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A deep, stemless drinking cup with two handles and a low foot, if any.

Shape: The Corinthian type is characterized by its inward curve of the lip. In the Attic types A and B, the lip is slightly concave and the foot is heavier (Type A illustrated here). During the fourth century both types grow narrower and more concave in the lower part of the body.

History: There are early Geometric cups similar to this vessel, though the Corinthians set the conventions, which the Attic potters borrowed and modified. Both the Corinthian and the Attic skyphos enjoyed long popularity, from the early black figure down to the Hellenistic period.

Term: Literary evidence establishes that skyphos was the name for this shape. This shape is also known as a kotyle, but it is clear that the term kotyle was used in general to identify a cup.

  • Hesychios defines the skyphos as a cup.
  • Eur. Cycl. 390 f.: the skyphos belonging to Cyclops is three cubits wide by four cubits deep.
  • Athenaios 11.498f-499a: the skyphos was used by country people.
  • Athenaios 11.498b and 499a: the skyphos was sometimes made of silver or gold.
  • Athenaios 11.498e: it could have handles.
  • Athenaios 11.500a: it was popular with the Boeotians.
  • Macrobius Saturnia 5.21.16: commonly used by Herakles.
  • Athenaios 11.500a: refers to 'Heraclean knots' on the skyphoi's handles.

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