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DIATRE´TA sc. vasa, mentioned only by Martial (12.70, 9) and Ulpian (calices diatreti, Dig. 9, 2, 27.29), were probably glass cups in the shape of an egg, which could not therefore be put down, but must be emptied at a draught. Seven such cups are still in existence. (See Marquardt, below.) The makers of such cups were called diatretarii (Cod. Theod. 13.4, 2; Cod. Just. 10.66 (64), 1). These cups are contained within a network, also of glass, to which they are attached by a series of short and very fine glass props, placed at equal distances from each other. The one figured here is described in

Calix diatretus, cup of glass. (Winckelmann.)

the notes to Winckelmann (1.2.21). Round the rim is an inscription, BIBE VIVAS MULTOS ANNOS; the letters being connected with the cup in the same manner as the network. The letters are green, the network is blue, and the cup itself resembles opal. Neither the letters nor the network have been soldered to the cup, but the whole has been cut out of a solid mass, after the manner of a cameo, the marks of the wheel being still visible on the little props. These cups were of great value, as we may perceive from the penalties imposed, in case of their being broken in the manufacture (Dig. l.c.). A passage of Pliny relating to certain glass cups may refer to these diatreta (H. N. 36.195, where the word petrotos is evidently corrupt). (Marquardt, Privatl. d. Römer, p. 733; Becker-Göll, Gallus, ii. p. 384; Blümner, Technol., &c., iv. p. 400.)


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