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TitleEncyclopedia of Society and Culture in the Ancient World
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Table of Contents
                            Contents
Advisers and Contributors
List of Illustrations
List of Maps and Primary Source Documents
Preface
Introduction
Volume I – adornment to crime and punishment
	A entries
	B entries
	C entries
Volume II – death and burial practices to inventions
	D entries
	E entries
	F entries
	G entries
	H entries
	I entries
Volume III – language to roads and bridges
	L entries
	M entries
	N entries
	O entries
	P entries
	R entries
VOLUME IV – sacred sites to writing
	S entries
	T entries
	W entries
Glossary
Chronology by Region
General Bibliography
Index
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Peter Bogucki, Editor in Chief

ENCYCLOPEDIA of

Ancient
World

Society and Culture
in the

Volume I

(adornment to crime and punishment)

Page 690

known as Iberian; these languages died out by the fi rst cen-
tury c.e. and were replaced by Latin. People in the Pyrenees
spoke a language that became the ancestor of Basque; these
people were isolated enough to keep their language into mod-
ern times. Th e Finno-Ugric languages, ancestors of modern
Finnish and Hungarian, came from western Asia and may
have arrived in the area between the Baltic Sea and the Ural
Mountains as early as 4000 b.c.e.

GREECE
BY JEFFREY S. CARNES

Ancient Greek is one of the branches of the Indo-European
language family; that is, it is one of the several dozen descen-
dants of Proto-Indo-European, a language spoken at least
4,500 years ago in Central Asia and whose “daughter lan-
guages” (descendants) include English and almost all modern
European languages. Proto-Indo-European left no written
records, but its existence and much information about its vo-
cabulary and structure have been reconstructed by historical
linguists based on similarities among its daughter languages,
including obvious similarities in vocabulary. We fi nd Greek
mētēr cognate with, or similar to, Latin mater, Sanskrit mat,
Russian mat’, German Mutter, and English mother. Related
Indo-European languages form subgroups (Germanic, Italic,
and Balto-Slavic); Greek is the only surviving member of the
subgroup to which it may have belonged. (Although Greek
has obvious structural similarities to Latin, and there was
much borrowing of vocabulary between the two, the idea that
the languages belonged to the same Indo-European subgroup
has been discredited.)

Greek is a heavily infl ected language; that is, one in
which the relation between words in a sentence is conveyed
by changes in the form of the word, typically by the addi-
tion of suffi xes. Greek nouns and adjectives can be infl ected
to form fi ve diff erent cases (nominative, accusative, genitive,
dative, and vocative), which have diff erent functions in syn-
tax, or the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence.
Th e nominative, for instance, is used for the subject of a sen-
tence and the accusative for the direct object of a fi nite verb.
A practical consequence of this is that Greek word order is
freer than that in English: anthrōpos tima theon (“a man hon-
ors a god”) could equally well be written with its three el-
ements (subject, object, and verb) in any other order (theon
tima anthrōpos or tima theon anthrōpos) with almost no dif-
ference in meaning. In English, where word order determines
meaning, this would be impossible. Th e Greek case system
is inherited from Indo-European and shows the tendency of
languages to simplify case systems; thus, older cases like the
ablative (still found in Latin) have been lost in Greek, their
functions taken over by the genitive (which expresses pos-
session) and the dative (expressive of the indirect object of
a verb). Th e vocative indicates the speaker’s direct address to
another person.

Greek nouns and adjectives exhibited gender and num-
ber. Number included not only the expected singular and
plural but also a form called the dual, sometimes used for
beings or items in pairs, as in a team of oxen or a pair of
shoes. Grammatical gender, another Indo-European inheri-
tance whose original function is obscure, divides nouns into
three classes: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Nouns repre-
senting male humans and animals typically belonged to the

Linear A tablets, from Agia Triada, Heraklion (Alison Frantz Photographic Collection, American School of Classical Studies at Athens)

language: Greece 617

Page 691

“masculine” group and females to the “feminine.” Inanimate
objects, however, could belong to any category, and the fact
that a table is feminine or a foot masculine ultimately says
little about the Greek (or Indo-European) worldview.

Verbs in Greek were also heavily infl ected, with suffi xes
(and occasionally prefi xes) used to express diff erences in per-
son, number, mood, voice, and tense. (Most of these are ex-
pressed in English with auxiliary verbs: I free; I will free; I
will be freed, in contrast to the Greek equivalents luō, lusō,
luthēsomai.) Moods include not only the indicative (for state-
ments of fact) and subjunctive (for possibilities) but also the
optative (similar in use to the subjunctive, expressing a doubt
or wish, and eventually abandoned in favor of it). Th e Greek
voices were active, passive, and middle; this last category was
used to emphasize the subject’s participation or involvement
in the action described. Tenses included not only the time
of an action but also its aspect—in other words, its status as
complete or incomplete. Aoristic aspect viewed an action as
happening once (“Socrates spoke in the agora” on one par-
ticular occasion); imperfective aspect showed incomplete or
repeated action (“Socrates was speaking/kept speaking/used
to speak in the agora”). A typical Greek verb had three diff er-
ent stems (to be used with diff erent tenses) and might have
well over three hundred distinct forms.

Th e large number of verb forms made it easy for the lan-
guage to create a complex syntax: For example, conditional
sentences used diff erent moods to express diff ering degrees of
probability. A speaker wishing to say “If it snows tomorrow”
would use the subjunctive to indicate there was some distinct
possibility this might happen; the optative would indicate that
it was far less likely (from the speaker’s perspective). Syntactic
constructions tended to be simpler in poetry (especially in the
Homeric poems, which were composed orally), but historical,
oratorical, and philosophical prose works display a great vari-
ety of subordinate clauses and long, periodic sentences.

Th e pronunciation of Greek is understood surprisingly
well for an ancient language, thanks to the data provided
by historical linguistics. Most Greek dialects had fi ve short
vowels and seven long, plus a small number of diphthongs (a
double vowel sound forming one sound forming one sylla-
ble); most of these have at least rough equivalents in English.
Among consonants the most surprising feature is the treat-
ment of aspirated consonants (pronounced while breathing
out) such as phi and theta. While English derivatives of Greek
words containing these letters (for example, philosophy and
theater) treat them as fricatives (the consonant sound in
speech made by forcing breath through a narrow opening),
they were in fact voiced stops—that is, the equivalent of the
initial sounds of “top” and “pot.” Th e Greek letters pi and tau
represented an unvoiced version, closer to the fi nal sounds of
“top” and “pot,” a distinction that is extremely diffi cult for
native speakers of English to hear. Th e least understood fea-
ture of Greek pronunciation is pitch accent: the vast majority
of words bore an accent that indicated not stress but instead a
change in pitch, rising (acute), falling (grave), or rising-falling

(circumfl ex). By sometime in late antiquity the pitch accent
was abandoned in favor of a stress accent (which continues
in Greek to this day), and scholars do not agree on precisely
what Greek pitch accent sounded like. Modern tonal lan-
guages such as Chinese are thought to provide an imperfect
analogy for the sound of Greek.

Our earliest historical records show that Greek was al-
ready widespread throughout the eastern Mediterranean: It
was the language of the Greek mainland, the coastal areas
of Asia Minor, and the islands that lay between. In addition,
the language spread along with the great colonization move-
ments of the Archaic Period—mostly to southern Italy and
Sicily but also to North Africa, southern France, and the
shores of the Black Sea. Diff erent cities and regions had dis-
tinct dialects, which spread along with the settlers (colonies
spoke the dialect of their mother city); despite diff erences in
spelling and pronunciation, all Greek dialects seem to have
been mutually intelligible. Th e Greeks themselves roughly
classifi ed their numerous local dialects into two main groups,
Doric and Ionic, a classifi cation that came to possess cultural
and political signifi cance. Th is was particularly true in the
fi ft h century b.c.e. when the Athenians, who spoke Attic (a
variant of Ionic), were opposed to the Spartans and their al-
lies, who spoke Doric. In literature dialects refl ected not only
the author’s place of origin but also the demands of the par-
ticular genre: Th e epics of Homer were composed in a mixed
dialect with Doric features; the comedies of Aristophanes
use a particularly colloquial version of Attic; and the choral
odes of Athenian tragedy were written in a semi-Doric style.
Eventually a form of Attic became the dominant dialect of
the Greek-speaking world. Called the koine, or common dia-
lect, it became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire,
and it is from koine that Byzantine and Modern Greek are
descended.

ROME
BY JUSTIN CORFIELD

Th e Latin language is offi cially classifi ed by linguists as being
one of the Italic group of Indo-European languages. It was
originally spoken by small numbers of people who lived on
the Latium plain near the Tiber River in central Italy. It was
related to Greek, Germanic, Celtic, and many other languages
in Europe at the time. As the language of the city of Rome, its
importance resulted from the rise of Rome and its domina-
tion fi rst of Italy and then of the Mediterranean region, cen-
tral and southern Europe, and much of the Near East.

At the foundation of Rome, according to tradition in 753
b.c.e., several related dialects were used in central Italy. Um-
brian, Samnite (or Oscan), Volscian, and Marsian, for which
inscriptions survive, all appear to diff er from Latin slightly
in infl ections and pronominal roots, that is, the roots of
pronouns. Th ere are also many loan words from Etruscan,
mainly technical and religious terms, as well as a large num-
ber of personal names, such as Sulla and Casca.

618 language: Rome

Page 1380

Index 1285

wheelbarrows
inventions 598
transportation 1116

wheeled vehicles 1113–1114
wheelhouses 70
wheels

inventions 597, 600
transportation 1110, 1114,

1115, 1117
wheelwrights

craft s 291
transportation 1114

White Nile 239
White Temple

architecture 62
cities 212

Wicklow Pipes 768
wicks, lamp 585, 588, 589
widows 455–456
wild animal shows 1055
wind 952, 954
wind instruments 762–763,

765, 768–769, 772, 773
windows 584–586, 589
wine

agriculture 38, 40, 42, 45
climate and geography 256
food and diet 474–476, 480
migration and population

movements 718
Winged Victory at Samothra-

ce 112–113
winnowing

agriculture 22
occupations 809

winter 467
wisdom literature

children 190
literature 643, 645

woad 9
women. See also gender struc-

tures and roles
clothing and footwear 272,

274–275, 278, 281, 282
craft s 290, 295
crime and punishment 298
economy 351, 364–365
employment and labor

426, 428, 434
family 447–450, 452, 454,

456
food and diet 473, 480, 481
government organization

522
hunting, fi shing, and gath-

ering 571, 573, 578, 581
music and musical instru-

ments 764
occupations 808–812, 816
religion and cosmology

848
social organization 1016,

1017, 1020–1022, 1024,
1029, 1030, 1035, 1036,
1039, 1040

sports and recreation 1056

textiles and needlework
1081

war and conquest 1123,
1133, 1142

wood and woodworking
art 88, 96
building techniques and

materials 150, 156, 158
craft s 285, 286, 288, 290–

292, 294
household goods 563, 564,

567, 570
seafaring and navigation

954
weaponry and armor 1167

Woodlands Indians 185
Woodlands Period (Americas)

art 118–119
craft s 295
education 386
empires and dynasties

418–419
foreigners and barbarians

490
government organization

538–539
wool

clothing and footwear 274,
276, 279, 281

textiles and needlework
1077, 1079–1083

Woolley, Leonard 213
work. See labor; occupations
workers’ villages 207–208
working class 349
Works and Days (Hesiod)

agriculture 36
astronomy 129
calendars and clocks 170
employment and labor

431–432
literature 656, 657
pandemics and epidemics

826
scandals and corruption

915
workshops 432
wrestling 1047, 1049–1052
writing systems xxvi–xxvii,

1183–1193
Africa 1183–1184
Americas 1192
Asia and the Pacifi c 1187–

1188
Egypt 1184–1185
Europe 1188–1189
Greece 1189–1190
Middle East 1185–1187
Rome 1190–1192

Wu Ti (emperor of China)
education 380, 381
exploration 440–441
government organization

521
Wu Wang (emperor of China)

429

X
xenia 1032
Xenophanes of Colophon 658
Xenophon

agriculture 36
economy 365
education 380
government organization

539–540
hunting, fi shing, and gath-

ering 579
military 738–739

Xerxes I (king of Persia)
economy 354
empires and dynasties 401,

411
migration and population

movements 702
money and coinage 755
roads and bridges 886, 890
transportation 1118

Xhosa people 189
Xia Dynasty

empires and dynasties 403
sports and recreation 1052

Xibeigang 217
Xinglong 356
Xiongnu tribe

economy 357
government organization

521–522
language 614
nomadic and pastoral soci-

eties 791
social organization 1027
war and conquest 1136,

1137
xoanons 293

Y
Yahweh 844
yakshi 102
Yale Culinary Tablets 575,

576
Yamato Dynasty

government organization
522

resistance and dissent 875
yams 19
Yanbulaq culture 704
Yangtze River

agriculture 30
climate and geography 249
settlement patterns 968

Yaws 828, 829
Yax Nuun Ayin 323
Yayoi Period

art 104
ceramics and pottery 179
death and burial practices

317
employment and labor 430
government organization

522
weaponry and armor 1166

year, length of 127, 128
Year of Four Emperors 1006
Yeha 53
Yellow River 968
Yellow River people 1090
Yellow River Valley

agriculture 30, 31
cities 216
climate and geography

249
clothing and footwear 277
economy 355–356

Yellow Turban Rebellion
pandemics and epidem-

ics 824
resistance and dissent 874
war and conquest 1137

yi (military strategy game)
1052

yin and yang
architecture 67
gender structures and roles

497, 498
health and disease 550
religion and cosmology

848
science 932

Yin Fu Ching 557–558
Yinxu 216–217
Yoruba people

clothing and footwear
274

crime and punishment
297

family 448
inventions 594
laws and legal codes 622
numbers and counting

798
science 925

Younger Dryas 255
yo-yo 598
Yucatán peninsula 266–267
Yuezhi people 705
Yukon 264–265

Z
Zagros Mountains

climate and geography
244

nomadic and pastoral soci-
eties 790

trade and exchange 1099
Zapotec culture

architecture 85
art 120
cities 232
empires and dynasties 419
government organization

537
social organization 1042–

1043
writing 1192

Zeus statue at Olympia 112
Zhang Daoling 848–849

1235-1286_SocCultAnctWrld-v4_idx1285 1285 10/10/07 3:32:28 PM

Page 1381

1286 Index

Zhang Heng
astronomy 129
science 933–934

Zhang Jiao 824
Zhang Zheng 913
Zheng (king of Qin provence)

103
Zhengzhou 215, 216
Zhou Dynasty. See also East-

ern Zhou Dynasty; Western
Zhou Dynasty

art 103, 104
building techniques and

materials 156, 157
ceramics and pottery 180
clothing and footwear 277

craft s 290
crime and punishment

300
economy 356
empires and dynasties

387, 403
employment and labor

429
festivals 466
gender structures and roles

497
government organization

519–520
laws and legal codes 625
literature 651
military 730

music and musical instru-
ments 766

occupations 812
religion and cosmology

848
roads and bridges 887
social organization 1025
textiles and needlework

1079
trade and exchange 1100
war and conquest 1136–

1137
writing 1187

Ziggurat of Ur-Nammu 213
ziggurats

architecture 61–62

art 98
cities 211–213

zilaths 407
Zimbabwe 741
zodiacs

astronomy 126, 127
calendars and clocks 168

zori
clothing and footwear 277
inventions 598

Zoroastrianism
death and burial practices

311
religion and cosmology

843–844
sacred sites 901

1235-1286_SocCultAnctWrld-v4_idx1286 1286 10/10/07 3:32:29 PM

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