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OENO´PHORUM a vessel for holding wine. It had two handles, as is clear from a passage (cited by Marquardt, Privatleben, 650) from the comedy Querolus, where among dilapidated goods we have “oenophorum exauriculatum.” It is described by Isidore (Or. 20.6, 1) as “vas ferens vinum;” much larger than a drinking-cup (Juv. 6.425), and such that it could be held by the handles and inverted, in pouring the contents into cups, as in the line of Lucilius, “vertitur oenophoris fundus, sententia [p. 2.262]nobis” (cf. “invertunt allifanis vinaria tota,” Hor. Sat. 2.8, 39). It is clear from the above passages that it was not (as has often been stated by commentators on Hor. Sat. 1.6, 109, and Pers. 5.140) a wine-basket or “cellaret,” but a large wine-vessel. The slaves, in these passages of Horace and Persius, carry it outside their luggage, ready for use. The word “oenophorum” in Plin. Nat. 34.69, adduced by some as from oenophorus and meaning “a slave bearing a wine-basket,” cannot have anything to do with this subject: if the passage is so read, it is merely a statue of a wine-carrier by Praxiteles--but the true reading seems to be “canephoram.”


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