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kyathos cup

The kyathos is a dipper with a single long, upward-curving handle set on the side of the vessel, and having a low flat foot-disc.

History: The average height is about 5 inches. The earliest known examples of this vessel suggest that the shape was invented by the potter Nikosthenes, by about 530 B.C. This shape, and the similar kantharos, seem to have been inspired by related Etruscan bucchero shapes. Perhaps derived from bronze forms, as the high handle is not well adapted for ceramic. The terra cotta vessels date from the late sixth century B.C. to the first half of the fifth century, but far rarer in the later period than in the black-figure period.

    Xenophon mentions the kyathos in the Education of Cyrus, (Xen. Cyrop. I.3.9) : "Now it is a well-known fact that the king's cupbearers, when they proffer the phiale, draw off some of it with the kyathos, pour it into their left hand, and swallow it down- so that if they should put poison in they may not profit by it."

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