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VESSELS 100.00%

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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.
 
CYMBIUM 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
CYATHUS 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
CARCHESIUM 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
CANEON 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
CALPIS 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
CALATHUS 100.00%

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See VESSELS.
 
HYDRIA 81.72%

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A kind of vessel for holding water. (See VESSELS.)
 
SERIA 48.48%

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A cask used by the Romans. (See VESSELS.)
 
TRUA 46.91%

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A kind of ladle. (See VESSELS.)
 
RHYTON 45.01%

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A kind of drinking-horn. (See VESSELS.)
 
URNA 43.15%

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A Roman water-vessel. (See VESSELS.)
 
LECYTHUS 38.08%

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An oil-flask. (See VASES and VESSELS.)
 
PHIALE 38.06%

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The flat drinking-cup of the Greeks. (See VESSELS.)
 
SCYPHUS 37.87%

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A bowl-shaped cup. (See VESSELS.)
 
PLEMOCHOE 37.66%

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Literally, "an earthen vessel for water"; hence the name plemochoae given to the last day of the Eleusinian festival, when this kind of vessel was used for pouringout water. (See ELEUSINIA.)
 
SHIP 33.65%

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The difference between the long, narrow ship of war and the short, broad merchant-vessel was much more pronounced in antiquity than in modern times, and existed as early as the time of Homer [Od. v 250, ix 323]. The former type, however, was not yet devoted to fighting by sea, but to the transport of troops, who also served as rowers. The merchant ships were generally worked as sailing vessels, and were only propelled by oars in case of need, so that they required a very small crew. On the other band, the ships of war depended for propulsion on a strong crew of rowers, who sat in a line on both sides of the vessel. A vessel with one bank of oars (moneres) was specially described according to the total number of the rowers; e.g. a pentecontoros was a vessel with fifty rowers (See fig. 1). For a long time the main strength of Greek fleets consisted in such vessels. Afterwards diereis (Lat. biremis), with two and (during the last ten years before the Persian Wars) triereis (triremes), with three banks of oars on either side, came into use. The latter were most generally employed until the end of the Peloponnesian War. Next came the tetrereis (quadriremes), introduced from Carthage. In 399 B.C. the elder Dionysius of Syracuse built pentereis (quinqueremes) and hexereis; Alexander the Great heptereis, octereis, ennereis, and decereis. In the wars of the successors of Alexander, a further advance was made to ships with fifteen and sixteen banks of oars, and (later still) thirty and forty banks. The most practically useful form of war-vessel was the penteres, which was especially used in the Punic wars. The rowers sat close together, with their faces toward the stern of the vessel; those in the highest row were called thranitae, those in the middle zeugitoe, and the lowest thalamitoe; but the question of the exact arrangement of their seats, and of the oars, is not yet made out with sufficient clearness. [Fig. 2, from an ancient monument, shows the thranitoe, and their oars; the rest of the rowers have their oars alone visible.] Figs. 3 and 4 are conjectural sketches, indicating the way in which the crew of a trireme was probably arranged. The number of rowers in an ancient trireme was 170, that of a Roman quinquereme in the Punic wars, 300; it is recorded that an octoreme of Lysimachus carried a crew of 1,600. The oars were very long, and the time was kept by means of the music of the flute, or solely by a stroke set by a boat-swain (Gr. keleustes; Lat. hortator, pausarius) with a hammer or staff or by his voice. The vessels were steered in ancient times by means of one or two large paddles at the side of the stern. The rigging of a ship of war was extremely peculiar. The mast, which was not very high, and carried a square sail attached to a yard, was lowered during an engagement, when a small foremast with a similar sail was used in its stead. Only merchantmen appear to have carried three sails. The war vessels of antiquity were in length seven or eight times their breadth, and drew almost 3 ft. of water. In order to attain the highest possible speed with manual propulsion, and to be easily drawn overland (a process frequently resorted to), they were lightly built, with rather flat bottoms, and very shallow. They were on this account not particularly seaworthy in stormy weather; whereas merchant vessels, owing to their heavier build and greater depth, were much more seaworthy. A stay made of two strong beams or a cable stretched between the two ends of the vessel (hypozoma) was usually employed to strengthen the hull