate ludi votivi, or games vowed on special occasions, particularly in time of war. Such games were usually vowed to Jupiter, the greatest deity of the Romans. These exceptional celebrations were so often repeated that they at length passed into regular annual festivals (ludi stati). The number of these games gradually increased, and so did their duration. At the end of the republican period there were seven sets of games, which occupied 65 days; in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. 135 days were given up to them, and in 354 A.D. as many as 176. In old times the games only lasted part of the day; but they gradually began to take up the whole day from early morning onwards. At a later period they went on in many cases into the night, requiring artificial illumination. The Roman ritual was very strict, and it happened pretty often that in consequence of some accidental interruption or trivial oversight, an instauratio or repetition of the spoiled day, if not of the whole festival, would be ordered, lest the gods should have any cause for anger. The different collegia of the priests were responsible for superintending the games, prescribed in honour of their respective divinities. But in the case of festivities vowed by the State, this duty fell to the high magistrates; at first to the consuls, afterwards (and almost exclusively) to the aediles, and after Augustus to the praetors. The expenses were provided for by a certain sum of money paid over from the public treasury to the giver of italics>the games. For the Ludi Romani, the greatest of all the festivals, this sum amounted, during the period preceding the Punic wars, to about £1,800. After this period it reached some £3,000, and by 51 A.D. had risen to £8,750. At the same time the givers of the games had to make larger supplementary contributious. The demands of the public were so extravagant that in course of time the amount of this private expenditure increased enormously, especially in the last century B.C. Augustus, indeed, tried to check it; but he was obliged to allow his praetors to spend three times as much on the games as was paid for the public treasury. Under the Empire many enactments were issued to restrict the expenditure on the games by law, but no permanent effect was produced. Even after the 4th century A.D. the expense rose to as large a sum as from £50,000 to £150,000. The oldest games were those of the circus, consisting mainly of horse-races and chariot-races, with gymnastic contests, to which others were added in course of time. (See CIRCUS.) After 364 B.C. dramatic representations were introduced from Etruria. These were in 240 B.C., and onwards, exchanged for regular theatrical performances (See LIVIUS ANDRONIOUS). Contests of gladiators, also from Etruria, were fashionable after 264 B.C. But these were only exhibited, during the republican period, at funeral games, private and other entertainments (see GLADIATORES). The following regular festivities were introduced in the republican period, and continued in existence until the latest times: (1) The Ludi Romani. These were the oldest games of all, and were, in strictness, celebrated in honour of Jupiter by victorious generals at their triumphs; hence it was that they included, as a special feature, a procession (pompa) from the Capitol to the Circus; a part of the performance which seems afterwards to have been embodied in the other games of the circus. Originally they lasted only one day; but in course of time they absorbed more and more time, till in the Ciceronian age they went on for fifteen (September 4-19). After the death of Caesar another day was added in his honour. After the introduction of theatrical performances, several days were taken up with them. The curule aediles were, in the republican period, responsible for the management. (2) Ludi plebei. These originally lasted one day, but afterwards fourteen, November 4-17. They were given in the Circus Flaminius under the direction of the plebeian aediles, and early included dramatic entertainments. (3) Ludi Cereales, given under the direction of the plebeian aediles in honour of Ceres, the tutelary goddess of the plebs. The date was originally April 19, afterwards April 12-19. (4) Ludi Apollinares, or in honour of Apollo. These were introduced during the Second Punic War, and celebrated originally on July 13, continuing afterwards from July 6-13. On the last day only were there any performances in the circus; the rest of the festival was given up to the drama. These were the only games for which, in the republican period, the praetor was responsible. (5) Ludi Megalenses, in honour of the Magna Mater, introduced 204 B.C. and held at first on April 4, afterwards from April 4-10. (See RHEA .) They included performances both in the theatre and in the circus. They were under the management of the curule aediles, and the same remark applies to (6) the Ludi Florales, from April 28 to May 3. (See FLORA.) During the imperial period the number of permanent festivals was largely increased. The birthday of Augustus, for instance (September 23), was regularly celebrated with ludi circenses, and the ludi Augustales (October 3-12) were instituted in honour of his memory. Side by side with the public games, private performances were often given by societies, families, and individuals on special occasions, such as those of births, marriages, or funerals. Sometimes the object would be merely to please the public: sometimes to raise money. The giver of the entertainment had, like the superintendent of the public games, the privilege of lictors and the toga proetexta. Charges for admission were made or not according to the occasion. But the admission to the public games was free, it being always understood that special seats were reserved for the magistrates, priests, senators, equites, and particular families and individuals. (See AMPHITHEATRE, CIRCUS, GLADIATORES, SEA-FIGHTS, THEATRE, WILD BEASTS.) Of social games the ancients, and especially the Greeks, had plenty. The cottabus, so popular at Greek banquets, the games of ball, of which both Greeks and Romans were fond, and the games with dice, are described in separate articles. A game of draughts (petteia) appears as early as Homer, and was said to have been the invention of Palamedes. But we have no knowledge of its nature and rules, and have very scanty information about the similar games played in later times. The "game of cities" seems to have resembled our chess or draughts. The board was divided into spaces, and movements made upon it with stones; the object being to get your opponent into check. The Romans had several games of the sort, among which the ludus latrunculorum, or game at soldiers, is to a certain extent known. This was a game of siege. The men (calculi) were divided into privates (mandroe) and officers (latrones), and the object was to take or to get your adversary's stones in check. In the ludus duodecim scriptorum, or game of 12 lines, dice were used. The dice-board was divided into 24 spaces by 12 parallel lines intersected by a line at right angles. Each side had 15 men, one set being black and the other white. Before each move the dice were thrown, and the move determined by the number which turned up. A very favourite game was Odd and Even (Gk. artiasmos, Lat. ludere par impar). You held out so many fingers, and put so many coins, pebbles, or nuts in your hand, and made your adversary guess whether the number was odd or even. The Roman children, and indeed their elders, were very fond of various games with nuts.
