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An immense number of vessels for different purposes is mentioned by the ancients. It is impossible within the present limits to speak of more than a certain number of the most important. In ordinary life much use was made of pottery, which was sometimes ornamented with paintings. (See POTTERY and VASES.) Next to clay, bronze was the favourite material. The precious metals, marble, and other stones, such as porphyry, travertine, alabaster, and onyx, were also used, and the vessels made of these and of bronze were often adorned with carved work. On the employment of glass for this purpose, see GLASS. (Cp. also MURRINA.) It can hardly be said that wood was much in use. Vessels intended to hold wine, oil, salt meat, salt fish, olives, corn, and the like, were generally of clay. The largest of them was the pithos (Gr.) or dolium (Lat.), a butt in the form of a gourd, used for storing oil and wine. This vessel, which was lined with pitch, was often so large that a man could easily get inside it. It was one of these butts in which Diogenes made his abode. They were generally let into the floor of the cellar, and counted as immovable furniture. The Greek bikos and the Roman seria were smaller vats of the same kind, used for storing salt-meats, figs, corn, etc. For purposes of sale and of use, the wine and oil were passed from the dolium into the amphora (Gr. amphoreus), and the cadus (Gr. kados). These were vessels with two handles, and a slim body pointed at the foot. They were either buried up to the middle in the ground, or set up slanting against the wall (fig. 1, nos. 20-23; fig. 2 a, b). The cadi were specially used by the Romans for the storage of Greek wines. Wine and oil were also, especially in the country, put into leather bags (Gr. askos; Lat. uter), as is the case now in the East and in the south of Europe. The bag was made by sewing a number of skins together, and was tapped by untying one of the legs. For drawing and holding water they used the hydria, or kalpis (Lat. urna), carried on the head or shoulders. This was a vessel, with a short neck and large body, often with three handles, two smaller ones for carrying, and one behind for drawing and pouring out (fig. 1, nos. 16, 17). The lagynos (Lat. lagona or lagoena) was a wine-jar. It had a narrow neck, rather a wide mouth, and a handle (fig. 1, no. 34). It was hung up as a sign in front of wine shops, and was put before the guests at table. The lekythos or ampulla was used for oil (fig. 1, no. 33); the alabastron or alabaston (fig. 1, no. 35) for fragrant ointments. This vessel was named from the material of which it was usually made. Both the lekythos and alabastron had narrow necks, so that the liquid ran out in drops. The alabastron was round at the foot, and therefore required a stand to support it. The general term krater (Lat. cratera or creterra) was used to denote the vessels in which wine was mixed with water at mealtimes (fig. 1, no. 25; cp. HILDESHEIM, THE TREASURE OF). They were moderately large, with wide necks and bodies, and two handles. Sometimes they had a pedestal, sometimes they were pointed or round beneath, in which case they required a support (hypokraterion). For ladling and pouring out the wine, spoons were used (trua, trulla, fig. 3), as well as various sorts of cups (cyathus, fig. 1, nos. 10, 13-15). These resembled our tea and coffee cups, but had a much higher handle, rising far above the rim, and contained a definite measure. Drinking-vessels were made in the form of bowls, beakers, and horns. To the first class belonged the flat phiale, or saucer without handle or base, corresponding to the Roman patera generally used in sacrifices (fig. 1, nos. 1, 2); the kymbion, a long deep vessel without handles, so called from its likeness to a boat; and the kylix (Lat. calix) with handle and base (fig. 1, nos. 3 and 8). Among the beakers may be mentioned the skyphos (Lat. scyphus) attributed to Heracles (fig. 1, nos. 4-7). This was a large cup originally of wood, and used by shepherds, sometimes with a round, sometimes with a flat bottom. Another was the kantharos (cantharus) peculiar to Dionysus (fig. 1, no. 12), with a high base and projecting handles. The karchesion (carchesium, fig. 1, no. 11) was tall, slightly contracted at its sides, and with slender handles reaching from the rim to the foot [Macrobius, Saturnalia v 21]: the kiborion (ciborium) resembled the husks of the Egyptian bean. The class of drinking horns included the rhyton (fig. 4), with its mouth shaped like the head of an animal. As may be seen from the names, the Romans borrowed most of their drinking vessels from the Greeks. They were generally fitted with silver; and, during the imperial times often ornamented with finely cut gems. It is unnecessary to enumerate the various vessels used for washing, cooking, and eating, the characteristics of which were not strikingly different from our own. But we may observe that for domestic purposes of all kinds the ancients used basket work of canes, rushes, straw, and leaves, especially palm leaves. The kalathos, made in the form of a lily (fig.5, a and b), was used for holding the wool used in weaving and embroidery: the low kaneon, or basket of round or oval shape (fig. 5, c), for bread and fruit. The Athenian maidens carried kanea on their heads at the Panathenaic procession. (See CANEPHORI.) For baskets of other shapes, see fig. 5, d, e, f.

Pictures and Media
VARIOUS SHAPES OF GREEK VASES. (Jahn's Vasensammlung in der Pinakothek zu Munchen, Taf. i, ii.) 1, 2, phiale. 3, cylix. 4-7, scyphus. 8, cylix. 9, holmos. 10, cyathus. 11, carohesion. 12, cantharos. 13-15, cyathus. 16, kalpis. 17, hydria. 18, stamnos. 19, pelike. 20-23, amphora. 24, celebe. 25, crater. 26-30, oenochoe. 32, oekos. 33, lekythos. 34, lagoena. 35, alabastron. 36, aryballos. 37, bombylios. 38, 39, name unknown. 40, lekane. 41, cylix. 686 VESTA.
RONZE LADLES(trua). (From Pompeii.)
GREEK DRINKING-HORNS(rhyton). (Panofka, Griechische Trinkhorner.)
BASKETS FROM GREEK VASES. (Guhl and Koner, fig. 203.)
Type: Standard
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