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PELVIS (ποδανιπτήρ), a vessel for washing the feet. Thus much is clear from Varro's derivation, “pedelvis a pedum lavatione” (L. L. 5.119), though etymologically the word should be connected with πέλλις; to which Pollux (10.78) gives much the same meaning (see Lexicons, s. v. πέλλα). It was sometimes of earthenware (Schol. ad Juv. 3.277), but probably more often of bronze (Juv. 10.64); also of the more costly Corinthian bronze (Orell. 3838; see AES p. 39): in Petron. 70 we find a silver pelvis; but that is for holding ointment. The words pelluvia and pelluvium are other names for the same vessel (Fest. p. 161; Id. Ep. 207); but the pollubrum was used either for hands or feet: in Fest. p. 247 it = pelvis; in Livius And. and Fabius Pict. (ap. Non. 544) it is used to express the Greek χέρνιψ (or χερνίβιον) and = trulleum, a basin for washing the hands (Non. 547): no doubt, like the Greek λέβης (Od. 1.137, 19.386), it might be used for either purpose. It must be observed that in both cases the water was ordinarily poured from the jug (πρόχους, υρξεολυς) over the feet or hands into the basin. As a special name for the wash-hand basin, we have the malluvium (Fest. p. 161) = χειρόνιπτρον (Poll. 10.90). The pelvis was also used for washing up cups and dishes (Non. 544). As regards the ordinary shape of the pelvis, we may gather from the patulae pelves of Juv. 3.167 that it was wide and shallow. The relief of the washing of Ulysses' feet (Baumeister, Denkmäler, fig. 1257) shows a somewhat deeper vessel. The malluvium in the Aldobrandini marriage picture (ib. 946) is like a washingbasin of the present (lay. (Becker-Göll, Gallus, 2.371; Mayor on Juv. 10.64.)


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