Hadrian - born in 76, Hadrian became Roman emperor in 117 following the death of Trajan; Hadrian is considered one of the greatest Roman emperors, the third in the line of the "Adoptive Emperors"; Hadrian was a successful general, under whom the Roman Empire reached its greatest geographical extent; he was also an adventurer who loved travel and who was a talented architect who designed the Pantheon in Rome and his own villa outside Rome; Hadrian died in 138.
halteres in ancient Greek athletics, lead or stone weights used by athletes in jumping events; used to increase jump distance, athletes held these telephone receiver or dumb bell shaped weights in their hands, ran forward, jumped swinging the weights, and released the halteres behind him at the end of the jump; halteres weighed between 1.6 to 4.6 kilograms, or 3.5 to 10.1 pounds.
hamartia - an error, failure.
Hannibal - Carthaginian general, born in 247 BCE, son of Hamilcar Barca; traveled with his father to conquer Spain when he was nine; from age 18 to 25, Hannibal carried out his brother-in-law Hasdrubal's plan to consolidate Carthaginian rule on the Iberian Peninsula; Hasdrubal was assassinated in 221 BCE and Hannibal was chosen to lead the Carthaginian army in Spain; by 219 BCE, Hannibal had gained control of Spain between the Tajo and Iberus rivers, with the exception of Saguntum, which he captured in 218 BCE; Hannibal had violated Carthage's treaty with Rome and Rome declared war on Carthage, thus began the Second Punic War; in 218 BCE, Hannibal marched with 40,000 troops to Rome, allying himself with various tribes and Italian cities along the way; in 211 BCE, Hannibal attempted to take Rome but failed to breakthrough the Roman fortifications; the Romans would retake Capua and the Italian allies of Hannibal were lost to him as a result; Hannibal's brother, Hasdrubal, was called to help Hannibal in Italy but on his march from Spain, Hasdrubal was defeated and killed by the Roman consul Gaius Claudius Nero in the Battle of the Metaurus River; Hannibal returned to Carthage to defend against the Roman invasion led by Scipio Africanus the Elder in 203 BCE; the Roman invasion was successful and the Second Punic War ended in 202 BCE; always the leader and hater of Rome, Hannibal changed the Carthaginian constitution, reduced corruption in the government, and re-financed the city so that he could fight again; the Romans took Hannibal's actions as a break in the peace and forced Hannibal to flee to Syria and the safety the court of King Antiochus III in 195 BCE; Hannibal fought with the Syrians against Rome, but when the Syrians signed a treaty with Rome Hannibal fled again in 195 BCE this time to King Prusias II of Bithynia, in northern Asia Minor; when the Romans demanded his surrender, Hannibal committed suicide in 183 BCE.
Hapi - a male deity, Hapi is the oldest of the Egyptian gods whose name is an evolution of the ancient Egyptian word for Nile, hep; Hapi is depicted as a man with breasts and a round belly, which indicated nourishment and fertility.
Harmodius - conspirator against the Greek tyrants Hippias and Hipparchus; he and his friend Aristogeiton hatched a plan to kill the two tyrants in 514 BCE, however they were only successful in the killing of Hipparchus; Thucydides recounts their plan and its outcome in his history text.
Hathor - an ancient Egyptian goddess also known as Sekhmet; Hathor was depicted as a woman with the head of a cow, as a cow, or as a woman wearing cow horns and holding a solar disk; the Hathors, who served a similar role as the Fates in ancient Greek mythology, were depicted as seven young women who wore the headdress of Hathor, horns and the solar disk.
Hecate (Hekate) - a mother goddess who exteneded goodwill towards mortals; daughter of Perses and Asteria, directly descended from the Titans; identified with Artemis; later became known as the goddess of the crossroads appearing in the form of a woman with three heads, one of snake, one of a horse and one of a dog.
Hellanodikai the judges at the Olympic games, literally translated Hellanodikai means the judges of Greeks; they played an important role at the games and their names and hometowns were announced on the last day of the games in recognition of their participation.
Hellas - (Latin) mainland Greece; the Romans had an intricate relationship with ancient Greece; while fiercely proud of their own roots, the Romans nevertheless admired and sought to emulate Greek arts and culture.
Hellenes - name which the Greeks used for themselves.
Hellenistic period- a period of ancient Greek history and culture from the death of Alexander the Great (323 BCE) to beginning of Roman domination (146 BCE).
Hellespont - the ancient name for the Dardanelles, a strait northwest of Turkey, between Asian Turkey and the Gallipoli Peninsula of European Turkey, about 40 miles (64 km) long and one to four miles (1.6 to 6.4 km) wide; the Hellespont connects the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; the name Hellespont is derived from Helle, a woman who drowned in the waters of the strait when she fell from the back of Chrysomallus, the ram whose golden fleece Jason retrieved with the help of Medea.
Helvetii - a Celtic people who lived in current-day Switzerland; in 107 BCE, they attacked the consul Lucius Cassius and his army, defeating them ruthlessly; in 58 BCE, they fought again Julius Caesar's army while attempting to cross into central Gaul and, in the 9-hour Battle of Bibracte, suffered the loss of approximately 65 % of their total population; after their loss to Caesar, they were compelled to return to their initial homeland; 10,000 of the remaining Helvetii joined with Vercingetorix to fight against the Roman empire in 52 BCE.
