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GLASS 100.00%

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Glass was for a long time procured by the Greeks and Romans from Phoenicia and Egypt, where its manufacture had been carried on since very ancient times, and the art had reached an uncommon degree of perfection. The ancients produced glass-work of great beauty, both in form and colours. In later times it was the manufacturers of Alexandria whose reputation stood the highest. The manufacturers carried on, down to the times of the later Empire, a considerable export trade in coloured blown-glass and mosaics. It is uncertain whether the Greeks manufactured their own glass in more ancient times. It was certainly a very costly article down to the time of the Peloponnesian War, and only came into general use at a late period. In Italy the manufacture of glass began at the commencement of the imperial period, first in Campania and afterwards in Rome, where they were ambitious of surpassing the art of Alexandria. From Italy it spread to Gaul and Spain and the more distant provinces, and before long, glass cups, saucers, and bottles became an ordinary part of household furniture. The remains discovered at Herculaneum and Pompeii show that glass windows were not unknown in the imperial age. The ancients were familiar with the manufacture of pure, white, transparent, crystal glass, which was much in request, as well as with the art of colouring glass in every tint. They could imitate every kind of stone, produce varying prismatic tints, and spread layers of different colours upon each other. The art of cutting and polishing glass was very advanced. From bits of glass, cut and polished, were made great numbers of mock pearls, or mock precious stones, and pastes, which were worn, instead of real stones, in rings, tut in intaglio or relief. The most important productions of art were: (1) the vasa diatreta. In these cups the outer side was made of filigree work, cut out of the hard mass. The outer network was of a different colour from the ground, with which it was connected by nothing but slender glass talks. (2) The vessels which exhibit reliefs of white opaque glass on a dark and transparent ground, like the celebrated Portland Vase (See GEMS). Glass tablets, intended for mural decoration, were sometimes ornamented with reliefs of this kind.
 
MOSAICS 21.91%
 
MURRINA 19.91%
 
GEMS 19.58%
The art of cutting precious stones was early learned by the Greeks from the Egyptians and Orientals, who had practised it from remote antiquity. The cuttings were originally only concave, and the gems set in rings and used as seals. Cameos, or stones carved in relief, first came into use, it would seem, in the time of Alexander the Great, and were used for ornament. For cameos precious stones of various colours were used, especially the onyx. The layers of the stone were so treated, that the figures stood out bright on a dark ground. Muesarchus of Samos, the father of the philosopher Pythagoras (about 600 B.C.) is the oldest Greek jeweller whose name has come down to us. In the 4th century B.C. the most celebrated master was Pyrgoteles, the only artist whom Alexander the Great would allow to cut his likeness. In the age of Augustus we hear of Dioscorides, who cut the emperor's likeness on a stone which was used as a seal by the succeeding Caesars. The Etruscans and Romans took up the art very early, but never attained the same perfection as the Greeks. The fancy for making collections of beautiful gems arose as early as the 1st century B.C. The intaglios, or cut stones, have come down to us in greater numbers than any Of the monuments of ancient art. Those which belonged to the advanced periods of style present examples of the most beautiful workmanship, the most original composition, and the most interesting subjects, the latter being mainly taken from mythology. Among the remaining Greek cameos an important place, both for size and beauty, must be given to the Gonzaga Cameo in St. Petersburg. This, it has been conjectured, represents the bust of Ptolemy Philadelphus and Arsinoe, his sister and wife; [but it more probably commemorates Nero and Agrippina, fig. 7.] The largest and most splendid of the cameos which have come down from the Roman period are those at Vienna (fig. 8) and Paris, representing, in groups and figures, the family of Augustus. Whole vessels were sometimes made of single stones, and adorned with reliefs An instance is the Mantuan vase now at Brunswick, 6 1/3 inches high, 2 1/3 inches thick, consisting of a single onyx. The lid, handle and base are of gold. Two parallel lines of gold divide the surface into three parts, the midmost of which has twelve figures, representing the festival of the Thesmophoria, in three groups; while the highest and lowest are adorned with leaves, flowers, ears of corn, fruits, bulls' heads, and other objects connected with the worship of Demeter. Works of this kind are sometimes made of coloured glasses. The most celebrated instance of this sort is the Portland Vase now in the British Museum. Its height is about 10 inches. The material is a dark blue transparent glass, with beautiful reliefs in white opaque enamel (fig. 9). [See Catalogue of Engraved Gems in the British Museum, 1888, pp. 225-8; and (on the subject in general) Introduction, pp. 1-38.]
 
LIGHTING 14.44%
 
VESSELS 10.99%

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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.
 
PAINTING 10.18%
 
VESTA 8.21%

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The Italian, particularly the Latin, goddess of the hearth and of its fire, corresponding in her name, as well as in her nature, to the Greek HESTIA(q.v.) Like Vesta, besides her special cult on the hearth of every home, she was also worshipped by the State. This worship was introduced by Numa from Lavinium, whither Aeneas had brought the Penates and the sacred fire from Troy. Hence it was that Roman consuls and dictators, on taking up and laying down their office sacrificed in the temple of Vesta at Lavinium. It was customary in Italy as in Greece for the colonies to kindle the fire of their own Vesta at the hearth of the mother city. The ancient round temple of Vesta, which served as the central point of the city, was built by Numa. In its neighbourhood was the so called atrium of Vesta, the abode of the virgin priestesses of the goddess, the Vestals (excavated in 1883-4; Middleton's Remains of Ancient Rome, i 307-329]. Here the goddess was worshipped not in the form of a statue, but under the symbol of the eternal fire, which it was the chief duty of the Vestals to keep alight. On every 1st March it was renewed. If it went out of itself, a great national disaster was held to have occurred, and the guilty Vestal was scourged by the pontifex. The fire could only be rekindled by a burning glass, or by the primitive method of friction by boring a piece of wood from a fruit tree. Corresponding to the lares and penates of the domestic hearth, there were, according to later usage, the penates of the State in the temple of Vesta; and similarly, on the temple-hearth, a sacrifice was offered daily, consisting of the plainest form of food in a simple vessel of clay. The daily purifications could only be made with flowing water, which the Vestals carried in pitchers upon their heads from the fountain of Egeria, or of the Muses. By day every one had the right of admission to all the temple, save only that part in which the palladium and other mystic relics were kept, where the Vestals alone had the right to enter. It was only by night that men were excluded. As goddess of the sacred fire of the hearth in every house, and for the city in general, Vesta was also the goddess of every sacrificial fire. Hence she was worshipped with Janus at every religion service, Janus being invoked at the opening, Vesta at the close. Her own festival, the Vestalia, was kept on July 9th. The matrons of the town walked barefooted in procession to her temple, to implore tba blessing of the goddess for their households, and to offer sacrifice to her in rude dishes, in remembrance of the time when the hearth served generally for the baking of bread. The millers and bakers also kept holiday. The mills were crowned, and the asses employed in them had garlands and loaves suspended about their necks. The worship of Vesta survived to the last days of paganism, and was abolished by Gratian in 382 A.D. Although there was no image of the goddess in the actual temples, her statues were not uncommon at Rome in later times. Like the Greek Hestia, she was represented sometimes as standing, sometimes as sitting, completely clothed and veiled, with chalice torch, sceptre, and palladium. For cut, see HESTIA.
 
TOREUTIC ART 2.48%
 
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