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SCA´PHIUM (σκάφιον), a shallow vessel without a handle, so called because it was shaped something like a boat (cf. CYMBIUM and the English “sauce-boat” ), used as a drinking cup (Plaut. Stich. 4.5, 11; Bacch.. sometimes earthenware, sometimes metal; e. g. of brass (Lucret. 6.1045), of silver (Athen. 4.142 d; Cic. Ver. 4.17, 37). It was used also for dipping and pouring water over the body in the bath (Athen. 11.501 e; Plaut. Pers. 1.3, 43). In Plut. Num. 9 a brazen σκάφιον (or (σκαφεῖον) is used to relight the sacred fire [PRYTANEUM p. 514], being doubtless a primitive substitute for a concave mirror or burning-glass, and retained by religious conservatism.

Scaphium also=a matella of the same shape (Juv. 6.264, &c.). For the explanation of σκάφιον κείρεσθαι, see COMA Vol. I. p. 498 a.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.4.37
    • Plutarch, Numa, 9
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