or CATILLUM, a dish or platter on which viands were
served up. Other names for similar table utensils will here be noticed; but
it must be admitted that the differences of shape, materials, or use are not
always clearly indicated. Even the distinction, so essential to our notions,
between dishes and plates does not seem to have been observed (Hor. Sat.
1.3, 92); there is in fact no Greek or Latin
word for “a plate” in the modern sense. Varro describes the
catinus as deep enough to hold the gravy of meat or vegetables: Vasa
in mensa escaria, ubi pultem aut jurulenti quid ponebant, a capiendo
catinum nominarunt, nisi quod Siculi dicunt
ubi assa ponebant
They were mostly of earthenware, and were kept in various sizes: to have the
too small for its contents showed a
want of style (Hor. Ep. 2.4
). The historic turbot of Domitian required a
dish made on purpose (Juv. 4.131
had gone a step beyond this, and built a special furnace to bake a gigantic
in (Plin. Nat. 35.163
). The patina,
), was also commonly of
earthenware; it was bowl-shaped, and occurs frequently in Horace in the
sense of a dish (Sat.
1.3, 80; 2.2, 95; 2.8,
43, 55, 72; Ep.
1.15, 34); but it was likewise used for
cooking, and then had a cover (Plaut. Pseud.
3.2, 51; Dig. 30
, §. 3). The actor Aesopus had a patina
worth 100,000 sesterces; the material is not described
(Plin. Nat. 10.141
) was in Greek applied either to the dish or its
contents, as is proved by Athenaeus (ix. p. 367 b, &c.), with
abundant quotations from the Comic poets: though Atticists tried to restrict
the word to the latter sense (παροψὶς τὸ ὄψον,
οὐχὶ δὲ τὸ ἀγγεῖον: τοῦτο δὲ τρύβλιον ἢ λεκάριον
Phryn. p. 176 Lobeck, p. 265 Rutherford). In Roman
writers it is always the former: originally a square or oblong side-dish for
delicacies (quadrangulum et quadrilaterum vas,
20.4, 10), it came to mean any dish (Juv. 3.142
; St. Matt. 23.25, 26). There was also
either round or semicircular, like modern salad-plates (Dig. 34
, and 50.32.1; ABSIS
); and gabatae,
said to have been
of a deep shape (Isid. Orig.
l.100.11 ; Mart. 7.48
). The LANX
varied in form, but seems to
have been always of metal; huge silver lances
were among the most costly objects of Roman extravagance (Plin. Nat. 33.145
). We also find a
in silver (Dig.
). The Greek πίναξ,
and so a wooden trencher, might be of other materials, e. g. silver
(Philippid. fr. 9, Meineke); but silver dishes were thought vulgar by the
Greeks, at least in those times (Ath. vi. p. 430 a).
was a saucer for pickles or other
condiments (Hor. Sat.
2.4, 75 ; cf. Mart. 11.27
paropside rubra Allecem,
where a paropsis of red pottery
is small enough to serve the same purpose). (Mommsen-Marquardt, vii.