This article tries to illustrate an idea of the range of extant ancient textual sources for engineering and technology. It also presents a broad outline of how the production of texts dealing specifically with technical matters changed in the course of antiquity. In order to combine the two aims, it proceeds chronologically, focusing on two or three examples from each period, chosen to represent both different types of textual evidence and the technological practice of the period in question. The status of technology in classical Athens is first discussed. Additionally, the technical texts from Hellenistic kingdoms are described. It is stated that the technical texts from the Roman Empire have to be seen not only as providing information, but also as constructing a certain way of knowledge, and a certain identity for their authors. The technical texts from antiquity are then addressed.
Archaeozoological research provides impressive, long-neglected evidence for the technical sophistication and productivity of Greco-Roman animal husbandry. A case can be made that the classical and Hellenistic Greeks should be credited for many of the critical innovations in animal husbandry, game-farming, and both fishing and fish-farming. The Greeks and Romans also developed sophisticated new techniques to improve the capture, farming, or fattening of a large range of game, wild birds, and fish. The innovations in Greco-Roman animal husbandry can be broken down into four main areas: breeding, nutrition, housing, and health and veterinary care. Moreover, the economic function of ancient hunting as a source of meat and secondary products is covered. The Greeks and Romans put considerable effort into enhancing and even managing their fish stocks. It is noted that shellfish figured prominently in the Greco-Roman diet.
Mark Jackson and Kevin Greene
Applying the labels “Greek” and “Roman” to the study of ceramic technology from 700
The Arsacids were the ruling dynasty of Parthia between the middle of the third century
The Lydian coinage system completely changed with an ingenious coin reform. With Alyattes's electrum coinage, the recipient had no way of judging the gold or silver content. Therefore, Croesus replaced the electrum coins with pure gold and silver, and changed the lion head design to that of the confronted foreparts of a lion and a bull. The Croesus stater was one of the most popular coins among the Greeks, since they did not strike any gold and because, due to its high value, it was chosen in particular for public and private savings. Darius's introduction of a Persian imperial coinage in Asia Minor was a pathbreaking financial reorganization and an important contribution to the further consolidation of the Achaemenid Empire in the west. Money supply and circulation within the Persian Empire reached an enormous level under Artaxerxes III, indicating an extraordinary prosperity-based economy and trade in the empire.
Catharine C. Lorber
The coinage of the Ptolemies stands apart from other royal Hellenistic currencies in interesting respects, including the prominence of gold and bronze coins vis-à-vis silver and the role of coin types in promoting royal cult. The Ptolemies have also been credited with a policy of controlling monetary supply to maintain price stability in the chôra (countryside). The reforms of Ptolemies by definition expanded the monetary supply. While the immediate purpose of the first weight reduction was to finance particular royal objectives, ultimately the reforms served to support the growth of the court, the administration, and Greek-style capitalism. The vast library of surviving papyri and ostraka includes many financial documents that shed light on an evolving and unusually complex currency system, and on its role in the Egyptian economy.
This article explores imperial coinage and provincial coinage during Roman provinces. The latter was produced at different levels (and eventually even at Rome), but was on the whole intended to take over for the state regionally. Some coins actually did not carry the image of the emperor or a member of the imperial family. Coins without an imperial portrait were struck at Rome, and nobody ever imagined any sort of pseudo-autonomy for these strikings. From Augustus to Hadrian, other administrative changes took place, in Anatolia in particular, but had no impact on the production of provincial coins, which was not the same in the west and the east. It ceased rapidly in the west. Civic coinages were produced in Spain, Africa, and Sicily under Augustus, only to decline very quickly. In the east, however, local coinage endured until the time of Tacitus.
Carlos F. Noreña
This article studies how Roman coinage served as a communication medium in the Roman world. The term “Roman coinage” refers to all coins that were minted in areas under the administrative control of the Roman Empire. It notes the two features that distinguished ancient coins from other types of money, namely their adherence to a standard, and the fact that they had designs that indicated a minting authority. The article also looks at the coinages produced under the authority of the central state, and those produced under the local authority in the Roman provinces. These coinages were called the “Roman imperial coinage” and the “Roman provincial coinage”.
Funeral practices were already well developed before the start of the Neolithic period. As the population increased with the growth of settlements, one would expect more graves. However, the number of excavated Neolithic burials can be counted in the hundreds, whereas tens of thousands of people lived and died in Greece between 7000 and 3000
Bernhard E. Woytek
The denarius coinage consisted, in the main, of four silver denominations, which were probably all introduced at the same time. The leading denomination, as well as its typologically identical halves and quarters, not only were produced from very pure silver but also bore a value mark in asses: this was another novelty that set the reformed silver coins apart from the didrachms (and their fractions) Rome had previously produced. The creation of the denarius coinage was one of the most influential monetary reforms ever carried out by the Romans: the denarius remained the standard silver denomination of their empire for about 450 years, and as a unit of account it was in use well into late antiquity. Furthermore, the tetrarchic argenteus, an important precursor of various other Late Roman silver denominations, was modeled on the denarius, and this coin also provided inspiration for the penny coinages of the Middle Ages.