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HY´DRIA

HY´DRIA (ὑδρία) is a generic term for any water-jar or water-pot, but specifically applied to a form of vessel more or less nearly resembling the AMPHORA The hydria, however, had a rounder body and a shorter neck than the amphora. Another distinctive mark is its having three handles ; a pair of small ones (ὦτα or ὠτία) at the shoulders, and a large vertical one either at the neck or in the middle of the side. Hence it is called by the Italians vaso a tre maniche. The calpis (κάλπις) is regarded by some German writers as identical with the hydria (Guhl and Koner ; Blümner); according to Dennis, “The name hydria is applied to those of the earliest style which have a squareness about the shoulders, while a later and more elegant variety, with the shoulders rounded off, is generally called calpis:” it is admitted, however, that this distinction is conventional. Compare Birch, p. 364.

Both forms occur frequently in vase-paintings, in which girls are represented carrying water on their heads, aided by a pad (τύλη, σπεῖρα) resembling a

Hydra. (Dennis.)

porter's knot (see cut under ARCULUM; a scene of water-drawing in Birch, p. 195). The large third handle made it easier to dip into the water and lift to the top of the head; the two small ones helped to balance it when carried. The hydria as the older form is found mostly on vases with black figures, the calpis with red figures, though the latter sometimes shows archaic designs. For other points of difference, see CALPIS

The material was in general pottery, but a costly bronze ὑδρία is mentioned ([Dem.] c. Everg. et Mnes. p. 1155.52). For the use of the water-jug (in this case κάλπις) in Athenian weddings, see MATRIMONIUM Vol. II., p. 136 a. The hydria was employed as a cinerary urn (Plut. Phil. 21; Lucian, Demosth. Encom. 29; κάλπις, Anth. Pal. 12.74); and as the urn from which the dicasts were drawn by lot (Isocr. Trapez. § 33). In Plutarch (Ti. Gracch. 11) it is apparently the Roman voting-urn, properly called cista [CISTA]. A golden or gold-mounted κάλπις was used for unguents (Antiphan. fr. 106 M.; Plb. 31.3.17); this, of course, must have been much smaller than the ordinary size. Vases of all shapes are found “in miniature” in Etruscan tombs, and must have served a similar purpose. (Guhl and Koner, ed. 5, p. 191; Hermann-Blümner, Privatalterth. p. 163; Birch, Anc. Pottery, ed. 1873, p. 364; and especially Dennis, Etruria, ed. 1878, pp. cx., cxi.)

[W.W]

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