previous next


CALPIS (κάλπις), a water-urn, a pitcher or ewer. It is another name for the hydria (ὑδρία), and Aristophanes (Aristoph. Lys. 327, 358) speaks of the calpis and hydria as identical. Writers on Greek vases make the calpis a later modification of the hydria, the body being rounder, the neck shorter, and the handles cylindrical. The hydria is more commonly found in Etruria, the calpis in Southern Italy. (Birch, Ancient Pottery, p. 364.) But this distinction between the calpis and hydria is conventional. The calpis occurs in the

Calpis. (Birch.)

earliest times. It is mentioned both by Homer (Hom. Od. 7.20; Cer. 107) and Pindar (Pind. O. 6.68). Its chief use was for holding water, and was carried on the head by maidens, as we frequently find depicted on vases. It was also used for holding unguents (Plb. 31.3, 17), for drawing lots or collecting votes (Anth. Pal. 7.384; Luc. Hermot. 40, 57), as a cinerary urn (Anth. Pal. 12.74), and the name was also applied to a Panathenaic vase (Callim. Fray. 122). See Liddell and Scott, s. v. [HYDRIA]


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: