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Valerie Hutchinson Pennanen

(Marcus Tullius)

(b Arpinum [now Arpino, nr Frosinone], Jan 3, 106 bc; d Formiae [now Formia, Campagna], Dec 7, 43 bc).

Roman orator, statesman, philosopher and patron. His reverence for the past was reflected in both his public and private life. Having studied in Greece and apparently read at least one treatise on Greek art (see Brutus xviii.70), he was familiar with the work of the greatest Greek artists and alluded to Myron, Polykleitos, Pheidias, Lysippos, Apelles and to Greek art in general throughout his writings. That he was an avid collector is revealed by his Letters to Atticus, through whom he bought numerous sculptures for his villa at Tusculum. Fondness for Greek art is also reflected in his choice of similes, so that he compared Caesar’s straightforward prose with ‘nude, well-proportioned’ statues (Brutus lxxv.262), strong-souled men with rust-proof Corinthian bronzes (Tusculan Disputations IV.xiv.32) and man’s acquisition of wisdom with Pheidias’ ability to perfect a statue (On the Ends of Good and Evil IV.xiii.34). His admiration for Greek art is further evident in his impassioned speech ...


Tomas Lehmann

Village 2 km north of the ancient town of Nola in Campania, Italy. Cimitile is a dialect form of the Latin coemeterium, meaning cemetery, and refers to the town’s foundation over a Roman necropolis. Among the most significant remains from the necropolis are two mythological, early 3rd-century ad sarcophagi depicting Endymion and Persephone, originally in mausolea in the village, now in the old basilica, and two Early Christian arcosolium-paintings (c. 250–300) of Jonah Cast into the Sea and Adam and Eve after the Fall in Mausoleum 13 (in situ). These are among the earliest surviving paintings on Christian subjects outside Rome. In the 4th century the tomb of St Felix (d c. 275–300) in the northern part of the necropolis became an important Early Christian place of pilgrimage. The small square mausoleum erected over his grave (c. 303–5) probably represents the earliest example of such a structure over a martyr’s tomb. As early as the 330s the mausoleum was replaced by a larger, single-aisled building with an apse to the north, and by ...


Luca Leoncini

[Titus Claudius Nero Drusus Germanicus]

(b Lyon, 10 bc; reg ad 41–54; d Rome, ad 54). Roman emperor and patron, whose life until he succeeded Caligula at the age of 50 had been dedicated to historical studies, being excluded from all public duties by Augustus and Tiberius. Claudius brought the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus aqueducts to Rome, two mighty works that had been initiated by Caligula. Their channels were carried across the Via Labicana and Via Praenestina by the Porta Maggiore (completed ad 52; see Rome, ancient, §II, 2, (i), (c), and fig.), a highly rusticated double archway of travertine that still stands today. In rebuilding the stretch of the Aqua Virgo in regions VII and IX, an arch crossing the Via Flaminia was erected (ad 46; destr.) to commemorate the triumph over Britain; it too was of rusticated travertine. The subterranean basilica with rich stucco decorations (see Rome, ancient, §VII...


T. P. Wiseman

(b c. 95 bc; d Euboia, Greece, 48 bc).

Roman aristocrat, politician and patron. Active during the late Republic, he was consul in 54 bc, when he was involved in a notorious bribery scandal, and censor in 50 bc. Arrogant and overbearing, he was a byword for shameless effrontery (Cicero: ad Fam. V.x.2). As censor he took a strict line on luxury, provoking the irony of Cicero’s correspondent Caelius: ‘Get here as soon as you can to laugh at our frolics…Appius taking official action about works of art!’ (Cicero: ad Fam. VIII.xiv.4). Appius had a fine collection of his own, looted from Greece ten years earlier; one marble statue, allegedly from a tomb outside Tanagra, was used by his brother Publius, the radical tribune who got Cicero sent into exile, as the cult image in the shrine to Liberty erected on the site of the orator’s confiscated house (Cicero: On my House cxi–cxii). Appius was evidently a friend of King Antiochos I, who built the grandiose mountain-top monument on Nemrut Dagi (Cicero: ...



George E. Stuart

Pre-Columbian Maya site at Lake Cobá and Lake Macanxoc, 40 km inland from the coastal site of Tulum in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The area is also the location of the modern town of Cobá, founded in the 1940s. At the height of its power Maya Cobá was apparently an important regional centre and perhaps acted as a commercial hub in the distribution and redistribution of goods between the interior of the northern lowlands and the ports of the East Coast. It also served as the seat of powerful rulers, and as such doubtless played a key role in rivalries with neighbouring states, such as Chichén Itzá, to the west and north. Along with Tikal and Calakmul, Cobá is among the largest sites of the Maya Lowlands, and its system of elevated roadways is not matched at any other known Maya site. Although the discovery of Cobá is attributed to ...



Joan K. Lingen

Pre-Columbian culture of central Panama. It flourished in Coclé Province on the Gulf of Panama, and together with the Pre-Columbian culture of Veraguas Province (see Veraguas) it comprises the central Panamanian culture area. This is classed more broadly by archaeologists as part of the Intermediate area (see South America, Pre-Columbian, §II). The nature of Coclé culture has been variously interpreted: according to Richard Cooke, Coclé and Veraguas cultures are homogeneous, with local differences of degree, not kind. The earlier view held by Samuel K. Lothrop considered Coclé to be a distinct archaeological or cultural region comprising Coclé Province and the eastern Azuero Peninsula provinces of Herrera and Los Santos. Lothrop based his interpretation on the presence of Coclé artefacts throughout this area, inland from the lowlands of the Pacific watershed to the mountainous areas, from sea level to over 4000 m, culminating at the continental divide in northern Coclé Province. The eastern portion comprises a narrow, desolate coastal strip and a wide savanna grassland plain, cut by numerous rivers, and the western and northern parts the high peaks of the continental divide. The annual rainfall in this tropical forest region varies from marked wet and dry seasons in the flat eastern coastal area to year-round rains in the western and northern sections....


Janet DeLaine

revised by Thorsten Opper


Officially called the Amphitheatrum Flavium, but soon nicknamed after a nearby colossal statue of the sun god, the Colosseum became the principal amphitheatre in the Roman Empire (see fig.). Its construction finally gave Rome a venue for its gladiatorial games and wild beast hunts (venationes) worthy of the imperial capital. Work was begun by Vespasian (reg AD 69–79) early in his reign on the site of the artificial lake of Nero’s Domus Aurea and continued by his son Titus, who inaugurated the amphitheatre in AD 80. Late sources attributed the top storey to Domitian, but this is disputed, though it is generally believed that he was responsible for the subterranean service corridors.

The building is the largest of all Roman amphitheatres, with a regular elliptical plan measuring 188×156 m externally on its major axes (see fig.). The foundations are a ring of concrete 13.5 m high and 54 m wide, set 9 m deep into the clay bed of the former lake. The superstructure is composed of a network of radial and annular barrel-vaulted passages on three levels, linked by staircases, with the seating supported on raking barrel vaults, a pattern established already in the Theatre of Pompey (...


George F. Andrews

Pre-Columbian Lowland Maya site on the broad coastal plain of Tabasco, c. 3 km north-east of the modern town of Comalcalco, Mexico. There were two major periods of occupation: an early period from c. 1200 bc to ad 100 and a late period from c. ad 800 to 1350. The earliest description of the ruins was provided by (Claude-Joseph-)Désiré Charnay, who visited the site in 1880, while a more complete account was provided by Frans Blom and Oliver La Farge in their pioneering study of little-known Maya ruins in Tabasco and Chiapas during the 1920s. During 1956–7, Gordon Eckholm of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, carried out a preliminary exploration and ceramic study at the site, and this was followed in 1960 by a limited programme of excavation and stabilization by a team of archaeologists from the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico. In 1966 an extensive mapping project was conducted by a team from the University of Oregon, and several years later a major programme of excavation and reconstruction was initiated, again by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. Directed by ...


Charles Murray

[Flavius Valerius Constantinus]

(b Naïssus [now Nish, Serbia], c. ad 285; reg 306–37; d Constantinople, 337).

Roman emperor and patron. He was the son of Constantius Chlorus (reg 293–306) and Helena (c. 248/9–328/9) and succeeded his father as Co-Emperor in ad 306. Six years later he defeated his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge outside Rome and became sole ruler in the West. In 313, with Licinius (reg 307–24), the Eastern Emperor, he published the Edict of Milan, which openly favoured Christianity. He defeated Licinius at the Battle of Chrysopolis in 324 and united the Empire under his control. Artistic and literary sources during his reign show an imperial policy dominated by the newly authorized religion, and new artistic values gradually transformed public art into a more fully recognizable Christian form. He believed that his military successes were attributable to the Christian God, whose sign of the Cross had appeared to him, superimposed on the sun, at the Milvian Bridge. In the final battle he ordered the monogram of Christ to be painted on his soldiers’ shields, thus establishing the cross and the chi-rho in later iconography. His victory was commemorated in 315 with the construction of a triumphal arch in the Roman Forum....



Paul Gendrop

Pre-Columbian Maya site of the Classic period (c. ad 250–c. 900), set in the Copán Valley, Honduras. At an altitude of 600 m, it is one of the highest and southernmost sites of the Maya Lowlands. After the city, which flourished from c. ad 400–c. 800, had been abandoned, the Copán River overflowed its bed, undermining the foundations of the eastern part of the Acropolis, which collapsed, revealing numerous archaeological strata in the process. The site first became known in 1841 through the descriptions of John L. Stephens and the drawings of his companion, Frederick Catherwood.

The central part of the city is organized along a north–south axis in a grandiose composition resulting from numerous phases of remodelling. At its northern extremity, a ceremonial square served as the setting for the most important carved monoliths; it was delimited on three sides by enormous flights of steps, and on the fourth, southern, side by a radial pyramid. The southern extremity of the site ends in a wide, raised flight of steps that accommodates the undulating terrain to create the artificial platform known as the Acropolis. A smaller square is integrated into the north-east corner, next to the elegant ballcourt and the famous Hieroglyphic Stairway. From the centre of this southern flight of steps rise the remains of a temple (Temple II). Complex calculations concerning the eclipses of the planet Venus are sculpted on its interior walls, a reminder of Copán’s important role as a centre of ...



Susan Langdon, C. K. Williams II, Charles M. Edwards and Mark Whittow

[Korinth; Korinthos]

Greek city, capital of the nome (department) of Korinthia and seat of a bishopric, near the isthmus between central and southern Greece. It flourished throughout Classical antiquity.

Susan Langdon

Backed by the steep citadel of Acrocorinth, which served as its acropolis, ancient Corinth derived its prosperity from its access to both the Corinthian and Saronic gulfs and hence the Adriatic and Aegean seas. Its twin harbours at Lechaion and Kenchreai, linked by a paved slipway, offered sea merchants a safe alternative to the passage around southern Greece and established Corinth as a transfer point between East and West. Population pressures in the 8th century bc led Corinth to participate in Greek colonizing activities by founding settlements at Syracuse and Kerkyra (Corfu), while in the 7th century bc it became the foremost artistic centre in Greece, promoting the development and spread of Doric architecture and dominating pottery production. Corinthian pottery, with its distinctive animal friezes and exotic vegetation, was ...



R. J. A. Wilson

Roman citizen colony 140 km north-west of Rome, founded in 273 bc on a hilltop overlooking the sea. American excavations since 1948 have provided a remarkably full picture of the layout and principal buildings of this small Republican town, which was not overlain, as so often elsewhere, by later development. The defensive walls, of massive polygonal masonry blocks, have 18 towers and three gates; the circuit encloses only 13 ha. Despite the rocky nature of the site, the streets within cross at right angles, dividing the town into neat rectangular building plots. The unpaved forum at the centre was surrounded by the usual shops, offices and public buildings; among the earliest to be built, immediately after the foundation, was the comitium (circular meeting hall for the town assembly) with the curia (local senate-house) adjacent. The town’s basilica is among the earliest in Italy (c. 150 bc), and a ruined monumental ...


Elizabeth Rawson


(fl c. 170 bc).

First known Roman architect. Though a Roman citizen, he probably came from wealthy, Hellenized Campania (annexed by Rome). The pro-Roman King Antiochos IV Epiphanes of Syria (reg 175–163 bc) commissioned him to work on the Temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens (see Athens, §II, 4). Vitruvius (On Architecture VII, Preface 15 and 17) noted the temple’s huge cella and double Corinthian colonnade, which showed architectural learning and were admired by connoisseurs for their magnificence; he regretted that Cossutius left no annotated specification, as Greek architects had done. Surviving material, if datable to his time, is Greek and advanced in style, unlike contemporary building in Rome. The name Cossutius (in Latin letters) is also twice scratched inside a 2nd-century bc aqueduct near Antioch in Syria, suggesting that the architect worked on Antiochos’ building programme there. He may have travelled with his own workforce (as was common in the Greek world), probably chiefly his slaves and freedmen: the inscription could record a freedman, properly bearing his patron’s name. He may also have worked on the new Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus at Antioch and on buildings presented by Antiochos to various Greek cities....


John Lowden

Byzantine illuminated manuscript (London, BL, Cotton MS. Otho B. VI), probably of the late 5th century ad. It consists of the fragments of 129 folios, shrunken and charred by a fire in 1731, which are all that remain of one of the most profusely illustrated and magnificent books of the period. The manuscript has long been the focus of scholarly attention, and work on a facsimile was begun in 1621–2 by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, although it probably did not advance far.

All discussion of the Cotton Genesis starts from the ingenious reconstruction by Weitzmann and Kessler, according to whom the manuscript originally comprised some 221 folios (c. 330×250 mm) and contained the text of Genesis, illustrated by some 339 illuminations distributed throughout the book, most half-page or larger (including perhaps 36 full-page). These adopted a literal approach to the text, but some contained extra-biblical details derived from written commentaries (Christian or Jewish) or possibly from more informal, oral traditions. They were framed scenes with fully painted illusionistic settings, and they used a full range of pigments, including gold leaf for some details. Although Weitzmann and Kessler argued for an origin in Egypt, the evidence for this has been questioned by Wenzel....


Daniel Schávelzon

Pre-Columbian site in Mexico, on the southern periphery of modern Mexico City. It flourished in the Late Pre-Classic period (c. 300 bcc. ad 250), until overshadowed by the city of Teotihuacán in the north-east Basin of Mexico. Few of Cuicuilco’s structures have been excavated. Excavations were carried out by Manuel Gamio and Byron Cummings in 1922 and 1925, and by Eduardo Noguera, Hugo Moedano, and Robert Heizer in the 1950s. Further study and new interpretations of the results of these excavations were completed in the 1970s.

Cuicuilco’s occupation began c. 900 bc as early agriculturists settled at the site. By the time of its apogee it covered a wide region close to an already drained ancient lake in the southern Basin of Mexico and controlled up to 40,000 people. In the final centuries bc and the 1st century ad Cuicuilco was a serious rival to Teotihuacán for control of the Basin of Mexico. The eruption of nearby Xitle volcano caused the first destruction of the city, and another eruption at the beginning of the 4th century ...


Irene Bald Romano

Image of a divinity that served in antiquity as a focal-point for worship and cult rituals. Most cult statues were housed in temples or shrines, although outdoor worship of images is also attested. Although aniconic worship (i.e. of a non-anthropomorphic symbol of a deity such as a rock or pillar) is known in Near Eastern, Greek and Roman cults, most deities by the late 2nd millennium bc were worshipped in an anthropomorphic form and were, as such, earthly substitutes or humanized manifestations of the presence of a deity.

Anthropomorphic cult statues are well attested in the Ancient Near East, Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt. Near Eastern cuneiform records going back at least to the 2nd millennium bc indicate that Mesopotamian cult images were made of wood and opulently clad in tiaras, robes and jewellery. The garments of the statue were ceremonially changed, and ritual meals were served up to the cult image. Specific attributes and attire aided identity. From ...



R. S. Merrillees, Nicolas Coldstream, Edgar Peltenburg, Franz Georg Maier, G. R. H. Wright, Demetrios Michaelides, Lucia Vagnetti, Veronica Tatton-Brown, Joan Breton Connelly, Paul Åström, Jean-Claude Poursat, Elizabeth Goring, Louise Schofield, Wiktor A. Daszewski, A. Papageorghiou, Michael D. Willis, Michael Given, Elise Marie Moentmann, Kenneth W. Schaar, Euphrosyne Rizopoulou-Egoumenidou and Helena Wylde Swiny

[Gr. Kypros; Turk. Kibris]

Third largest island in the Mediterranean (9251 sq. km), 70 km south of Turkey and 103 km west of Syria (see fig.). The island’s geographical location and its natural resources of copper and shipbuilding timber have had a considerable impact on the destiny of its inhabitants. Cyprus has throughout its history been vulnerable to the geopolitical ambitions of the powers controlling the neighbouring countries, which have not hesitated to exploit its resources and to use it as a stepping stone or place of retreat. Although it possessed a vigorous and distinctive local culture in Neolithic times (c. 7000–c. 3800 bc), it lacked the population, resources and strength to withstand the external pressures to which it was subjected from the start of the Bronze Age (c. 2300 bc). Since then and over the subsequent millennia Cyprus has been invaded and colonized for varying periods by Achaeans, Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, Turks and the British. While its strategic position has always given it certain commercial and cultural advantages, it has also been the source of most of the island’s troubles since the beginning of recorded history, because too often the interests and concerns of the native inhabitants were subordinated to the ambitions and dictates of the powers around it. Yet, despite the ultimate demise of the native Cypriot style in the Late Bronze Age, the Cypriot craftsman’s ability to adapt and amalgamate the forms, designs and subject-matter of successive incoming groups produced a range of artefacts that ingeniously blended traditional with foreign concepts. While the forms of Cypriot expression after the introduction of outside influences could be mistaken for provincial imitation, the island’s art never lost its essential native characteristics: a strong underlying sense of inventiveness, superstition and wit. This has left a large body of captivating and whimsical material which, in turn, has inspired not only students and collectors of the island’s past art but modern Cypriot craftsmen as well....



F. B. Sear and Susan Kane

[Arab. Shaḥḥāt]

City in Libya, 8 km from the coast and 620 m above sea-level on a plateau of the al-Jabal al-Akh?ar (Green Mountain). The Greek city flourished from its founding as a Dorian colony c. 630 bc to Hellenistic times, and its Greek culture was maintained during the long period of Roman rule, when its fortunes declined somewhat.

F. B. Sear

Cyrene’s principal monuments, restored by their Italian excavators, reveal the splendours of the Greek city. It changed only superficially in Roman times, when alterations to existing buildings were more common than new projects.

Herodotus (IV. cl–clviii) related how a party of Therans, forced by drought to leave their native island, settled at Cyrene because of its high rainfall. Their leader, Battos, became king and established a dynasty that lasted until 440 bc. The site is protected on three sides by gorges with gently sloping ground to the east. A low hill, the acropolis, rises to the west and immediately below its north slopes is the Sanctuary of Apollo. Springs emerge from the rock at this point, ensuring a constant water supply. The plateau is divided by the valley street, which runs from the east gate down to the Sanctuary of Apollo and then past the north necropolis to the port of Apollonia, 19 km away. Parallel to the valley street is the Street of Battos, which runs from the south-east gate through the agora to the acropolis. A main transverse street intersected both streets just east of the Hellenistic gymnasium. The earliest settlers presumably occupied the acropolis, and the eastern fringe of the later agora seems to have been used as a burial ground, which suggests that the early town could not have extended far to the east. Other evidence for the early city is pottery from ...



John Paddock

Zapotec site in Mexico, in the Valley of Oaxaca. Dainzú (Zapotec: ‘hill of the Organ cactus’) is in fact only one excavated section of the ancient city now called Macuilxóchitl. Investigations have revealed stone reliefs of ball-players in action, massive architectural terracing against a hillside, and embedded reliefs of a kind unique to Mesoamerica. Associated remains suggest that construction began before c. 200 bc, and other evidence indicates that placement of the sculptures occurred periodically between c. 200 bc and c. ad 200. Costumes of priestly figures on four stones, like pottery fragments found near by, may date to ad 100–200. However, an adjoining ballcourt was built for the ball-game as played after c. ad 1000, when players did not touch the ball with their hands. From c. ad 1200 to 1600 Macuilxóchitl was the capital of a territory ruled by Mixtec lords, and its rivalry with Lambityeco may have caused that town to be moved further away. Macuilxóchitl itself remained important until after the Spanish Conquest....


A. J. Mills

The largest of Egypt’s western oases (l. c. 120 km), c. 400 km west of Luxor. It was inhabited from earliest times, and although distant from the civilization of the Nile Valley, it was never isolated: most of the preserved monuments show a strong Egyptian influence. The absence of pressure on space and building materials, combined with a kind climate, has left a series of monuments largely complete and in a reasonable condition. Although there is a group of mud-brick mastaba tombs at Balat that dates to the late 6th Dynasty (c. 2325–c. 2150 bc), the best-preserved remains date to the Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine periods (304 bcad 641). The Tomb of Kitinos (1st century bc) at Balat is the only masonry tomb with carved relief decoration known in the southern oases. Its style is purely Egyptian, though rather provincial, and typical of the period. More important are the contemporary tombs of Petosiris and Pedubastis at Qaret el-Muzzawaqa, where the painted decoration bears an unusual juxtaposition of religious scenes rendered in the traditional Egyptian style and three excellent zodiac ceilings and several owners’ portraits executed in the much freer Classical style. The nearby sandstone temple of Deir el-Haggar (1st century ...