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From an early date the Greeks employed in the production of books a paper prepared from the Egyptian papyrus plant. This was probably manufactured as follows: as many strips as possible of equal size were cut out of the cellular tissue of the stalk; these were laid side by side, and crossed by a second layer. The layers were firmly fastened together by being damped with size and pressed. The breadth of the scroll depended on the height of the stalk, while its length could be extended at pleasure. After the time of Augustus, the preparation of the papyrus by a process of bleaching was brought to such perfection that the best Egyptian kind took only the third place. Under the Empire eight different kinds were distinguished, the two best of which were called the charta Augusta (only used for letters), and the charta Livia; these were 10 ½ inches broad. The worst kind was only used for packing. As a rule the papyrus-rolls of moderate length were written only on one side, and the writing was divided into columns. [Pliny, N. H. xiii 68-83]. For the binding of the papyrus-rolls, see BOOKS. The use of skins for the purposes of writing was at least as old as that of papyrus. The finer method of preparing them was, however, first discovered during the first half of the 2nd century B.C. at Pergamum, whence the name charta Pergamena, "parchment." But as late as the 1st century A.D. papyrus was more generally employed, probably on account of its greater cheapness; and it was not till the 4th century that parchment came into more general use, as being more durable, and admitting of being written upon on both sides. The pen was a split reed (calamus), the best being supplied by Egypt and Cnidus in Caria. The ink (atramentum) employed was a preparation resembling Indian ink, made of soot and gum, or of the juice of the cuttle-fish. Both of these could be erased with a sponge, whereas ink made of oxide of iron and gallnuts, which appears to have been introduced later, and to have been the only kind capable of being used for parchment, left more or less clear traces behind, even if rubbed out with pumice-stone. In ordinary life people used for letters, notices, and despatches, as also in schools, wooden tablets (tabelloe) with a raised rim, within which was spread a thin layer of wax. On this the characters were scratched with the point of a metal or ivory instrument called a stilus; they could be effaced with the other end of the instrument, which was bent or flattened out like a paper-folder. Two or more such tablets could be fastened together in the form of a book. (See DIPTYCHON.) The writing materials most commonly employed among the Greeks and Romans are shown in our cuts. <picture> <name> INK-STAND WITH REED PEN, ROLL WITH CORNUA AND PARCHMENT LABEL, STILUS, WAX TABLET, AND ACCOUNT BOOK. (Mural Painting from Pompeii; Museo Borbonico i 12, 2.) </name> </picture> <picture> <name> BUNDLE OF REED-PENS, WAX TABLET, AMD STILUS. (Sepnlchral relief from Perret, Catacombes de Rome, lxxiii 6. Xanthus. A Greek historian. (See LOGOGRAPHI.)
STILUS 126.35%
[wrongly spell stylus]. An iron instrument, pointed at one end and flat at the other, for writing on tablets covered with a thin coating of wax. (See WRITING MATERIALS.)
A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Pythagoras (q.v.). He was the first to commit to writing the doctrines of the Pythagorean school. He wrote in Doric Greek. Only a few fragments of his writings remain.
Statues whose uncovered extremities are made of stone, the covered parts of another material, such as wood.
DURIS 62.62%
A Greek historian, a native of Samos, and a disciple of Theophrastus. For some time he was despot of Samos. In the first half of the 3rd century B.C. he wrote, besides other historical works, a comprehensive history, in twenty-three books, of Greece and Macedonia, from 370 to at least 281 B.C. He was also the author of Annals of Samos, in at least twelve books. Nothing but fragments of his writings remain, which show that they were no more than uncritical collections of material carelessly treated.
SORANUS 57.75%
A Greek physician from Ephesus, who lived in the first half of the 2nd century A.D., under Trajan and Hadrian. His writings are now represented by a work of considerable extent on the diseases of women, and a surgical treatise on fractures. The writings of Caelius Aurelianus (q.v.) on Acute and Chronic Diseases are translated from him.
The Greeks were early familiar with the practice of multiplying copies of books by transcription, either to private order or for public sale. As far back as the 5th Century B.C. the Athenians had a special place in their market-place for selling books, and it is clearly established that a regular book-fair existed at Athens by about 300 B.C. In Rome, towards the end of the republican age, the business of copying books and the book-trade in general developed on a large scale, and it became a fashionable thing to possess a library. The book-trade, in the proper sense of the term, owes its existence to Atticus, the well-known friend of Cicero. He kept a number of slaves skilled in shorthand and calligraphy (librarii), whom he set to copy a number of Cicero's writings, Which he then disposed of at a considerable profit in Italy and Greece. His example was soon followed, especially as the interest in new literary productions, and the love of reading, greatly increased after the time of Augustus. To facilitate the appearance of a great number of copies at the same time, the scribes were often set to write from dictation. Much use was made of the abbreviations (notae) invented by Tiro, the freedman of Cicero. The binding was done, as well as the writing, by the librarii ; and as the brittle papyrus was the usual material, the book was generally made up in the form of a roll (see WRITING MATERIALS). The ends of the roll were strengthened with thin strips of bone or wood, which were either provided at top and bottom with a knob (umbilicus), or finished off in the shape of a horn. Previously to this, the upper and lower edges were carefully clipped, smoothed with pumice-stone, and tinted with black. To protect it from moths and worms, the roll was dipped in cedar oil, which gave it a yellowish tinge. The title of the work (titulus or index) was written in red on a strip of parchment attached to the end of the roll. Expensive copies, especially in the case of poems, had a gilt umbilicus, as well as a parchment cover of purple colour. The books were then exposed for sale in the bookseller's shops, and sold at what appear, considering the circumstances, reasonable prices. The booksellers were called librarii or bibliopoloe; their shops were situated in the most frequented parts of the city, and much used, both as reading-rooms and rendezvous for learned discussion. As a general rule there was a good sale for books, especially such as had won popularity before publication in the public recitations (see RECITATIONS). Books were also much bought in the provinces, whose inhabitants were anxious to keep abreast with the intellectual life of the capital. Even works which were little thought of in Rome sometimes found an easy sale in other parts of the empire. It does not appear that the author received any honorarium from the publisher.[1]
This Greek word was applied in antiquity to a pair of writing tablets fastened together by rings, so that the inner sides, covered with wax, lay one upon the other. They were fastened sometimes by a strap, on the side opposite to the rings: sometimes by a string passed through two holes in the middle, and secured, if necessary, by seals at the back. (See the engravings under WRITING MATERIALS.) Two or more of the tablets (Triptycha, Polyptycha) were sometimes joined in the same way. They were used for notes, letters, and documents. Under the Empire much fancy and expense were lavished on them, the outer side being sometimes made of gold, silver, or magnificently carved ivory. This was especially the case after it became the fashion for consuls, and other high officials, to give presents of diptycha when entering upon office. For the diplomas made out on bronze diptycha for soldiers who had served their time, see MISSIO.
A Latin rhetorician, born in Africa, who, about the middle of the 4th century A.D. taught at Rome, where St. Jerome enjoyed his instruction. In his old age he became a convert to Christianity, and served its cause by his writings. Besides numerous theological works, he is the author of a comprehensive treatise mainly on metres, called Ars Grammatica, in four books. His name is also given to some other grammatical writings, as well as some poems on biblical subjects; but it is doubtful whether they are from his hand. A commentary on Cicero's work De Inventione, which used to be ascribed to him, was more probably composed by one Fabius Marina Victorinus.
EUDEMUS 48.78%
A Greek philosopher, native of Rhodes. After Theophrastus he was the chief of Aristotle's disciples, and was the author of the seven books of Eudemian Ethics, which have come down to us among his writings.
A Greek author, who flourished about 150 A.D., the author of a work, in ten books, on the lives and doctrines of celebrated Greek philosophers. It is an uncritical compilation from books of earlier and later date, but the richness of the material gathered from lost writings gives it inestimable value for the history of philosophy. Books 1-7 embrace the Ionic philosophers from Thales onwards, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics down to Chrysippus. Books 8, 9 treat of the philosophers whom he includes under the name of Italian, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, the Eleatics and Atomists, Protagoras, Pyrrho and Epicurus, to the last of whom the whole tenth book is devoted.
LAENA 44.54%
An ancient Roman garment. It was a woollen mantle, fastened by a brooch, of a coarse, shaggy material, twice as thick as an ordinary toga. Under the Empire it was very generally worn as an outer cloak by all classes of society, especially on going out to supper.
CLEMENS 43.43%
A Greek ecclesiastical writer, born at Alexandria about 150 A.D. Originally a heathen, he gained, in the course of long travels, a wide knowledge of philosophy. Finding no satisfaction in it, became a Christian, and about 190 A.D. was ordained priest in Alexandria, and chosen to preside over a school of catechumens there. The persecution under Septimius Severus having compelled him to take flight, he founded a school in Jerusalem, and came afterwards to Antioch. He died in 218 A.D. His writings contributing as they do to our knowledge of ancient philosophy, have an important place, not only in Christian, but also in profane literature. This is especially true of the eight books called Stromata; a title which properly means " many coloured carpets," or writings of miscellaneous contents.
AGRIPPA 42.83%
Born B.C. 63, died B.C. 12. He was the friend, son-in-law, general, and minister of Augustus. He was also a speaker and writer of some repute. Under his supervision was carried out the great survey of the Roman empire which Caesar had begun in 44 B.C. With the help of the materials thus obtained he constructed a circular Map of the World. About B.C. 7, Augustus had it engraved on a large scale in marble, and set up for public use in the colomnade built by Agrippa's sister Polla (porticus Pollae). It may be regarded as the source and model of all succeeding aids to geography, especially the Itineraries (q.v.) and the Peutinger Table. A book on the results of the survey, which Agrippa had begun writing, was continued and published, by order of Augustus, under the title of Chorographia.
EPHORUS 42.81%
A Greek historian, born about 400 B.C. at Cyme, in Asia Minor. He lived to see the invasion of Asia by Alexander the Great in 334. Like Theopompus, he was a pupil of Isocrates, who, seeing that he was not likely to succeed as a public speaker, persuaded him to write history. He was the author of a Universal History, which omitted the mythical age, and began with the return of the Heraclide into the Peloponnese. It treated in thirty books the history of the Greek and barbarian world, during a space of 750 years, ending in 340 B.C. The last book is said to have been completed by his son Demophilus. The work was continued in the Alexandrian period by Diyllus of Athens, Psaon of Plataeea, and Menodotus of Perinthus. It was much read and used for the wealth and excellent arrangement of its material, which embraced geography, ethnography, mythology, and the history of civilization and literature. It met with much hostile criticism, but had its admirers, among whom was Polybius.
FRONTO 42.39%
The most celebrated orator in the age of the Antonines, born at Cirta in Numidia, about 100 A.D. As an advocate and speaker at Rome, he earned not only considerable wealth and reputation, but the favour of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, who entrusted him with the education of the imperial princes Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. In 143 he was consul for two months, but his health was too weak to allow of his administering a province as proconsul. This ill-health, and many family misfortunes, embittered the last years of his life. He died about 170. He was much admired by his contemporaries, some of whom formed a school of their own bearing the name of Frontoniani, and this reputation survived after his death. Accordingly he used to be regarded as one of the chief representatives of Roman eloquence. But the discovery of part of his writings in 1815 dispelled the illusion. The recovered writings consist mainly of the correspondence, the greater part of which they preserve, between Fronto and the members of the imperial family, especially with Marcus Aurelius as prince and emperor. A number of the letters are written in Greek. Besides these we have a few fragments of historical works, and some rhetorical declamations. Of the speeches only a few meagre fragments remain. The character of Fronto, as revealed in these writings, is that of a man of some knowledge, honourable and independent, but vain and borne. His main ambition is to pave the way for the regeneration of the Latin language; and this, not by a study of the classical models, but by quarrying in the works of the auto-classical writers. Their antiquated expressions he revives, and uses in the most tasteless manner to clothe the poverty of his own thoughts. But his letters are of some value as contributing to our knowledge of the age and the persons then living.
The famous Greek historian, called the Father of History, born about 490-480 B.C., at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. He was of noble family, being the son of Lyxes and Dryo (or Rhoio). Like his uncle, the poet Panyasis (q.v.), he fled in 460 to the island of Samos, having been expelled from his native town by the tyrant Lygdamis. From this spot he seems to have completed his great travels, which he had already begun when at Halicarnassus. These travels were most extensive: he traversed Asia Minor, the interior of Asia nearly as far as Susa, the Graeco-Asiatic islands, Egypt as far as Elephantine, Cyrene, the shores of the Euxine as far as the Caucasus and the mouth of the Danube, as well as Greece and the neighbouring countries. Having returned with his uncle to Halicarnassus, he took part in the expulsion of Lygdamis (about 450), but, probably in consequence of political intrigues, he fell into disgrace with his fellow townsmen, and was again compelled to quit his native country. In 445 he betook himself to Athens in order to take part in the projected colonization of Thurii in Southern Italy. Here he gave public readings from the works which he had begun to compose in Samos (probably the portions relating to the Persian War). They met with such applause that he was rewarded with a present of ten talents (£2,000) from the public treasury. He is also said to have given similar recitations elsewhere--at the festal assembly of the Greeks at Olympia, and also at Corinth and Thebes. We are told that at one of these recitals Thucydides was present as a boy, and was so affected that he shed tears and resolved to devote himself to the writing of history. [See, however, Dahlmann's Life of Herodotus, chap. ii, sect. ii.] Herodotus was in close intercourse with the leading men of the day. In Athens, which he seems to have often visited, after having settled at Thurii (443), he knew Pericles and the poet Sophocles, who composed a special poem in his honour in 442. It was doubtless there that he was prompted to mould the materials of his history into a complete and artistic whole. He carried forward this plan at Thurii; but it is probable that his death, which occurred about 424, prevented his finishing his grand design. This work (which the Alexandrine critics divided into nine books, named after the nine Muses), marks the beginning of real historical writing among the Greeks. The industry of the earlier historical writers (known as Logographi, q.v.) had contented itself with collecting material for a limited purpose, such as histories of towns and families, arranged in an uncritical and inartistic manner. It is the merit of Herodotus, that, by his study of the existing literature and by his travels, he collected historical, geographical, and ethnographical materials relating to the greater part of the then known world, that he sifted them with some critical discernment, that he arranged them under leading topics, and set them forth in an original and attractive form. The true scope of the work, which embraces a period of 320 years down to the battle of Mycale (479), is the struggle between the Greeks and the barbarians; with this leading thread of his narrative are inwoven, in a countless number of episodes, descriptions of the countries and races, more or less closely connected with the principal events of the story, so that the result is a complete picture of the known world as it then existed. In subordination to this general object, the whole narrative is inspired with the one guiding thought, that all history is determined by a moral government of the world, ordained by a Providence which rules the destinies of man; and that every exaltation of man above the limits fixed by the eternal law of heaven excites the jealousy of the gods, and draws down an avenging Nemesis on the head of the guilty one himself, or his descendants. His veracity shows itself in the sharp distinction he draws between personal observation, oral information, and mere conjecture; his impartiality, his just recognition of praiseworthy qualities (even on the side of the enemy), is displayed in his frank censure of political or moral failings which he thinks he perceives in his friends; while his nobility of character is evinced by his hearty delight in all that is good and beautiful. Although by race Herodotus belonged to the Dorians, he nevertheless made use of the Ionic dialect which had been employed by his predecessors, the logographi, though at times he mingles it with Epic, Doric, and Attic forms. His simplicity of style recalls that of the logographi, but he far excels them in clearness and general intelligibility of composition, in a pleasing flow of language, in an epic, and often even redundant, fulness of expression, and above all in a genius for narrative, which he shows in the vivid description of the most diverse events.-- A biography of Homer, written in the Ionic dialect, bears the name of Herodotus; it is really the work of a rhetorician at the beginning of the 1st century of our era.
A Greek writer of Carystus, about 240 B.C., author of a collection of all kinds of curiosities and fictions in natural history. The work is now extant only in a much abbreviated form, and is of no value but for its numerous quotations and fragments from lost writings.
Artemidorits the Dream-Interpreter, born at Ephesus at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., surnamed "the Daldian from his mother's birthplace, Daldis in Lydia, wrote a work on the Interpretation of Dreams, the Oneirueritica, in four books. He had gathered his materials from the works of earlier authors, and by oral inquiries during his travels in Asia, Italy and Greece. The book is an acute exposition of the theory of interpreting dreams, and its practical application to examples systemstically arranged according to the several stages of human life. An appendix, counted as a fifth book, gives a collection of dreams that have come true. For the light thrown on the mental condition of antiquity, especially in the 2nd century after Christ, and for many items of information on religious rites and myths relating to dreams, these writings are of value.
A gnomic poet of Miletus, born about 540 B.C. He wrote in hexameters and in elegiac metre. Of his terse and pointed maxims, we have a few remaining. An admonitory poem in 230 hexameters, has his name, is the work of an Alexending. Jewish Christian, who took most of his material from the Old Testament.
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