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Potters

(912 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] I. Introduction, origins, social position The potter (κεραμεύς/ kerameús, Lat. figulus) carried out his artistic work at the potter's wheel and in the creation of clay patrices (prototypes), models and sculptural ornamentation, though the profession included production processes such as mining and preparing the clay, painting, firing and selling the products. Despite at times enjoying good economic circumstances, the potter’s position in society remained modest; in Athens he was ranked amongst the thêtes , zeugîtai or metics ( métoikos

Pottery trade

(535 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] In Antiquity, manufacturers of simple utilitarian pottery generally met only the local demand of their region, while finer, decorated ceramics were also intended for the transregional market. However, the latter could also stimulate the export of poorer goods. The distribution of pottery finds in many cases indicates corresponding trade links, but there are also other factors to consider: the extended find radius of Mycenaean pottery is more a reflection of the presence of Mycenae…

Pyxis

(244 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ πυξίς; hē pyxís). Box, round container with a lid; the Hellenistic name is derived from πύξος/ pýxos (‘box tree wood’), from which pyxides were often fashioned; the older Attic name is probably κυλιχνίς/ kylichnís. Pyxides are predominantly preserved as ceramics, more rarely made of wood, alabaster, metal or ivory. Among other things, pyxides were used for storing cosmetics and jewellery, so they were part of the life of women, the preferred motive in the red-figured style being portrayals of women's rooms; the…

Pinax

(1,125 words)

Author(s): Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) | Fakas, Christos (Berlin) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(πίναξ/ pínax, 'board, painted or inscribed tablet'; extended meaning, 'inscription, register'). [German version] [1] (Greek 'notice-board') Notice-board, board for announcements of all kinds (Hdt. 5,49,1; Plut. Theseus 1,1). Welwei, Karl-Wilhelm (Bochum) [German version] [2] Athenian register of citizens ( pínax ekklēsiastikós). At Athens, the register of citizens entitled to take part in the popular assembly ( ekklēsía ) (Dem. Or. 44,35). It was kept for the 139 dḗmoi ( dḗmos [2]) by the dḗmarchos . After 338 BC, enrolment was conditional upon completion of service in the ephēbe…

Lebes

(280 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ὁ λέβης; ho lébēs). [German version] [1] Large cauldron Large cauldron, a bronze vessel used from the Mycenaean period to heat water and cook meals, in Homer aside from the phiale and trivet a popular prize ( Prizes (games)) (Hom. Il. 9,122; 23,267; 613; 762), also made of precious metal. The addition ápyros (ἄπυρος) describes either new lébētes or those used as kraters. Bronze kettles decorated with protomes from the 7th-6th cents. BC that can be removed from the stand go back to Oriental models (Griffin cauldron). Aside from these splendid cauldro…

Kylix

(303 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἡ κύλιξ; hē kýlix). General ancient term for a wine goblet; mentioned in inscriptions are both goblets and skyphoi as well as flat drinking bowls. As a technical term, kylix is today only used for the latter. As a bowl, made of clay, with high foot and two horizontal handles, the kylix originated in the 6th cent. BC, probably derived from Laconian examples. It could be handled particularly well when lying down; it is no coincidence that it follows Oriental banquet customs. Early forms from the 8th and 7th cents., with a low foot,…

Kernos

(255 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ or τὸ κέρνος; ho or tò kérnos). According to Ath. 11,476f; 478d, a cult vessel with added kotyliskoi (drinking cups), which contained poppy seed, wheat, lentils, honey, oil, etc. (similar to panspermia). Kernoi were carried around in processions and their contents finally eaten by the bearers ( mystai). Kernoi with attached lights are also mentioned (sch. Nic. Alex. 217). Kernoi were used in cults of fertility and mother goddesses, especially in that of Rhea Cybele. Larger quantities of clay pots with wreaths of kotylai ( Vessels fig. E 15), which are assumed to be kerno…

Vase painters

(697 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] The collective term 'vases' for Greek painted pottery (II. A.) as a special sub-genre of ceramics characterized by its often rich decoration emerged in the 18th cent. when the first vasi antichi were discovered in Campania and Etruria. Since their decoration was the task of the potter, no ancient word exists for the profession of vase painters (VP), although they could mark their work with the signature ἔγραψεν/ égrapsen ('has painted'). The first signatures of VP appear on early archaic, Cycladic and Corinthian pottery. In Athens, the earliest example is Sophil…

Askos

(157 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ἀσκός; askós). [German version] [1] Wineskin Leather wineskin. Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) [German version] [2] Vessel type Collective archaeological term for closed vessels with stirrup handle and spout ( Vessel forms). Larger ‘sack pots’ as early as the Bronze Age; askoi in the form of birds and ducks mainly in the 8th cent. BC, also present in Etruria. Loops handles suggest flasks, pictorial representations, drinking vessels. The small, black-varnished or red-figured askoi of the 5th-4th cents. BC in the form of skins, or lenticular or ring-shaped, probably…

Figurine vases

(418 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Vases worked three-dimensionally using a combination of techniques; figurine vases made by coroplasts, often originating from the same moulds as the statuettes (terracottas). Precursors in Anatolia, Egypt and the Ancient Orient. Greek figurine vases of clay (birds, cattle, horses) in greater numbers from the 14th cent. BC. [1]. Vast production of ointment vessels with glazed clay painting in the 7th-6th cents. BC e.g. in Corinth [2], Rhodes [3] and Boeotia: complete figures, busts…

