previous next


CAC´CABUS less correctly CACABUS, a cooking-pot. The statement of Varro, L. L. 5.127, “vas ubi coquebant cibum, ab eo caccabum appellarunt,” may be accepted in proof of the meaning of the word, however absurd as an etymology. The Greek forms κακκάβη and κάκκαβος both occur in the Comic Fragments, and the former is as old as Aristophanes (see Liddell and Scott's Lexicon, and compare Phrynichus, p. 427, Lobeck; p. 496, Rutherford).

The different processes of boiling and frying are not always clearly distinguished in the ancient kitchen (cf. SARTAGO; Mayor on Juv. 10.64; Mommsen-Marquardt, 7.636). It seems certain, however, that the caccabus was used for boiling meat, vegetables, &c.; and that it was placed immediately upon the fire, or upon a trivet (tripus) standing over it. It is thus distinguished from the AENUM which was suspended over the fire (Serv. on Aen. 1.213; Paul. Dig. 33, 7, 18.3); and from the AUTHEPSA which was probably not used for cooking at all. The material varied. Athenaeus, in an enumeration of σκεύη μαγειρικά, mentions the κακκάβη as equivalent to the χύτρα, i.e. earthen cooking-pot or pipkin (4.169 c); and so usually in Latin (fictilis, Marquardt, l.c.; Colum. R. R. 12.41). But caccabi were also sometimes of metal; stanneus, doubtless, as in modern times, of tinned iron or block tin, Colum. R. R. 12.42.1; aeneus, ib. 12.48.1; arqgenteus, Ulpian in Dig. 34, 2, 19.12.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: