was some sort of vessel for carrying water. From
the description in Festus (s. v.), that it is wide (patens
), with a handle (ansata
is a vessel “quo equi perfundi solent,” we may imagine
something like a stable bucket or pail, especially as no spout is mentioned.
Vessels of this shape are figured by Guhl and Koner (448) as kitchen
utensils. In Plaut. Stich.
2.2, 28, the nassiterna is used
like a housemaid's pail. There seems no good reason for saying, with Rich,
that the first part of the word implies a vessel with a spout:
still less can we argue from the end of the word that it
had three spouts. The first syllable (nass.
in the MSS. of Plautus, but corrected
by Ritschl to nass.
) is from the root of words
meaning “to flow” (νάω, νᾶμα,
&c.; German nass?
has nothing to do with nasus,
though that word
very likely comes [p. 2.206]
from the same root: the
termination may be compared with lanterna,
Its etymology therefore merely proves that it is
something from which water is poured.