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OBBA

OBBA a bowl either of wood or earthenware, apparently broad at the bottom and narrowing towards the top, used for holding wine, but a cheap ware for common wine (Pers. 5.148). It is said by Gellius (16.7) to be a provincialism used by Laberius. From Tertullian, Apol. 13, it appears that it was used also at funeral rites. The shape cannot be regarded as certain. Tertullian need not be speaking precisely of the shape when he says, “Quid differt a simpulo obba?” There is no clear proof for Rich's theory, that it was pointed at the bottom, and in fact Persius's epithet sessilis, i.e. squat or dumpy with a firm base, rather makes against it: if the reading “obbatae cassides,” in Apul. Met. 10.234, is correct, we are none the wiser, since we cannot determine the shape of this particular cassis except by deciding that of the obba. (Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 654; Jahn, ad Pers. l.c.

[G.E.M]

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    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 16.7
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