lengthways. The bows and stern which were built alike, were alone covered with half-decks, while the middle of the vessel was at first open, and even in later times completely decked vessels were not so general as with us. Merchant-vessels, however, had a regular full-deck. The deck sometimes carried wooden turrets, usually two, fore and aft. Most ships of war had an eye painted or carved on the bows. At the bows, on a level with the water, was a horizontal beak (Gr. embolos; Lat. rostrum), usually with three spikes one over another, capped with iron; this formed the chief weapon of ancient naval warfare. We learn that it first came into Use in 556 B.C. The captain of a larger ship of war was called a trierarchos (commander of a trireme); the chief officer was the helmsman (Gr. kybernetes; Lat. gubernator); the second officer (Gr. proreus, prorates; Lat. proreta) was stationed on the bows. The total crew of an Athenian trireme, including the rowers, numbered about 200 men, of whom about twenty were sailors, and only ten to eighteen marines. This small number is explained by the fact that among the Greeks a sea-fight consisted chiefly in clever mancoeuvring, with the object of disabling the enemy's vessels by breaking their oars or of forcing them to run aground. When the Romans had established a fleet, during the first Punic War, they introduced the tactics of land-battles into their naval warfare, by carrying on their ships an increased number of land-soldiers (on their quinqueremes 120), who were posted on the bows, and attempted to lay hold of the enemy's vessels with grappling-irons and boarding-bridges, and to overpower their crews in hand to hand encounter. In the battle of Actium (31 B.C.) the lightly built triremes of Octavian, which were named liburnoe, after the Liburnians of Dalmatia, from whom this shape was borrowed, were matched with distinguished Success against the eight, nine, and ten-banked vessels of Antonius. Under the Empire the fleets were, as a general rule, no longer intended for great naval battles, but for the safeguard of the seas and coasts, for the convoy of transports and for purposes of administration. The consequence was that vessels of excessive height were continually becoming rarer, and triremes, and especially liburnoe, were almost exclusively employed. In later times the name liburna came to denote simply a ship of war. Augustus organized a Mediterranean fleet with two headquarters, Misenum. in the Tyrrhenian Sea and Ravenna in the Adriatic. These two fleets were called classes proetorioe, because, like the cohortes proetorioe, they were under the immediate command of the emperor. Other stations for the fleets were afterwards established in all parts of the sea, and the great rivers and inland seas of the empire. Their commanders were called proefecti, and were nominated by the emperor, as a rule, from among the military officers of equestrian rank. On the crews of the navy, See CLASSIARII. Besides regular men of war, the navies also contained various ships of the line to act as spies and carry despatches (Gr. keles and lembos; Lat. celox and lembus), or to convoy transport vessels, light cutters (acatos, acation), privateers (myoparo), etc. Fire-ships were used as early as 414 B.C. by the Syracusans against the Athenians. Of merchantmen there existed in antiquity various kinds and sizes. In the time of the Empire the art of shipbuilding was developed with extraordinary success at the great trading city of Alexandria, where ships were built of great seaworthiness, remarkable sailing powers, and immense tonnage. [See Torr's Ancient Ships, 1894.]
 
CLEPSYDRA 29.05%
A water-clock, or earthenware vessel filled with a certain measure of water, and having a hole in the bottom of a size to ensure the water running away within a definite space of time. Such water-clocks were used in the Athenian law courts, to mark the time allotted to the speakers. They were first introduced in Rome in 159 B.C., and used in the courts there in the same way. In the field they were used to mark the night-watches. The invention of the best kind of water-clock was attributed to Plato. In this the hours were marked by the height of the water flowing regularly into a vessel. This was done in one of two ways. (1) A dial was placed above the vessel, the band of which was connected by a wire with a cork floating on the top of the water. (2) The vessel was transparent, and had vertical lines drawn upon it, indicating certain typical days in the four seasons or in the twelve months. These lines were divided into twelve sections, corresponding to the position which the water was experimentally found to take at each of the twelve hours of night or day on each of these typical days. It must be remembered that the ancients always divided the night and day into twelve equal hours each, which involved a variation in the length of the hours corresponding to the varying length of the day and night.
 
PATERA 27.81%

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The broad, flat dish or saucer used by the Romans for drinking and for offering libations. (See VESSELS.)
 
PITHOS 25.02%

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A Greek wine-jar of earthenware, with a wide mouth and a close-fitting lid. (See VESSELS.)
 
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