But the name σκύφος is derived from σκαφὶς, a little boat. And this likewise is a round vessel made of wood, intended to receive milk, or whey; as it is said in Homer—
Capacious chargers all around were laid,Unless, indeed, σκύφος is quasi σκύθος, because the Scythians were in the habit of drinking more than was decent. But Hieronymus the Rhodian, in his treatise on Drunkenness, says to get drunk is called σκυθίζω;; for that θ is a cognate letter to φ. But at subsequent times scyphi were made of earthenware and of silver, in imitation of the wooden ones. And the first makers of cups of this kind were the Bœotians, who obtained a high reputation for their manufacture; because Hercules originally used these cups in his expeditions. On which account they are called Heracleotici by some people. And they are different from other cups; for they have on their handles what is called the chain of Hercules. And Bacchylides mentions the Bœotian scyphi in these words, (addressing his discourse to Castor and Pollux, and invoking their attendance at a banquet)—
Full pails ῾σκαφίδες᾿, and vessels of the milking trade.
Here there are no mighty jointsAnd next to the Bœotian scyphi, those which had the highest reputation were the Rhodian ones, of the workmanship of Damocrates. And the next to them were the Syracusan cups. But the σκύφος is called by the Epirotes λυρτὸς, as Seleucus reports; and by the Methymnæans it is called σκύθος, as Parmeno says, in his book on Dialects. And [p. 800] Dercyllidas the Lacedæmonian was nicknamed σκύθος, as Ephorus relates in his eighteenth book, where he speaks as follows:—“The Lacedæmonians sent Dercyllidas into Asia in the place of Thymbron, having heard that the barbarians were in the habit of doing everything by deceit and trick; on which account they sent Dercyllidas, thinking that he was the least likely of all men to be taken in; for he was not at all of a Lacedæmonian and simple disposition, but exceedingly cunning and fierce; on which account the Lacedæmonians themselves used to call him σκύθον.”
Of oxen slain,—no golden plate,
No purple rich embroidery;
But there is a cheerful mind,
And a sweetly-sounding Muse,
And plenty of delicious wine,
In cups of Theban workmanship ῾βοιωτίοισιν ἐν σκύφοισιν̓.