Hephaestion- the son of the Macedonian noble Amyntor, Hephaestion was the closest of Alexander the Great's friends; the two fought side by side for years and Hephaestion gave advice to Alexander; Alexander made Hephaestion his second-in-command and gave him power; he died while still on campaign in 324 BCE and Alexander held elaborate funeral games in his honor.
Hephaestus (Hephaistos) - god of fire and metal craft; son of Hera and Zeus; thrown from Olympus by Zeus which results in his lameness; husband of Aphrodite; god who makes peace between Zeus and Hera and also makes armor for Achilles (Iliad); read the Homeric Hymn to Hephaestus to learn more.
Hera - queen of the gods, daughter of Cronus and Rhea sister and wife of Zeus; favored Achilles and the Achaians in the Trojan War; the earliest monumental temple in Greece, the Temple of Hera located at Olympia, was constructed and dedicated to Hera in 600 BCE; identified with Juno by Romans.
herm - a statue with the head of Hermes atop a rectangular block of stone that displays a large phallus on the front; far an example, see Boston 13.100 (image); for more information, see the Historical Overview topic, "220.127.116.11. The mutilation of the Herms."
Hero - woman from Roman legend; her parents compelled her to be a celibate priestess to Venus in Sestos; during a festival, a handsome young man named Leander saw Hero and instantly fell in love with her; she also fell in love with him, but they could not marry because of her parents’ objections; in order to meet each night in secret, Leander swam across the Hellespont, guided by the lantern that Hero set in her tower and, in the morning, he returned across the Hellespont; one night when a wind blew out Hero’s lantern, Leander became lost while swimming and drowned; Hero discovered his body on the shore and killed herself by jumping out her tower’s window.
Herod - King of Judaea; made the king by Mark Antony and the Senate; he rebuilt much of the buildlings and infrastructure of Judaea and gained prominence for himself in establishing the power of his land; he had ten wives and numerous children; however, he fell victim to a number of political intrigues which prompted savagery in him, leading him to kill his first wife, Maryamne, in 29 and her sons Alexander and Aristobulus in 7 BCE.
Herod Agrippa - King of Judaea from 41-44 CE; a friend to Caligula, who first gave Herod political power; after Caligula's death, Herod supported Claudius for emperor; because of that support, Claudius made him king of Judaea in 41; he died during games in honor of Claudius in 44 CE.
Herodotus - (5th century BCE) Greek historian and author of The Histories of Herodotus, a book that chronicles the battles between the Greeks and the Persians known as the Persian Wars; Herodotus has been dubbed “The Father of History”, but that title has become debated as his sources are questioned; he records stories and variants of those stories in order to support and broaden the scope of his historical inquiry.
heroic code - the unwritten rules which guide the conduct of the Homeric heroes; the heroic code is best explained by Sarpedon in the Iliad; essentially, he claims that it is necessary to fight in such a way that his men will be justified in having put him in charge and honored him.
hetaira (hetaera) - a female concubine or courtesan; for an example, see the Perseus Encyclopedia entry for Aspasia.
hieroglyphics - designating or pertaining to a pictographic script particularly that of the ancient Egyptians; in hieroglyphic writing, many of the symbols used by the ancient Egyptians are pictures of things represented by the words for which the symbols stand; click on the image below of the ancient Egyptian alphabet to see a larger version.
hierokeryx - an ancient Greek herald who called for silence at the beginning of the Eleusinian Mysteries, marking the start of the rites.
hierophant - the most important ancient Greek priest of the Eleusinian Mysteries; the hierophant was the person who could approach the cult objects of Eleusis and reveal secrets to initiates during the Mysteries.
himantes a soft thong or strap of ox hide wrapped around the hands to strength their fingers and wrists worn by boxers in ancient Greece; soft himantes evolved into hard leather straps for harder blows; in the forth century, himantes evolved into gloves, oxeis himantes, with an layer of wool in the inside; later the Romans used the caestus, a weapon-like boxing glove, layered with iron and lead.
Hippocrates - Greek physician considered the father of medicine who lived from ca. 460 to ca. 377 BCE; mostly likely born on the Greek island of Kos and died in Larissa, Greece; little is actually known about Hippocrates; though he is its namesake, he probably did not compose the Hippocratic Oath; it is probable that his analytical approach to medicine was the catalyst that moved ancient medicine beyond its supersitious roots; there are approximately 70 works ascribed to Hippocrates, the Hippocratic Collection, though Hippocrates may have written only six of them; the work Airs, Waters, and Places from the Hippocratic Collection proposes that environment , e.g., weather, drinking water, etc., not divine origin is the cause of disease; three other works' Prognostic, Coan Prognosis, and Aphorismsexpanded on the theory that a physician can predict the course of a disease by observing cases of the disease; other works in the Hippocratic Collection deal with such issues as preventative medicine, epilepsy, joint dislocations, and head wounds.
