There is also a kind of cup called carchesium. Callixenus the Rhodian, in' his History of the Affairs and Customs of Alexandria, says that it is a cup of an oblong shape, slightly contracted in the middle, having ears which reach down to the bottom. And indeed, the carchesium is a tolerably oblong cup, and perhaps it has its name from its being stretched upwards. But the carchesium is an extremely old description of cup; if at least it is true that Jupiter, when he had gained the affections of Alcmena, gave her one as a love gift, as Pherecydes relates in his second book, and Herodorus of Heraclea tells the same story. But Asclepiades the Myrlean says that this cup derives its name from some one of the parts of the equipment of a ship. For the lower part of the mast is called the pterna, which goes down into the socket; and the middle of the mast is called the neck; and towards the upper part it is called carchesium. And the carchesium has yards running out on each side, and in it there is placed what is called the breastplate, being four-cornered on all sides, except just at the bottom and at the top. Both of which extend a little outwards in a straight line. And above the breastplate is a part which is called the distaff, running up to a great height, and being sharp-pointed. And Sappho also speaks of the carchesia, where she says— [p. 757]
And they all had well-fill'd carchesia,And Sophocles, in his Tyro, says—
And out of them they pour'd libations, wishing
All manner of good fortune to the bridegroom.
And they were at the table in the middle,saying that the dragons came up to the table, and took up a position between the meats and the carchesia, or cups of wine. For it was the fashion among the ancients to place upon the table goblets containing mixed wine; as Homer also represents the tables in his time. And the carchesium was named so from having on it rough masses like millet (κεγχροειδὴς), and the α is by enallage instead of ε, καρχήσιον for κερχήσιον. On which account Homer calls those who are overcome by thirst καρ- χαλέους. And Charon of Lampsacus, in his Annals, says that among the Lacedæmonians there is still shown the very same cup which was given by Jupiter to Alcmena, when he took upon himself the likeness of Amphitryon. There is another kind of cup called calpium, a sort of Erythræan goblet, as Pamphilus says; and I imagine it is the same as the one called scaphium.
Between the dishes and carchesia;