But Eratosthenes, in his letter addressed to Ageton the Lacedæmonian, says, that the cymbium is a vessel of the shape of the cyathus, writing thus—“But these men marvel how a man who had not got a cyathus, but only a cymbium, had, besides that, also a phiale. Now it seems to me, that he had one for the use of men, but the other for the purpose of doing honour to the Gods. And at that time they never used the cyathus nor the cotyla. For they used to employ, in the sacrifices of the Gods, a crater, not made of silver nor inlaid with precious stones, but made of Coliad clay. And as often as they replenished this, pouring a libation to the Gods out of the phiale, they then poured out wine to all the company in order, bailing out the newly-mixed wine in a cymbium, as they do now among us at the phiditia. And if ever they wished to drink more, they also placed on the table beside them the cups called cotyli, which are the most beautiful of all cups, and the most convenient to drink out of. And these, too, were all made of the same earthenware.” But when Ephippus says, in his Ephebi—
Chæremon brings no culices to supper,he does not mean the tragic poet, but some namesake of his, who was either very fond of wine, or who had an evil reputation on some other account, as Antiochus of Alexandria says, in his treatise on the Poets, who are ridiculed by the comic writers of the Middle Comedy. For the circumstance of cymbia being introduced into entertainments, and being used to fight with in drunken quarrels, bears on each point. And Anaxandrides mentions him in his Nereids—
Nor did Euripides with cymbia fight,
Give him a choeus then of wine, O messmate,And Ephippus, in his Similitudes, or Obeliaphori, says—
And let him bring his cymbium, and be
A second Euripides to-day.
But it were well to learn the plays of Bacchus,And that the κύμβη is the name of a boat too we are shown by Sophocles, who, in his Andromeda, says—
And all the verses which Demophoon
Made upon Cotys; and, at supper-time,
To spout the eclogues of the wise Theorus.
* * * * * *
And let Euripides, that banquet-hunter,
Bring me his cymbia.
Come you on horseback hither, or in a boat (κύμβαισι)?[p. 770] And Apollodorus, in his Paphians, says there is a kind of drinking-cup called κύμβα.