Krater

(388 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ κρατήρ/ ho kratḗr from κεράννυμι, keránnymi, ‘to mix’; Linear B: acc. ka-ra-te-ra). Wide-mouthed vessel for mixing water and wine, used at banquets (Hom. Od. 1,110), as well as in sacrificial rites (Hom. Il. 3,269) and religious festivals (Hdt. 1,51). Gyges, Alyattes and Croesus are supposed to have donated splendid large kraters of precious metal to Delphi. Their capacity was given in amphorae (Hdt. 1,51; 70; cf. Hom. Il. 23,741; Amphora [2]), their value measured according to weight (Hdt. 1,14; cf. Plin. HN 33,15). Supports for kraters ( hypokratērídia, hypóstata…

Psykter

(150 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ὁ ψυκτήρ; ho psyktḗr). Vessel made of clay or bronze for keeping wine cool. Occasionally double-walled craters and amphoras served this purpose in the 6th cent. BC. In about 530 BC a mushroom-shaped psykter was invented in Athens (Pottery, shapes and types of, ill. C 8) and was subsequently manufactured in numerous red-figure workshops (Oltus, Euphronius [2], Euthymides). Its earlier forms are considered to be black-figured jugs and amphoras with cylindrical hollow feet. The style continued until c. 470 BC (Pan painter). Pictorial representations most com…

Amphora

(308 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) | Mlasowsky, Alexander (Hannover)
[German version] [1] Storage and transport vessel (ἀμφορεύς; amphoreús). Two-handled, bulbous storage and transport vessel with a narrow neck. The predominant form of storage vessels in antiquity, these have survived mainly in clay, rarely in bronze, precious metals, glass or onyx. Among  household equipment regarded as undecorated ceramics for everyday use ( Clay vessels II). Painted amphoras served ritual purposes as ornamental items on graves, urns for storing ashes, food storage vessels for the dead…

Alabastron

(106 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἀλάβαστρον, ἀλάβαστος; alábastron, alábastos). Slender perfume bottle without a base whose contents were accessed with small sticks ( Pottery). Examples of clay, precious metal, glass and lead have been found. Egyptian precursors, made of alabaster, imported into Greece in early times. Greek clay alabastra already around 600 BC in east Ionia; deviating from that the proto-Corinthian pouch version. Rich production of painted clay alabastra in Attica around 550-450 BC. In late classical times, larger stone alabastra served as grave decoration. Scheibler, Inge…

Epinetron

(114 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] (ἐπίνητρον; epínētron). A curved cover, wrongly referred to as ónos (ὄνος), for the protection of thighs and knees during the cleaning and combing of wool; according to Hesychius s.v., the epinetron was used to card the fibres, but more likely to prepare the rovings (see illustr.). Epinetra were generally made from clay or wood; some painted clay epinetra from the 5th cent. BC are extant.  Eretria Painter Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld) Bibliography A. Lezzi-Hafter, Der Eretria-Maler, 1988, 253-262 A. Pekridou-Gorecki, Mode im antiken Griechenland, 1989, 16-20. Re…

Choes pitchers [CP]

(153 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Type three wine pitchers ( Pottery, shapes and types of;  Chuos), used in Athens in drinking competitions on the day of Choes during the  Anthesteria. Not firmly identified with clay pitchers of similar size painted with freely chosen motifs. More easily differentiated are the small CP (5-15 cm high) produced in great numbers c. 400 BC. These bore images of children, pointing to sources that suggest the Choes as marking an important transition point in children's lives (IG II/III2 13139, 1368 l. 127-131). Some feast scenes, moreover, point to rites involv…

Astragalos

(257 words)

Author(s): Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
(ἀστράγαλος; astrágalos). [German version] [1] see Ornaments see  Ornaments Hurschmann, Rolf (Hamburg) [German version] [2] Playing-piece Playing-piece ( talus). Knucklebones from calves and sheep/goats, also those made of gold, glass, marble, clay, metals and ivory, mentioned already in Hom. Il. 23,85-88 as playing-pieces. Astragaloi were used as counters for games of chance,  dice and throwing games, including the games ‘odd or even’ (Pl. Ly. 206e) or πεντάλιθα ( pentálitha,  Games of dexterity). In the astragalos game the individual sides had varying values: the co…

Pottery, production of

(2,347 words)

Author(s): Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] I. Celtic-Germanic civilizations The manufacture of pottery in the Celtic and Germanic world is characterized by two shaping processes: 1) freehand moulding without any technical aids and 2) shaping on the potter’s wheel. Until the early Celts adopted the high-speed wheel from the Mediterranean world, coiling pots by hand and other freehand shaping methods were the sole methods and remained in practice into the Middle Ages to varying degrees. In central Europe, pottery thrown on potters’ wheels in local shops from the early Celtic 'princely seats' …

Everyday crockery

(340 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] Modern archaeological term for the coarser ceramics in everyday use, a definition blurred by the fact that black glaze ceramics,  terra sigillata, and sometimes even painted fine ceramics were put to everyday use. However, as a pottery product, everyday crockery is clearly distinguishable from the latter three. The handle, rim, and foot profiles are less clearly defined; the outside of vessels is mostly unslipped or only thinly glazed and perfunctorily decorated. In contrast with …

Kalos inscriptions

(715 words)

Author(s): Scheibler, Ingeborg (Krefeld)
[German version] The Greek custom of publicly praising someone's beauty using the epithet kalós (καλός, masc. = ‘beautiful’), less commonly kalḗ (καλή, fem.) is particularly evident in Attic vase inscriptions - made before the firing of the vessels - from the 6th and 5th cents. [1; 5]. Spontaneous graffiti [3] on vases can also be found, as well as other public kalos inscriptions (KI) [4. 22, 46-65] (schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 98). They stem from an interest in beautiful youths, also expressed in early Greek lyric poetry, and in the pederastic conventions of the time, but also in the ideal of kalo…
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