Articles

The logistics of marking in the Baetic Amphoras. The use of numerals in the organizational systems of ceramic pro ductions

The objective of this study is to identify, by means of the analysis of the graffiti ante cocturam on the Roman amphoras, the different processes of production which are registered in the amphorae workshops. The olive oil produced in the Baetica served massively to nourish the western provinces of Roman Empire for more than 300 years. The standardization of the selected amphoric type, which extended over more than one hundred amphora workshops, allows us to observe certain patterns of similarity in the amphoric productions, at either a typological or epigraphic level, that allow us to understand the production organization of these amphoras. We apply here a development of the categorization of graffiti ante cocturam on these olive oil amphoras (i.e. Dressel 20) that allows us to analyze the set of the epigraphs which have been published so far from a new point of view. Our work focuses on the analysis of graffiti belonging to thirteen different archaeological surveys conducted on the surface of Monte Testaccio (Rome, years 1989 to 2000 and 2005). Before now the graffiti found in the different excavations of Monte Testaccio have been studied and published independently, and only through a global analysis can we present a joint vision of graffiti for more than a century, appreciating certain patterns or key trends which are important for understanding the different processes of production of the Dressel 20 amphorae in the production areas. The results suggest that the presence of numerals responds to a clear will on the part of the artisan collective who was dedicated to the manufacture of these amphoras to quantify the lots produced in any of the various phases of a production system. The fact that one is a part of a complex system of artisanal ceramic manufacturing at industrial levels necessitated a strict organizational control of all the productive phases. The continuity over time and the dispersion of the marking method in the territory makes us think of possible well-defined standardization processes, with learning processes common to the ceramic artisan communities and their possible mobility through the different workshops that produced the same type of amphora. The same results could be understood as part of the internal control of the contracted productions, as well as constituting a log of the internal logistics of the baking phase or for its control, when storing them in one of the first phases of formation of the amphora.

Les inscriptions concernant les soldats originaires de la Mésie Inférieure dont l’origine rurale est certe: les ailes et les cohortes

The author analyses the epigraphic sources on soldiers originating from the rural milieu of Lower Moesia, more precisely those whose rural origin is certain. The militaries from the alae and cohortes are studied here. The author tries to identify the moments of their enlistment and the historical events connected to these moments.

The Festival of Hermes Kriophoros in Tanagra (Boeotia): an anthropological interpretation

The subject to be considered is the festival of Hermes Kriophoros in Tanagra. A brief Pausanias’ reference (9.22.1) contains very few but remarkable details of the celebration as it was held in Late Antiquity. All indications concerning the procedure and the content of the festival inferred from Pausanias’s description are analyzed in combination with the attested characteristics and attributes of Hermes, as well as with the religious symbolism universally attached to the ram, the divine shepherd, and ritual circular movement. The ethnographic evidence for similar rituals is also adduced. It is concluded that the Tanagran festival originated in an ancestral communal ceremony of annual territorial lustration. That ceremony was linked to the increase of solar activity in midspring and therefore also included the parallel magical stimulation of the sun’s course. Gradually, that primitive magic ritual would have been elaborated in a more complex seasonal ceremony of stimulation of the generative solar power of the Great Mother-Goddess with the help of a young male ram-god and was eventually transformed into a celebration of the sacred marriage between the Great Mother-Goddess and a young beautiful divine shepherd. In the process of the formation of polis, the festival became a more social celebration, which served to secure the city-state’s secure existence under the protection of Hermes Kriophoros.

An Oinophora type vessel discovered at the Noviodunum necropolis

Our article refers to a special discovery made at Noviodunum, the headquarters of the Danube fleet Classis Flavia Moesica. It is about an oinophora type vessel, shaped as a ram, which was discovered, by chance, in a cremation grave. Its presence in the necropolis of the city must not come as a surprise to us, because such discoveries come, once again, to show its commercial and economic importance in the province. The Noviodunum market represented a luxury goods consumer from all the provinces of the empire. Regarding the chronological framing of the vessel we support the opinion that it might come from the second half of the 2nd century p.Chr.

La presencia de Julia Mamaea en el gobierno de Alejandro Severo. Un repaso a través de los testimonios epigráficos

In this paper we intend to look at the role that Iulia Mamaea played in the government of her son Alexander Severus. To this end, we will focus on the honours and titles that the Augusta received and which were recorded in the epigraphy. The classic authors speak of Iulia Mamaea as a powerful and controlling woman. After the death of her mother, Iulia Maesa, was the only one who guided the government of her son. She has also been considered one of the culprits in the fall of Alexander Severus and, therefore, of the entire Severus dynasty. However, if we look at the material evidence, it seems that this Augusta did not receive innovative titles. Rather, the main ones were given by her predecessors, especially by Julia Domna. The purpose of our work is not only to analyze the inscriptions related to Alexander Severus’ mother, but also to study this crucial period of the 3rd century AD.

Late Roman tableware from Argamum ‒ “faleză est” sector. Phocaean ware

In this article it is analysed the pottery produced in Phocaean workshops, discovered in the “Faleză Est” sector of the late Roman fortress Argamum. The forms identified are H 1, H 2, H 3, H 4, H 5, H 8 and H 10. Most common of all by far is the form H 3. Chronologically, the studied ceramic group dates between the middle of the 4th century and the third quarter of the 7th century.

A new approach to the periodization of polished ceramics of the Saltovo-Mayaki culture

The article presents a technique of periodization of the Saltovo-Mayaki culture burials based on the shapes of polished vessels. The methodological basis of the research is historical-and-cultural approach. This is a scientific direction developed by the famous Russian ceramic researcher A.A. Bobrinsky. The materials of the study are the most popular categories of vessels from the catacomb cemeteries of the Saltovo-Mayaki culture. These are jugs and cups from Dmitrievka and Yutanovka cemeteries.
The main hypothesis of the study is as follows: (1) Burials with polished vessels of the mass traditions of shapes creating are earlier on the cemetery; (2) During the necropolis functioning, the erosion of mass traditions of vessel shapes creating took place; (3) Distribution of new (possibly mixed) traditions belongs to the late period of necropolis functioning. Burials with vessels of the ‘new’ traditions should be attributed to the late period of the burial ground’s existence. The hypothesis found a number of independent confirmations at both burial sites studied. These are metal inventory, planigraphy, and topography of graves.

Contributions to the biography of a forgotten translator of Herodotus’ The Histories: Dimitrie I. Ghica

Dimitrie I. Ghica began translating – in late 19th century – from Greek into Romanian Herodotus’ The Histories, in four volumes. It was a tremendous effort carried out by the person who in 1880 was awarded by the Romanian Academy for having translated the 4th book of the work in question. Decades later, his name seems to have been forgotten; a couple of press articles managed to point out, though, aspects of his biography . Posterity does seem to have forgotten about him too soon. In the following lines, my endeavour is to reconstruct – even partially – the biography of a person with an important diplomatic and literary activity.