Hippocratic Oath - the oath taken by physicians in various forms for over 2,000 years; originally thought to have been composed by the Greek physician Hippocrates, researchers have shown that it most likely originated in a Pythagorean sect around the 4th century BCE; the oath originally prohibited physicians from participating in abortions and surgery; many modern physicians take a revised version of the oath upon finishing medical school.
hippodrome - an arena in which ancient Greek equestrian events took place; the hippodrome had a large post at each end and was divided by the embolon, a stone or wood partition running down the middle; the perimeter was eight stades or a little over 1,500 meters.
Hipparchus - son of the tyrant Pisistratus and brother of the tyrant Hippias and Thessalus; Hipparchus was ostracized from Athens in 487 BCE; Cleisthenes promulgated the law of ostracism in 510 BCE and Hipparchus was the first Athenian citizen to be ostracized under the law; Hipparchus was slain by Aristogiton and Harmodius near the temple of the daughters of Leos as he was arranging the Panathenaic procession; Hipparchus had foreseen his death in a dream.
Hipparchus (2) - ancient Greek astronomer, who lived ca. 190 - 125 BCE; Hipparchus' discovered the precession of equinoxes and explained the eastward shift of the stars, having found that while the celestial longitude of the stars increased their latitude did not change, by the forward motion of the equinoxes; Hipparchus was also the first to catalog the stars, noting their position and brightness.
hippocamp - a mythical sea creature with the head, chest and forelegs of a horse and fins, body and tail of a sea serpent; for an example, see Yale 1913.112.
Hispania - the area currently known as Spain; the territory had been settled by the Phoenicians, Greeks, and Carthaginians before it became the Roman provinces of Hispania Citerior (the eastern section) and Hispania Ulterior (the south-eastern part) in 197 BCE; Augustus conquered more of Spain through the Cantabrian Wars from 26-19 BCE and added another province and greater territory to Hispania Citerior, which became Tarraconensis.
Historia Augusta - (Latin) ancient biographies of the Roman emperors between Hadrian and Numerianus; these texts are written by various authors and do not seem to have a coherent theme; since there are disputes concerning authorship and dubious sources, these texts are not completely trustworthy as sources for biographical data, although they are the most complete texts extant for the time period covered.
hodometer - a Roman measuring device used to measure distances; the hodometer was attached to the side of a vehicle (e.g., a cart) and consisted of a gear assembly, which caused a pebble to fall into a metal bowl after the vehicle had traveled one Roman mile = 400 revolutions of the wheel; the vehicles used a specific wheel size, 4 feet in diameter and 12.5 feet in circumference.
Homer - epic poet, thought to be author of the Iliad and Odyssey.
hoplite - a Greek infantry soldier of the citizen armies who defended Greek city-states; for more information on the hoplites see the Perseus Historical Overview subtopic "5.16. The so-called Hoplite Revolution;" for an example, see Berlin 1708 (image).
hoplitodromos - the contest or competitors who compete in a race while dressed in full armor of a hoplite (soldier), which included greaves, a helmet, and a shield; together, these weighed 50 to 60 pounds; for an example, see Harvard 1972.39 (image).
Horace - Quintus Horatius Flaccus, Roman satirical poet; born 65 BCE in Venusia; father was a manumitted slave; studied in Athens from 46 to 44 BCE; joined the staff of M. Brutus in Asia ca. 43 BCE; fought at the Battle of Philippi which ended in the defeat and suicides of Cassius and Brutus; he began writing in 41 BCE and around 39/38 BCE was introduced to C. Cilnius Maecenas, a patron of the arts, by fellow poets Vergil and Varius; Horace published his first book of satires in 35 BCE and his second in 31 BCE; Horace's Epistles 2.1 to Augustuts is commisioned and published in 12 BCE; he died suddenly in 8 BCE.
Hortensius - Quintus Hortensius, a plebeian who became dictator in 287 BCE after the final plebeian secession; he sponsored the Lex Hortensia that made plebiscites virtually the same as laws, thereby making the plebeians and the patrician class more equal; the Lex Hortensia was an important step in ending the conflict of orders.
Horus - the ancient Egyptians believed that their pharaohs were the earthbound embodiment of Horus, one of the greatest Egyptian gods; Egyptian pharaohs would take the name of Horus as their own to show their direct relation to him; Horus was often depicted as a child suckling at his mothers breast; as a child, Horus was shown seated wearing a side lock and a royal crown and sucking his thumb.
hubris (hybris) - insolence, wanton violence; violent and outrageous acts against others.
Hyperion - a Titan, son of Gaia and Uranus; father of Eos (Dawn), Helios (Sun), and Selene by his sister, Theia; the Sun was sometimes referred to as Hyperion because the name means 'he who goes before' (the Earth).
hypocausta - (Latin) hypocaustum (sg.), from the Greek words for "under" and "burning," the central heating system invented by the Roman Gaius Sergius Orata ca. 80 BCE; a series of tanks, that made up the hypocasustra system, were propped up on little brick posts; hot air from a fire built on one side of a tank circulated through the space beneath the tank to warm it and this warmed the house; Orata also invented the balnae pensiles, raised bathrooms, heated by means of ducts under the floor.
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