 
MEALS 7.47%
The GREEKS had three during the day; (1) the first breakfast, acratisma, consisting of bread which was dipped into unmixed wine; (2) the second breakfast, or luncheon, ariston, eaten about noon and consisting of warm dishes; and (3) the principal meal, deipnon, which took place before sunset. In the Homeric times, men sat down when eating, a custom preserved by the Cretans. In later times men reclined at the table, usually only two together on a couch (Gr. kline), in such a way that the left arm was supported on a cushion while the right arm remained free. The women and children, who were, however, excluded from real banquets, sat on stools; the former might also sit on the couch at their husbands' feet. Before the meal, slaves took off the sandals of the guests and washed their feet; water and a towel was then handed to them for washing their hands, and this was repeated after the meal, as no knives and forks were used; there were only spoons, usually of metal. While eating thev cleaned their hands with the crumb of bread or with a kind of dough. The common food of the lower classes was the maza, a pastea of barleymeal dried in a dish, and moistened before it was eaten; properly baked bread of wheatmeal was considere a comparative delicacy. As relish (opson) they had salad, leeks, onions, beans, lentils, and meat variously prepared; and especially fish, mostly from the sea, which in later times formed the chief object of the gourmand's attention. After the meals the tables were cleared away (every pair of guests usually having a table to itself), the remnants that had fallen to the ground were swept up, and the hands were washed with scented soap; then a libation of unmixed wine was drunk in honour of the good genius (see AGATHODAeMON)-none was served during the meal-and the hymn of praise (see PAeAN) was sung. After the tables had been changed and the dessert, consisting of fruit, cheese, cakes sprinkled with salt, etc., had been served, the symposium, or the drinking-bout, began. The wine was diluted with warm or cold water; in the latter case snow was frequently used to cool it. It was deemed barbarous to drink unmixed wine, and a mixture of equal parts of wine and water even was uncommon, the usual proportion of water to wine was 3:1. They were mixed in a large bowl (krater), from which it was poured into the goblets by means of a ladle. First three mixing-bowls were filled, and from each of them a libation was offered, the first to the gods of Olympus, the second to the heroes, the third to Zeus the Saviour. How the drinking was to be carried on (e.g. how many goblets each guest should have) was settled by a president, who was chosen by the others or by casting the dice, and called the king (basileus) or master of the feast (symposiarchus); he also enforced penalties, such as emptying a goblet at a single draught. The guests amused themselves with merry talk and riddles, impromptu songs (see SCOLIA), games, more especially the cottabus (q.v.), mimetic dances, the playing of women on flutes and lyres, etc. The bout was terminated by a libation to Hermes. For the meals of the Spartans, cp. SYSSITIA. The ROMANS also had three meals during the day. Breakfast, ieiunium or iantaculum, at about 9; followed in early times by the principal meal (cena) at 12, and by the vesperna in the evening; but afterwards the multiplied occupations of city life, that extended over the early hours of the afternoon, necessitated a different arrangement; lunch, prandium, was accordingly taken at noon, and the cena after bathing, at about 3. The ieiunium consisted of bread dipped in wine or eaten with honey, salt, or olives, the prandium of a plentiful supply of warm and cold viands, with wine. At the cena originally nothing was eaten but the peculiarly Roman puls, a kind of porridge, and other simple food, especially common vegetables; meat was not usually eaten, and prolonged dinners were only permissible on grand occasions. From the 2nd century B.C. onwards the importation of dainties from every country to Rome made extravagance in eating so universal that it was vainly attempted to check it by law, and at the same time the cena was prolonged over the whole of the latter end of the day; it was looked upon as a remarkable instance of economising time, when it was told of a man like the older