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πίθος). A large jar of earthenware into which new wine was placed to ferment. Many of them were large enough to hold a man, and were shaped like a huge caldron with globular bodies and wide mouths. Diogenes (q.v.) the Cynic took up his abode in a dolium (not in a tub, as popularly said), and in some ancient works of art he is depicted as lolling in one of these vessels during his celebrated interview with Alexander the Great. See Diog. Laert. vi. 23; Plin. Ep. 90, 14.

Dolia curta were urinals placed in the narrow streets between the houses for the convenience of those who passed by (Lucret. iv. 1026; Macrob. iii. 16.15; Suet. Vesp. 23).

Dolia were also used as coffins. In the Crimea, near Sebastopol, sixteen πίθοι were discovered, four feet four inches high, and two feet two inches in diameter.

Makers of dolia were known as doliarii.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 4.1026
    • Suetonius, Divus Vespasianus, 23
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