The origins of the Etruscans, a non-Indo-European population of preclassical Italy, are unclear. There is broad agreement that their culture developed locally, but the Etruscans' evolutionary and migrational relationships are largely unknown. In this study, we determined mitochondrial DNA sequences in multiple clones derived from bone samples of 80 Etruscans who lived between the 7th and the 3rd centuries b.c. In the first phase of the study, we eliminated all specimens for which any of nine tests for validation of ancient DNA data raised the suspicion that either degradation or contamination by modern DNA might have occurred. On the basis of data from the remaining 30 individuals, the Etruscans appeared as genetically variable as modern populations. No significant heterogeneity emerged among archaeological sites or time periods, suggesting that different Etruscan communities shared not only a culture but also a mitochondrial gene pool. Genetic distances and sequence comparisons show closer evolutionary relationships with the eastern Mediterranean shores for the Etruscans than for modern Italian populations. All mitochondrial lineages observed among the Etruscans appear typically European or West Asian, but only a few haplotypes were found to have an exact match in a modern mitochondrial database, raising new questions about the Etruscans' fate after their assimilation into the Roman state. (+info)
Hairstyles in the arts of Greek and Roman antiquity.
Styling one's hair seems to be an innate desire of humans to emphasize their beauty and power. As reviewed here, hairstyles were influenced by preceding cultures, by religion, by those depicted for gods and emperors on sculptures and coins. In addition, they were determined by aspects of lifestyle such as sports, wealth, and the desire to display inner feelings. The historical changes in fashions can be exemplarily followed by a visitor to an art collection of Graeco-Roman antiquity. The study of hairstyles permits an insight into very basic aspects of the self-conception of individuals and of the respective societies. (+info)
The history of bronchial asthma from the ancient times till the Middle Ages.
The aim of the paper is to give an overview of the knowledge on asthma through the history of mankind. The text begins with ancient China and it is finished with the medicine of Middle Age. During this time, a lot of theories came and this appeared about the etiology and therapy of the disease. The paper is giving a short description of the changing medical views during this very long period including China, Egypt Greco-roman period, Mesopotamia, the Hebrews, the physicians of India, the pre-Columbian medicine in the America and the Arabic world, and partly the European medicine of the Middle Ages. (+info)
Hermaphroditism in Greek and Roman antiquity.
Since antiquity hermaphrodites have fascinated the mind and excited the imagination. In this paper, such subjects are discussed as legends about the nativity of Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, the social status of these bisexual beings, and their fate in Greek-Roman antiquity. (+info)
Amycolatopsis nigrescens sp. nov., an actinomycete isolated from a Roman catacomb.
The taxonomic status of two actinomycetes isolated from the wall of a hypogean Roman catacomb was established based on a polyphasic investigation. The organisms were found to have chemical and morphological markers typical of members of the genus Amycolatopsis. They also shared a range of chemical, molecular and phenotypic markers which served to separate them from representatives of recognized Amycolatopsis species. The new isolates formed a branch in the Amycolatopsis 16S rRNA gene sequence tree with Amycolatopsis minnesotensis NRRL B-24435(T), but this association was not supported by a particularly high bootstrap value or by the product of the maximum-parsimony tree-making algorithm. The organisms were distinguished readily from closely related Amycolatopsis species based on a combination of phenotypic properties and from all Amycolatopsis strains by their characteristic menaquinone profiles, in which tetra-hydrogenated menaquinones with 11 isoprene units predominated. The combined genotypic and phenotypic data indicate that the isolates merit recognition as representing a novel species of the genus Amycolatopsis. The name proposed for this novel species is Amycolatopsis nigrescens sp. nov., with type strain CSC17Ta-90(T) (=HKI 0330(T)=DSM 44992(T)=NRRL B-24473(T)). (+info)
Asclepius, Caduceus, and Simurgh as medical symbols, part I.
This is the first of two articles reviewing the history of medical symbols. In this first article I have briefly reviewed the evolution of the Greek god, Asclepius, (and his Roman counterpart Aesculapius) with the single serpent entwined around a wooden rod as a symbol of western medicine and have alluded to the misplaced adoption of the Caduceus of the Greek god Hermes (and his Roman counterpart Mercury) with its double entwined serpents as an alternative symbol. In the second part of this article (to be published later), I have made a tentative suggestion of why the Simorgh might be adopted as an Eastern or an Asian symbol for medicine. (+info)
A new approach to the study of Romanization in Britain: a regional perspective of cultural change in late iron age and roman dorset using the siler and gompertz-makeham models of mortality.