Pliny that he only spent three hours reclining at table [Letters of the Younger Pliny, iii 5 § 13]. In the course of time reclining had been substituted for sitting in the case of men, as in Greece; women and children sat at meals, but (unlike the Greek custom) they shared them, even when invited guests were present, the women sitting on the couch (lectus) of the master of the house, the children by their side or at a separate table and on stools. Masters and servants originally had their meals in common in the atrium; as time went on special dining-rooms, triclinia (see TRICLINIUM) were built. At a banquet (convivium) the very lightest dress was worn, in which it was not considered correct to appear in the street, and sandals (soleoe), which were taken off by a slave, brought for this purpose, before one reclined, and what, was called the synthesis (q.v.). Before the meal, and between courses, water was banded round for the hands. Napkins (mappoe) came to be used in the reign of Augustus, but only at fashionable parties. As among the Greeks, no knives and forks, but only spoons, were used; the viands were out up by a special slave, the scissor. The dishes of which the various courses consisted were served on a tray (repositorium) and handed round by slaves. The meal, preceded by an invocation of the gods, was regularly divided into three parts: (1) the gustus or gustatio, also called promulsis, because a drink (mulsum) made of must and honey was handed round with the food (boiled eggs, salads, vegetables prepared in a way to stimulate the appetite, fresh or cooked crabs, etc., and salt fish). (2) The cena proper. Originally (and later also among people of small means) it only consisted of a single course, afterwards of three and more, which were distinguished by the names of prima, altera, tertia cena. During this-contrary to the Greek custom-wine was drunk, though in moderate quantities, and mixed with warm or cold water to suit the taste of each guest. Then came a pause, in which all were asked to be silent while the offering was made to the Lares, and (3) the third part of the meal, the dessert, was served. It consisted of pastry, cakes, fresh and preserved fruits. Roman luxury prescribed the greatest variety in the dishes of the cena, both with regard to their nature and to their mode of preparation. In early times only oil, honey, salt, and vinegar, but afterwards the most varied and piquant spices of other countries, and particularly foreign fishsauces, were employed. Pork had always been a favourite meat; fifty ways of dressing it were known. Under the Empire, when a dish was so prepared that even a gourmand was puzzled to tell what he was eating, it was held to be a chef d'oeuvre of the culinary art. The art was practised by slaves, for whom considerable prices were paid. The later Romans were on the whole much more immoderate in eating and drinking than the Greeks; a not unusual way of making further eating possible was to take an emetic in the morning, or else after bathing, or after the meals. After the cena, either at the dessert or not till later in the evening, the drinking proper, or comissatio began. It was done more Groeco, that is, according to the Greek manner: the guests were anointed and crowned with wreaths, and one was chosen by casting dice to be the master of the drinking (magister or arbiter bibendi), also called rex (or king), who regulated the proportion of water to wine, and the number of goblets each person was to drink. As a rule the wine was mixed with warm water, as this was considered more wholesome. Many, however, preferred the cold mixture, and drank it with ice, or else cooled it in cold water. Conversation, varied with the music of the flute and the lyre, was held by the earlier Romans to constitute the charm of dining; at a later time, intellectual pleasures gradually declined in favour more and more, and there was an ever-increasing craving for the exciting entertainments of mimes, jesters, jugglers, and female singers, dancers and flute players, who were mostly slaves of the family. Even the Campanian custom of witnessing gladiatorial combats during meals was adopted in a few Roman houses. The development of these baneful habits was all the more deplorable in its effects, as the women and children were present at the debauches of the table.
 
ORACLES 4.78%
The seats of the worship of some special divinity, where prophecies were imparted with the sanction of the divinity, either by the priests themselves or with their co-operation. There were a great many such places in all Greek countries, and these may be divided, according to the method in which the prophecy was made known, into four main divisions: (1) oral oracles, (2) oracles by signs, (3) oracles by dreams, and (4) oracles of the dead. The most revered oracles were those of the first class, where the divinity, almost invariably the seer-god Apollo, orally revealed his will through the lips of inspired prophets or prophetesses. The condition of frenzy was produced for the most part by physical influence: the breathing of earthly vapours or drinking of the water of oracular fountains. The words spoken whilst in this state were generally fashioned by the priests into a reply to the questions proposed to them. The most famous oracle of this kind was that of Delphi (see DELPHIC ORACLE). Beside this there existed in Greece Proper a large number of oracles of Apollo, as at Ab' in Phocis, in different places of Boeotia, in Euboea, and at Argos, where the priestess derived her inspiration from drinking the blood of a lamb, one being killed every month. Not less numerous were the oracles of Apollo in Asia Minor. Among these that of the Didym'an Apollo at Miletus traced its origin to the old family of the Branchid', the descendants of Apollo's son Branchus. Before its destruction by Xerxes, it came nearest to the reputation of the Delphian. Here it was a priestess who prophesied, seated on a wheel-shaped disc, after she had bathed the hem of her robe and her feet in a spring, and had breathed the steam arising from it. The oracle at Clarus near Colophon (see MANTO) was also very ancient. Here a priest, after simply hearing the names and the number of those consulting the oracle, drank of the water of a spring, and then gave answer in verse. The most respected among the oracles where prophecy was given by signs was that of Zeus of Dodona (q.v.), mentioned as early as Homer [Od. xiv 327=xix 296], where predictions were made from the rustling of the sacred oak, and at a later time from the sound of a brazen cymbal. Another mode of interpreting by signs, as practised especially at the temple of Zeus at Olympia by the Iamid', or descendants of Iamus, a son of Apollo, was that derived from the entrails of victims and the burning of the sacrifices on the altar. There were also oracles connected with the lot or dice, one especially at the temple of Heracles at Bura in Ach'a; and prophecies were also delivered at Delphi by means of lots, probably only at times when the Pythia was not giving responses. The temple of the Egyptian Ammon, who was identified with Zeus, also gave oracles by means of signs. Oracles given in dreams were generally connected with the temples of Asclepius. After certain preliminary rites, sick persons had to sleep in these temples; the priests interpreted their dreams, and dictated accordingly the means to be taken to insure recovery. The most famous of these oracular shrines of the healing god was the temple at Epidaurus, and next to this the temple founded thence at Pergamum in Asia Minor. Equally famous were the similar oracles of the seer Amphilochus at Oropus, of Trophonius at Lebadea in Boeotia, and of the seers Mopsus and Amphilochus at Mallus in Cilicia (q.v.). In later times such oracles were connected with all sanctuaries of Isis and Serapis. At oracles of the dead (psychomanteia) the souls of deceased persons were evoked in order to give the information desired. Thus in Homer [Od. xi] Odysseus betakes himself to the entrance of the lower world to question the spirit of the seer Tiresias. Oracles of this kind were especially common in places where it was supposed there was an entrance to the lower world; as at the city of Cichyrus in Epirus (where there was an Acherusian lake as well as the rivers of Acheron and Cocytus, bearing the same, names as those of the world below), at the promontory of T'narum in Laconia, at Heraclea in Pontus, and at Lake Avernus near Cum' in Italy. At most of them oracles were also given in dreams; but there were some in which the inquirer was in a waking condition when he conjured up the spirits whom he wished to question. While oracles derived either from dreams or from the dead were chosen in preference by superstitious people, the most important among oral oracles and those given by means of signs had a political significance. On all serious occasions they were questioned on behalf of the State in order to ascertain the divine will: this was especially the case with the oracle of Delphi (see DELPHIC ORACLE). In consequence of the avarice and partisanship of the priests, as well as the increasing decline of belief in the gods, the oracles gradually fell into abeyance, to revive again everywhere under the Roman emperors, though they never regained the political importance they had once had in ancient Greece. Such investigation of the divine will was originally quite foreign to the ROMANS. Even the mode of prophecying by means of lots (see SORTES), practised in isolated egions of Italy, and even in the immediate neighbourhood of Rome, as at C're, and especially at Pr'neste, did not come into use, at all events for State purposes, and was generally regarded with contempt. The Romans did not consult even the Sibylline verses in order to forecast the future. On the other hand, the growth of superstition in the imperial period not only brought the native oracles into repute, but caused a general resort to foreign oracles besides. The inclination to this kind of prophecy seems never to have been more generally spread among the masses of the people than at this time. Apart from the Greek oracular deities, there were the oriental deities whose worship was nearly everywhere combined with predictions. In most of the famous sanctuaries the most various forms of prophecy were represented, and the stranger they were, the better they were liked. In the case of the oral oracles the responses in earlier times were for the most part composed in verse: on the decay of poetic productiveness, they began to take the form of prose, or of passages from the poets, the Greeks generally adopting lines of Homer or Euripides, the Italians, lines of Vergil. The public declaration of oracles ended with the official extermination of paganism under Theodosius at the end of the 4th century.
 
Query:
Type: Standard
SoundEx
Results:
  
gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint