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FI´CTILE anything made of earth or clay, earthen, fictile. In Greek the special word for moulding in soft materials, πλάσσω, with its derivatives πλάσμα, πλάστης, πλαστική, was gradually applied only to clay, in which sense the words plastes and plastice passed into Latin. Then, as clay played an important part in the preparation of works in bronze, the use of these words was extended to metal, and still further to statuary in stone and marble. The Latin equivalent of πλάσσω is fingo, which originally was applied only to the moulding of soft stuffs, but later was used for statuary of all kinds as opposed to pingo: in this extended sense we [p. 1.842]have also fictor and figmentum, but the usual application of fictor is confined to modelling in clay, just as fictor, figlinus, figulus refer only to work in clay. The original term for clay is κέραμος, whence the forms κεραμεύς, κεραμεύω, &c., applied not merely to the potter, but broadly to a worker in clay. From πηλός (applied to the clay of the bricklayer, but also to that of the potter) we have πηλουργός, πηλοπλάθος, corresponding to the poetical use of lutum: whereas, however, argilla = modelling clay, ἄργιλος = clay without reference to its plastic uses, γῆ κεραμίς = terra or creta figularis; hence also ars cretaria. (Cf. Blümner, Technologie, ii. p. 1.)

We may take it that the history of working in clay has been in all times subject to the same broad laws of development. The primitive barbarian employs as utensils of food or drink the objects of nature that are to his hand, such as shells or horns. He then finds that certain clays take forms readily and harden in the sun: the next step is to a selection of the clay, and then gradually to a purification of it. Then comes baking in artificial heat, and the preparation and polishing of the surface: finally (in the case of pottery), the introduction of the potter's wheel.

It will be convenient to divide the subject into three parts, corresponding with the principal manufactures to which the Fictile Art was devoted: viz. A. Vases and lamps; B. Bricks and tiles; C. Statuary and terracottas.

A. VASE-MAKING.--The general words for pottery in Greek are κέραμος and ὄστρακον: in Latin, testa and opus figulinum; this last expression is also applied to bricks, but is usually of finer pottery-ware as opposed to opus doliare, rough ware (not necessarily the special making of dolia). A potter is χυτρεὺς or χυτροπλάθος, figulus. In Greek, special names further indicate the speciality of the potter: thus καδοποιός, ληκυθοποιός.

i. The preparation of the Clay.--As to the processes adopted by the ancients in the prepation of the clay, we have little information. The earliest vases from Hissarlik and the Cyclades are of very coarse clay, in which, either by ignorance or from design, large pebbles and pieces of foreign substances are allowed to

1. Clay quarry. (From a tablet at Berlin.)

remain, the result being a very uneven surface and frequent fissures in the vase. A great deal might be done by levigating the clay (ὀργάζειν) while moist, so as to rid it of all grosser substances before moulding it into shape: a still further purification of the clay gave the thin slip, into which the vase when complete was dipped, so as to coat it with a fine surface suitable for polishing. There is no doubt that the extensive commerce in pottery possessed by certain localities was largely due to their propinquity to specially suitable beds of clay. Thus the clay quarries may still be seen near Corinth to which the Corinthian pottery in antiquity owed its reputation: this clay is of a creamy yellow colour, and rather soft to the touch. Much of the Italian ware, the so-called Bucchero Nero, is of an oily surface, and when baked is black all through. The fine clay of Attica, and especially that of Cape Kolias, was celebrated in antiquity not only for its hardness and toughness, but also because it mixed well with ruddle or red ochre (μίλτος, rubrica): this would be a quality specially desirable for the manufacture of painted vases [see PICTURA]. Colouring matter was frequently applied to the clay; and some makers in Rhodes and Egypt are even said to have mixed sweet-smelling substances in it (see Athen. 11.464 b).

The extensive use of pottery throughout the Greek and Roman world rendered the potter's industry a necessity of every community: hence the frequent references in literature to the “Potters' quarter,” the Κεραμεικός. At Athens this quarter was without the city and adjoining the necropolis; a site which was no doubt convenient for the makers of painted vases, so largely in use for dedication at the tomb. The potter's ware was also in use for dedication in the temples, as is shown by the large number of vases with dedicatory inscriptions found at Naukratis in Egypt [see VAS]; and in some cases for prizes in the sacred games [see AMPHORA]. This painted ware was largely exported from the chief centres of the different manufactures: in the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. most of it came from Athens; later on, a great deal was made in Southern Italy. At Oria, in Apulia, was found in 1828 a potter's workshop, filled with vases of all kinds, especially of the ware which is frequently found at Bari and the tombs of that district, viz. with the black surface sparsely decorated with wreaths, heads, &c. in white, yellow, or purple colours (see Bull. dell' Inst. 1834, p. 55). By the middle of the third century the art of painting vases had practically disappeared altogether [see PICTURA].

In Italy in the olden time, crockery for ordinary purposes was made by every man who could do so on his own estate: almost every village would have had its own pottery, but the ware would be for the most part rough, unglazed, and with little or no decoration. Of Roman glazed ware there were two main classes--the so-called Aretine and Samian wares. The term Aretine is given because large quantities of this ware have been found at Arezzo, the ancient Arretium, a place which is often mentioned in ancient literature for its fabric of red pottery; but it is certain that other places also produced this pottery, and the term must therefore be taken as indicating merely a special style and technique, which was in vogue in the last century B.C. and the first three centuries A.D. Aretine ware is of a fine clay, brilliant [p. 1.843]red colour, good glaze, and highly decorated with reliefs. The term “Samian,” originally applied only to those of its class which were made in Samos, came also to indicate a special style wherever made; it consists usually of bowls decorated with reliefs, which are of harder clay and not the same brilliancy of colour as the Aretine. The great similarity between all Samian ware, wherever it is found, has led many to suppose that either the ware itself or the clay was exported; but considering the widely distant localities in which it is abundantly found, it is probable that the potters knew how to adapt local clays to its fabrication: in some cases we have provincial imitations of Samian ware, which have an orange colour on the surface, besides a great variety of local productions of different kinds. (Birch, pp. 346-362.)

ii. The modelling of the Clay.--The use of the potter's wheel (τροχὸς κεραμικός, τροχός, τόρνος: rota figularis, rota, orbis) was known in Egypt in very remote times, and in Greece went so far back as to be credited with a legendary origin: the invention is variously ascribed to the Scythian Anarcharsis, and to Talos nephew of Daedalos; others said Hyperbios of Corinth, others again the Athenian Coraebus, or the Athenian people in general. It is familiar at any rate to Homer, who in a well-known passage likens a dance of maidens to the wheel which “a potter deftly turns with his hands, trying if it will run” (Il. 18.600); and the vases of the period which is usually referred to the time of Homer are certainly wheel-made. The vases, however, of the primitive tombs at Hissarlik and elsewhere, already mentioned, are handmade, and show no trace of the wheel: they are, moreover, of the rudest form, and as a rule are without a foot, pierced for suspension, and incapable of standing upright, or are constructed with three roughly-modelled legs. The clay of these vases is coarse and the walls thick, and there is little intention of practical utility in the forms adopted: the anthropomorphic tendency, possibly derived from religion, shows itself in the imitation of living forms, the vases assuming frequently the grotesque shapes of men and animals. (See Schliemann, Ilios, p. 521, and Baumeister,: Denkmäler, s. v. Troja.

In the earliest vases from Italy we have the same stage of primitive hand-made ware, which precedes all other fabrics, and is of the roughest description. Near the Alban Lakes a series of these vases was found beneath a stratum of peperino, and they are now in the British Museum: others were found at Rome beneath the foundations of the wall of Servius Tullius, under circumstances which point to their manufacture at a period long antecedent to that date. From the brownish colour which they show, this class of vases has received the name of Brown Ware, as distinguishing them from the Bucchero Nero before mentioned, the vases of which have the clay black all through, and are made on the wheel. (Birch, p. 449.) The most remarkable of the Brown Ware are the so-called “hut-urns,” which are in the form of the primitive Italian tugurium; one of these in the British Museum is filled with the ashes of the dead, which were introduced by a little door secured by a cord which passed round the vase: the cover or roof is vaulted, and apparently intended to represent the beams of the hut. The decoration of this class of ware is very rude, consisting of punctured or incised lines, spirals, raised zigzags, bosses, and projecting ornaments applied after they were made: they resemble in character the Teutonic vases found on the banks of the Rhine and certain Celtic ones that occur in France and Britain. They have no glaze upon their surface, but a polish produced by friction.

Besides these primitive vases made in potteries where the wheel was not yet known, we should mention here another class of vases which were probably at all periods made by hand. The large pithi (dolia) which were used by the ancients for the fermentation of new wine, and which in this case were usually sunk partially into the ground, were often of enormous size: the largest and most perfect of these pithi in modern times was found near the site of the ancient Dardanus in the Troad. Of this vase Mr. Calvert says (Archaeolog. Journal, 1859, p. 3): “An idea may be formed of the size from the fact that, when emptied, six persons entered it together, and it contained them all in a sitting posture.” The British Museum has two such pithi, from Kamiros and Ialysos in Rhodes, each more than 4 ft. 6 in. high, in which a space of about 18 in from the base is unornamented, showing how much of the vase was intended to be buried in the ground; and the subject occurs frequently on vase-pictures of Eurystheus hiding in, or the Centaur Pholos drawing wine from, such a half-buried pithos.

It is evident that no wheel would be large enough for the manipulation of these monsters of pottery, which had to be constructed by hand. What the process exactly was, we do not yet know. They seem to have been built up from the bottom with the help of a wooden frame or kernel, κάνναβος, ξυλήφιον: but as to what this κάνναβος was, the passage of Pollux (7.164) does not clearly state. The same word is applied to the “skeleton” employed by the clay modeller, and is also mentioned (Strattis, Κιν. 3) as the nickname of a very thin man, so that in all probability it was a skeleton of wood around which the clay was modelled. Some fragments of pithi have been found which are bound together with leaden or bronze cramps; whether these were employed in the construction, or subsequently let in, to strengthen the vase, we cannot say. The construction of pithi was evidently looked upon as a difficult feat of the potter's art, as we see from the proverb applied to those who, neglecting the rudiments of teaching, attempt at once difficult problems: they are likened to one learning the potter's art, who, before he has learnt how to make pinakes (tablets) or other small objects, tries his prentice hand upon a pithos (Zenob. Cent. 3.65), ἐν πίθῳ τὴν κεραμείαν μανθάνειν.

As to the form or method of handling of the potter's wheel, ancient literature tells us very little: we do not even know whether it was turned always by hand, or whether, as in the modern usage, it was turned by the foot. Homer, in the passage already quoted, speaks only of the hand, τροχὸν ἄρμενον ἐν παλάμῃσιν: and in all the representations of a potter's wheel which occur on Greek monuments the hand alone is employed. Blümner (Techn. ii. p. 38, [p. 1.844]n. 3) quotes a writer of the third century B.C., the son of Sirach (Ecclus. 38.29 ff.), who mentions definitely the use of the feet, συστρέφων ἐν ποσὶν αὐτοῦ τρολόν: but more commonly we find mention of the use of the hand (e. g. Plut. de gen. Sour. 20, p. 588 F). In the case of a large vase, before which the modeller would have to stand upright, the wheel was only raised a short distance from the ground, and was turned by a boy seated beside it, as we see in the Munich vase-painting representing a potter's workshop (Jahn, Verzeichniss, No. 731).

The wheel consisted of a circular disk placed horizontally upon an upright post, upon which it rotated. Specimens have been found in the neighbourhood of Arezzo (Fabroni, Storia degli ant. Vasi fitt. Aretini, p. 63) and near Nancy (De Caumont, Cours d'anc. Mon. 2.210): these are described as wheels of terracotta, pierced at the centre to receive the axis of a pivot, and furnished at the circumference with small cylinders of lead: these would serve as a purchase for the hand, while the additional weight would impart steadiness to the rotatory movement.

The accompanying illustration shows a potter at work making a vase upon the wheel. It is taken from the painting on a pinax or small clay tablet in the Berlin Museum, and is one of a large series which were found at Penteskuphia near Corinth in 1879, and date from the sixth century B.C. Many of these pinakes represent different stages of the potter's art, and from the inscriptions it is probable that all were originally dedicated by potters to Poseidon as specimens of their work, which in course of time were removed from the temple or shrine, and

2. Potter at work. (From a tablet at Berlin.)

buried in a favissa adjoining. From the above we see that the process of pottery at this early date differed but little from that of the present day. The ancient potter placed a lump of clay upon the centre of the wheel, and while he revolved the wheel (τροχὸν ἐλαύνειν) he moulded (ἕλκειν, ducere) the clay with his hand. While one hand was placed inside the lump of clay, giving it the required form, the palm of the other would be pressed against the outer surface, thus keeping the wall of the vase smooth and thin. That thinness in the walls was a special desideratum, at any rate in the best period, we see from the vases which have come down to us: this is further exemplified by the statement recorded in Pliny (Plin. Nat. 35.161), that in his day were still to be seen in a temple at Erythrae two amphorae preserved there in remembrance of a contest between a master potter and his pupil, as to which could throw the thinnest ware. Lucian even speaks of pottery so light as to be blown away by the wind, ἀνεμοφόρητα καὶ ὑμενόστρακα (Lexiph. 7). In the preceding cut, the potter is seated beside his wheel, which he turns with one hand, while with the other he applies ornament either with a brush or stick: if the ornament was engraved alone, this would have to be done while the clay was still moist; if painted, the vase would be first dried in the air.

The body of the vase once completed, the surface was smoothed, perhaps as now, with a piece of hard leather or a small strip of wood: Jahn thought that this process is represented upon a vase-painting (Berichte des G. 1854, Taf. 1, 2). It was then placed in the air to dry, and the handles, as well as in the case of larger vases the neck and foot, which had been independently constructed, were attached. Great technical skill was shown by the Greek potter in the attachment of the handles, which, in the vases which have come down to us, are rarely broken away at the point of juncture.

The completed vase was now ready for decoration. The various processes of painting and glazing vases are considered under the article PICTURA; other methods of decoration by means of stamping and moulding are mentioned below. In any case, most vases, with the exception of the rudest and most primitive, would be covered with a finely-ground slip, and in certain instances a very fine siliceous glaze, probably formed of soda and well-levigated sand. It was now ready for

iii. The Baking.--Some vases, we are told by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 31.130; 34.170), needed no baking, being used for certain technical or medicinal purposes: these were called ὠμά, cruda. Plato (Legg. 3.679 A) mentions the vases of the olden time, distinguishing between those which were baked, ἔμπυρα, and those which were unbaked, ἄπυρα.. Almost all the vases which have come down to us, however, are undoubtedly baked. A vase of great size, such as the pithos above mentioned, would possibly have a special oven for its reception: it is possible that such an oven is shown on one of the Berlin pinakes, where the neck and handles of a large pithos project from the roof of an oven, with flames coming through it: Furtwängler, however (Berlin Vase Catal., No. 802), says that the custom still obtains in Greece of the use of a pithos for the same purpose in the houses of the present day.

The process of baking (ὀπτᾶν, coquere) was one of the most critical in the potter's art. The necessary amount of heat required to be accurately adjusted, according to the character of the ware. Most of the Greek pottery is submitted to a great deal of heat; the Etruscan Bucchero Nero, on the other hand, required only a moderate amount: frequent examples have come down to us of discoloured or distorted vases, which have been subjected to too much or too little heat. Often the vases flew in the baking, φοξά: or the vases touched one another and lost their shape; or the smoke reached them and spoilt the colour. These mishaps were put down to the malicious influence of evil sprites, and various methods were resorted to counteract this influence: the pseudo-Homeric hymn to the potters (Hom. Ep. xiv.) invokes Athene's protection for the vases that are being baked, and mentions the various evil spirits that [p. 1.845]may injure them if the potters deceive the poet: “the Smasher, Σύντριψ; the Crasher, Σμάραγος; the Unquenchable (i. e. overheat), Ἄσβεστος; the Destroyer, Σαβάκτης; and the Fierce Conqueror, Ὠμόδαμος; and may he work many evils to your art!” On the Munich vase the front of the oven is furnished with the head of a Seilenos, as an amulet, ἀποτρόπαιον, intended to avert the evil eye. The quality of baking was judged by tapping (κρούειν, discutere) on the surface of the vase, according to the sound it gave out.

The ovens (κάμινοι, fornaces) for baking vases seem to have differed very little from those of the present [FORNAX]. The remains of such ovens, dating from a late Roman period, have been found in S. and W. Germany, France, England, and Italy. The most perfect perhaps was that found in 1881 at the little Roman colonia situated between the villages of Heddernheim and Praunheim near Frankfort: it has now been destroyed by the owner of the property on which it was found, but an excellent set of plans were drawn up before its destruction, by Donner, and published in the Annali dell' Inst. 1882, Tav. U 3-6, from which they are here reproduced.

3. Plans of furnace at Heddernheim.

The over as a rule consisted of three different parts: the fire-space, or furnace, which was usually prolonged at the entrance by a channel through which the fuel was passed, praefurnium; and the vase-room, or oven proper, which consisted of a domed chamber built over the furnace. The whole was built of burnt, or sometimes of unburnt, bricks, and the interior, floor, and upper surface of the roof were coated with strong cement. The furnace was usually circular, sometimes rectangular; and was usually bisected by a wall, which started from the praefurnium and was intended to support the floor of the oven. This floor was pierced with a number of holes to allow the heat to pass through: upon it the vases intended for baking were placed, or else they were hung on the walls: in the oven found at Lezoux a number of iron pegs were driven into the walls for this purpose. In some cases a series of pipes ran from the holes in the floor through the roof of the over: by this means any smoke or cold air which might otherwise penetrate from the furnace into the oven, and so injure the vases, was carried off. The roof is wanting in nearly all the remains which have come down to us; but all the painted representations point to a vaulted roof, with a hole or chimney at the top through which the flames issue. Into the side of the over two doors, or one door within another, led from the outside, capable of being hermetically sealed: the smaller of these doors enabled the potter to examine the vases from time to time and watch their progress in baking; the larger door was used for introducing the vases into the oven.

In fig. 3 we have the ground-plan of the furnace, of which a represents the mouth; b the neck, from which the flames spread throughout the building. The fire-space is divided into two parts by a wall which serves as a support for the floor of the vase-space seen in fig. 5: this floor is perforated with square holes at regular intervals, through which the heat passes to the vases. No. 1 represents the front elevation, and No. 2 the vertical section, of a complete building, made up from the actual remains of Heddernheim restored after the Berlin paintings: the portion restored is marked in dotted lines. In No. 2, d represents the door nearly on a level with the floor of the oven, through which the vases are inserted: the smaller aperture within d serves as an eyehole through which the vases in process of baking might be periodically inspected: such an arrangement seems to be indicated on some of the Berlin paintings.

4. Exterior of furnace. (Berlin tablet.)

5. Interior of furnace. (Berlin tablet.)

[p. 1.846]

For the processes of painting vases, which would naturally have required special arrangements of baking, see PICTURA

iv. Plastic decoration of Vases.--Under this head we may include all the forms of decorating vases which are not comprised in the process of painting; that is to say, the processes of modelling, moulding, or stamping. In Greek art these processes were never much in favour among the makers of vases: we meet with them in the earliest pottery, and to a considerable extent also in the decline of taste; but at the best Greek period the form of the vase is as a rule as simple as possible, and the decoration is confined to that of colour.

a. In the earliest Greek pottery, plastic forms occur, but these are usually owing principally to the tendency to imitate vases of metal; a tendency which is always making itself felt among the makers of vases in clay. Among the vases of the Mycenae period in the British Museum, is one from Kalymnos in the form of a bull's head, which is the exact parallel of a silver vase found by Schliemann at Mycenae, and which is of the same period: it is obvious that the Kalymnos potter must have had some such metal vase in his mind, for the projecting horns of the bull, which would be strong enough in the metal to resist fracture, are extremely inappropriate when executed in clay. Similarly, in the succeeding period of Dipylon ware, we have the feet and handles of vases frequently modelled in a form which is obviously imitated from the strips of beaten metal used for this purpose in the metal vases of the same period. Even among vases of the sixth century B.C. we find imitations of rivets and nails which in the metal originals would serve to fasten on the handles and feet. In Cyprus, where art was never completely subject to Hellenic influence, fantastic forms prevail throughout.

Another tendency to plastic forms was that which Greek pottery underwent in the importation of objects from Egypt and elsewhere. To the Egyptians was due the idea of the so-called Canopic vase; that is, a vase made more or less in the likeness of the being whose remains it was intended to contain: it was natural that this conception of a vase on the analogy of a living being should be reflected, as it is in the earliest vases, both in the form and often in the decoration, as when the neck of a vase is decorated with a necklace and the handles with ear-rings: the more so, as our own terms for the different portions of a. vase--lip, neck, shoulder, body, and foot--imply the same analogy. Thus, from the Egyptian alabaster vases, alabastra, in form of a female figure, we have the Greek alabastra imitating the same form; from the porcelain vases in form of a head, or of various animals, we have a whole series of aryballi imitating, or even creating, similar new shapes. These mostly date from early in the sixth century B.C., and after this date we do not find many such imitations of form except in a few instances of the so-called rhyta, and even these are in the best period of Greek art. In the period of decline (i. e. the fourth and beginning of the third centuries B.C.) among the vases of Greek manufacture from Southern Italy we find the same tendency springing up again, but here it is merged with other processes, which combine with it in destroying the simplicity of outline indispensable to the best aims of the potter's art.

b. The same principles are found in the Greek use of appliqué decoration. Among the earliest vases it is rarely found, the only instances of its occurrence being a series of cups with black glaze, found at Naucratis and Rhodes, which have an exterior band left uncoloured, on which are small objects, such as knuckle-bones, which have been cast separately in a mould: and a series of the so-called Polledrara ware, the clay of which is black throughout, and which have ornaments in the same clay applied in this method: examples of this ware have come from the Greek settlements in Egypt, and from Mytilene and Italy; both classes date from early in the sixth century B.C. This method reappears in the fourth century, when among the vases now too often crowded with painted figures the desire is felt of emphasising the principal actors in the scene: at first this is effected by the use of gilding for the principal group; then gradually these figures are separately moulded and applied to the vase; and finally we have the entire scene thus rendered in relief, or else a vase is formed by fitting a spout and handle on to a terracotta statuette which has been cast hollow. There is also one class of black aski at this period, which have the upper surface decorated with a subject in relief, which has been cast in a mould: in the British Museum there is exhibited one such relief from an ancient askos, together with the ancient mould from which it was cast. In many of the large vases of Italian fabric, this tendency is for a long time confined to the handles: thus the large kraters of these fabrics have the upper extremity of the handle, which is in the form of a volute, decorated with an appliqué Gorgon's mask, while the lower extremity issues again from the vase in the form of swans' necks.

c. The introduction of Oriental cylinders and seals into Greece no doubt suggested the adaptation of the stamped ornament to Greek pottery: an engraved cylinder, revolving on a swivel, needed only to be pressed against the soft clay as it turned upon the potter's wheel, and it would give a continuous band of pattern, formed of as many repetitions of the same design as the circumference of the vase could contain. The earliest examples of this class of ware are certain large pithi of uncoloured terracotta, of which the British Museum has three complete examples found in Rhodes, and numerous fragments, with one complete example, from Crete; they may be compared with the fragments of sarcophagi found at Assarlik in Caria: in all these instances the decoration is effected either by means of the cylinder, as above; or by a succession of stamps with figures or patterns in relief. The process was probably also in use among the Greek potters of the Polledrara ware, though at present the examples of it have been mainly found in Italy. After the sixth century B.C., it seems to have dropped entirely out of use among the Greeks: the British Museum has one single exception, a small black-glazed cup of the fourth century B.C., which has a representation of Perseus and Medusa: each of [p. 1.847]the figures in this scene has been singly stamped upon the soft clay from a separate stamp.

d. The practice of producing complete vases from moulds is only found in the later periods of Greek pottery: many of the rhyta already mentioned were probably so made, in the form of objects such as the heads of Seileni or nymphs, or the heads of animals, or even occasionally in groups, such as that of a negro devoured by a crocodile: these rhyta are usually coloured, with more or less resemblance to nature, or are covered with a black glaze. Another class of vases produced in this way are certain black aski with reeded or plain bodies and a relief on the upper surface; and a class of phiale omphalobi of the same ware, which have a frieze of figures running around the central boss in the interior: it is uncertain, however, whether these vases were made by Greek or by Roman potters; one such phiale has around the central boss an inscription in archaic characters of the Roman potter Canuleius (Annali dell' Inst. 1883, Tav. d'agg. I). On the other hand, a cup of this ware has on the interior the mould of a coin of Syracuse of the third century B.C.

In Etruria, previously to the free importation of Greek pottery, we find the potter's art following much the same line of development. We have, first of all, the primitive hand-made ware, which is modelled into all sorts of grotesque and fanciful shapes, principal among these being the so-called “hut-urn,” already alluded to: these are succeeded by the Bucchero or black ware, in which the forms are moulded frequently in imitation of metal, and the decoration follows one or all of the three processes; either it consists of reliefs pressed separately in a mould and attached, or reliefs modelled on the vase free-hand, or bands and patterns stamped on the vase. Contemporary with these is also a class of red ware, for which the stamping process alone seems to have been used.

The Roman pottery of early times seems to have been mainly similar to the Etruscan, or to have relied largely upon imported fabrics. From an early site upon the Esquiline we have evidence of a fabric which is evidently derived

6. Specimen of Samian.

from an Egyptian origin, and which has a greenish yellow glaze with floral patterns, &c. in relief. In the third century B.C. Roman potters were working in the Greek method, as we see from the vase of Canuleios mentioned above. In the second century B.C. we find the so-called Samian ware coming in, and this seems to have held its own to the exclusion of most other ware throughout Roman times. It is of a remarkably fine and smooth character, varying in colour from a deep red to a pale orange, or iron grey with a bright metallic lustre, and in most cases has plastic decoration in relief. The custom, however, of calling this ware “Samian” appears to rest on no sufficient basis: it has been attempted to show that this ware is traceable to certain “Proto-Samian” pottery found in Greece and the islands; but it is never mentioned by the earlier Greek writers, and seems to have been peculiarly characteristic of Roman pottery. One of the principal seats of its manufacture was Arezzo, the ancient Arretium, and this Aretine ware is frequently mentioned in terms of praise by Roman writers (see Birch, vol. ii. p. 339).

The vases of this ware which are decorated with reliefs are most usually made entirely in a mould; or else the relief was executed en barbotine,--that is, by laying on the surface a thin slip, which was then worked up with a tool into the required form. The mould vases, or matrices, were in one piece, as a rule of the same clay as the vase itself, but uncoloured. In the production of vases on this plan, three distinct processes were necessary: first, the making of the stamps intended for the decoration, then the fabrication of the matrix, and, lastly, the formation of the vase within the matrix. The stamps were usually of clay, but were also made in gypsum, wood, and metal: they had a short handle, terminating in a surface slightly convex (so as better to fit the concave side of the matrix), on which was modelled the ornament, either a pattern of figure, or the name of the potter. As the making of these stamps required a certain amount of artistic skill, it is probable that they were in circulation among the numerous potteries, and this accounts for the

7. Potters' stamps.

[p. 1.848]fact that vases with similar ornaments have been found in widely distant localities.

For the preparation of the matrix a clay which should possess highly absorbent qualities was necessary, so that it should absorb the moisture of the clay which was pressed into it, and facilitate its drying: for this purpose we find some of these matrices provided with a hole in the base through which the moisture might drain out. They were made on the wheel, and, while the clay was still damp, the designs were pressed in by means of the stamps: the whole was then smoothed and baked hard.

Into the matrix thus prepared, the clay was pressed, and the inner surface of the vase was then formed upon the wheel. When dry, the vase was easily removed from the matrix ; a foot, if necessary, was added, and it was now ready for baking. For finishing purposes, modelling tools were employed, of bone or bronze: several of these were found at Arezzo (see Blümner, Techn. ii. p. 110).

Most of the lamps which have come down to us are also made in this process: some of the Greek lamps of earlier times are simply open vases made either freehand or on the wheel, and covered with black glaze. The most ordinary form, however, both of late Greek times and throughout the Roman period, have the chamber for the oil covered in, with, as a rule, a decoration in relief upon the upper surface. These were invariably made in a mould by the following process:--First a solid clay mould was made in the form of a lamp, decorated on the upper surface either with a moulded or stamped decoration: around this core a clay matrix was pressed, which was then divided horizontally, so as to form an upper and lower matrix: to ensure the exact fitting of these two parts, either corresponding marks were made, or else a series of knobs were raised in the surface of one part which exactly fitted into corresponding sockets in the other part. Both parts would then have a thin coating of clay pressed in, the two parts of the matrix were joined, and the complete lamp within the matrix was finally allowed to dry, and then baked.

8. Lamp mould.

B. ARCHITECTURAL OBJECTS.--i. Bricks.--The general term in Greek for brick-making is πλινθεύειν, and for a brick, πλίνθος; as the usual form of a brick was rectangular, both these words became applied gradually to all objects of this form, without distinction of material: the corresponding term in Latin is later, but this word had not the same extended usage.

The art of brick-making, one of the simplest and oldest of the fictile arts, was never developed to any considerable extent in Greece; it was in use from very early times, and, like most arts, had its legendary inventors. To the Athenians Euryalos and Hyperbios were attributed the arts of brick--making and house--building; another account mentions Toxius, son of Caelius, as the inventor of building with mortar, the idea having been suggested from the nests of swallows. Of the Greek uses or methods of making bricks very little is known; it is certain at any rate that the Greeks used air-dried bricks and tiles (πλίνθοι ὠμαί, lateres crudi) down to Roman times, even for the walls of towns. As a rule, for all important buildings, stone and marble would be used; and in all probability the use of bricks was never extensive in Greece until it had spread thither from Rome.

In the early period of Roman history under the Republic, the usual material for all buildings was air-dried bricks. Vitruvius says that in his time at Rome it was usual to employ stone for the foundations (pilae lapideae), bricks for the walls (structurae testaceae), and cement for the party walls (parietes caementicii). In Imperial times brick was the usual material for both private and public buildings; the walls of more costly buildings would often be of a core of rubble between bricks, or of brick alone, faced with marble slabs.

All that we know of the Greek method is that the earthy clay (πῆλος) was carved out with trowels (ἀμαί) and laid in mould (λεκάναι, see Aristoph. Birds 1145): it was wetted with water and kneaded with the feet, but it is uncertain whether the bricks were modelled by hand or pressed into a mould. The Romans were careful in the selection of clay: they rejected sandy or stony clay, both on account of the weight and liability to damp; a whitish clay was preferred (terra albida, cretosa), or else a reddish clay (rubrica), or the softer kind of sandy loam (sabulo masculus). The special times for brick-making were spring or autumn: after baking it was usual to leave the bricks for some time to dry. Vitruvius recommends the use of those which are two years old and thoroughly dry; and quotes a law of Utica, ordaining that bricks for walls must be five years old. The clay was carefully purified, damped, and mixed with chopped straw; it was then either formed by the hand or pressed in a mould, and set to dry in the sun. In some parts of Spain and Asia Minor bricks are said to have been made so light that they would not sink in water.

The usual size of bricks in Greece was 5 palms square (πεντάδωρα) for public, and 4 palms square (τετράδωρα) for private buildings: in Rome the size usually adopted was the γένος Λύδιον, 1 1/2 Roman foot long by 1 ft. broad (sesquipedales). Palladius recommends bricks of 2 Roman feet long (bipedales) by 1 ft. broad and 4 in. high: in later times there seems to have been no definite rule as to size.

The form varied according to the purpose for which the brick was intended.

9. Brick forms.

The accompanying woodcut, taken from Rich, shows a set of brick [p. 1.849]forms which he collected from various Roman buildings: some are triangular, others hemispherical (tegulae mammatae): others, intended for circular buildings, such as columns or ovens, have a curved edge: those intended for a floor are either square tesserae or long pieces which when put together in a pattern give the so-called spicata testacea: and the finer mosaic floor (opus vermiculatum) is often made of fragments of different-coloured pottery.

ii. Tiles.--The usual system of roofing, both in Greece and Italy, was by means of two sorts of tiles, viz. the flat tile with raised edges (κέραμος, στεγαστήρ, tegula), and the curved ridge tiles, laid alternately with the others (καλυπτήρ, imbrex). Mention is also made of gutter tiles (colliciae, tegulae colliciares or deliciares), intended for drawing the rain-water off the roofs as it passed through the gargoyles. The making of tiles was a separate trade from that of brick-making, and tile-makers were called tegularii, teglarii, or figuli a tegulis, figuli ab imbricibus. (Orellius, 4190; Henzen, 7280.)

The habit of tiling for roofs must have commenced at a very early date, but there is no evidence as to when it was introduced. It seems quite clear from the excavations at Tiryns that the palaces and houses of the pre-Homeric and Homeric periods were not roofed with clay tiles, as in all the excavations on that site no single tile of baked clay has been discovered which can be attributed to those periods. The hut of Achilles, as described in Il. 24.450-1, was covered with rushes, and rush thatching was in use in Sardis when that town was taken by the Ionians (Hdt. 5.101); but probably for an extensive system of buildings like Tiryns and Mycenae the whole roof was covered with a thick layer of clay, perhaps resting upon a layer of rushes, as is the practice in the East at the present day. In all probability flat roofs continued in use for private houses in Greece down to a late period, for we read of certain ceremonies which took place (the κῆποι Ἀδώνιδος: see Rev. Arch. 1851, p. 97) upon the house-tops at Athens. But for the roofs of public buildings terracotta tiles must have been employed at an early period, for it was said that Byzes of Naxos first introduced tiles of marble about B.C. 620 (Paus. 5.10.2). [TEGULA]

In Rome, and probably also in Etruria, houses were originally roofed with shingles, and continued to be so down to the time of the war with Pyrrhus, when tiles began to supersede the old roofing material (Plin. Nat. 16.10); and in Pompeii the majority of the houses had terracotta tiling.

Tiles were also used in graves to cover the body in the case of inhumation and to line the grave: also for closing the recesses in the chambers within which the little sarcophagi were placed which held the ashes of the dead, and these would have inscriptions stamped or incised, recording the name and titles of the deceased.

The paste of which tiles were made is compact and dense, but generally not so fine as that of bricks. Like bricks, they appear to have been made by means of a mould, but two boards, called plaision, were probably sufficient for the purpose. A hole was driven through them when they were intended for roofing, especially for the opus pavonaceum or peacock-work, in which they were arranged like scales, being hung by one corner. The flange tiles were probably made in the same way, the flanges being subsequently turned up by the hand of the workman. They were then dried in the sun, and subsequently baked in a kiln: the Romans in early times, as has been stated, used sun-dried bricks and tiles, but these did not last more than five years. For baking bricks and tiles the same form of oven would be used as in the case of vases already described. (See Birch, Hist. of Pottery, p. 470.)

iii. Antefixes, &c.--The imbrex close to the edge of the roof terminated in an upright semielliptical surface called the antefix, on which was usually a decoration in relief, consisting generally of a palmette (καλυπτὴρ ἀνθέμωτος), or some other floral device. The main part of the imbrex was moulded by hand, and the decoration on the antefix stamped or impressed from a mould upon the soft clay. In the British Museum is a large series of archaic terracotta antefixes from Caere, representing heads or busts, and mythological figures such as Gorgoneia, Typhon, Sphinxes, within a floral border; and a series of masks for a similar purpose, but of later date, from Tarentum: all these are highly coloured. [See ANTEFIXA]

The fictile art was considerably used throughout antiquity for various other architectural purposes, such as for capitals and columns, sills and frames of windows, the crowning portions of cornices and gutter-spouts, and akroteria. The gutter-spouts under the ridge tiles were a very decorative part of terracotta decoration: the most ordinary form of these spouts was a lion's head, such as the Greeks also used frequently for the spout of a fountain, moulded in high relief, the water issuing from the open mouth: other forms were the whole forepart of a lion, cast from a mould in high relief, with the spout issuing from between the forelegs. The moulds for these antefixa were probably in extensive circulation, as the same impressions are found in widely distant localities: their use extended back to early Greek times, for the excavations at Olympia and in Sicily and Magna Graecia show that during all the archaic period the Greek artists employed painted terracotta extensively for covering the higher parts of temples. In the inscription referring to the arsenal of the Piraeus (B.C. 346-328) mention is made of κεραμίδες ἡγεμόνες λεοντοκέφαλοι: and Rayet in his Céramique, pl. 15, gives two good coloured illustrations of such architectural decoration, the one from the cornice and fillet of the treasury of Gela at Olympia, the other from those of the archaic temple (C) at Selinus.

The original intention of this fictile decoration was no doubt the preservation against weather of the early wooden structures: and during the period when public buildings were principally constructed in calcareous tufa, the practice still continued: it was only given up when these buildings came to be constructed in marble, but still continued in localities where marble was difficult to obtain, such as Sicily. At Pompeii in all periods of architecture fictile decoration is extensively employed, but undergoes a curious process of development: in early times the clay is coarse and ill-refined, while [p. 1.850]the modelling and casting are good; in later times, the material is good, but there is a corresponding want of care in the modelling: the reason being, that in later times the terracotta was seldom exposed, but only served as a basis for stucco decoration. The terracotta mould was generally covered with a thin layer of stucco and then painted (see Von Rohden, Terracotten von Pompeii, i. p. 9; and Overbeck, Pompeii, p. 469). This use of stucco covering gave rise to the employment of baked clay for many purposes which it had not served before : thus, the shafts of columns in Pompeii are frequently made of bricks coated with stucco; and some very elaborate cylinders of terracotta have been found there, richly decorated, and intended to serve as the protection of the mouths of wells, puteal, with ornaments such as Caryatid or Atlantid figures, garlands or lion masks, in relief, and other ornaments pressed in from a stamp.

In Mesopotamia, where the main principle of architectural construction was clay or mud, it was necessary to protect the walls of buildings from damp and weather: in Assyria and Persia this was effected either by means of slabs of marble, or by a facing of glazed and coloured tiles. This practice transferred itself to the early civilisations of Italy, where, especially in the tomb grottoes, the tufaceous soil was liable to percolation of damp. The habit there grew up of facing the walls of these grottoes, and possibly of the houses also, with slabs of terracotta. There is in the British Museum a series of five such slabs of terracotta which were found in 1874 in a tomb at Caere (Cervetri), to the walls of which they had been attached by means of plaster. They average about 3/4 in. thick, and are painted with designs which seem from their style to indicate an Asiatic influence, and to date from about the seventh century B.C. Just as in the exterior decoration of tiles and cornices the labour of the painter was lightened by the assistance of modelling, so no doubt, in the interior wall-decorations, modelling or casting in relief was early resorted to. In the British Museum are several slabs in coloured relief from Capua, representing a procession of chariots, which have probably been used for this purpose, and which date from the fifth century B.C.; and numerous terracotta sarcophagi with reliefs have been found in Etruscan tombs, which show how extensively this art flourished in Etruria. Slabs in low relief were called protypa; those in high relief, ectypa.

Among the Romans, terracotta decoration was extensively employed in the interior of houses: the most usual form consisted of flat slabs, antefixa, about 18 inches in length and 9 inches high; these were cast in a mould, with circular holes left for the plugs or leaden nails by which they were attached to the woodwork or masonry, and after the necessary retouching were fired in a kiln and coloured. The subjects of those which have come down to us are very varied, being principally borrowed from Greek mythological representations, executed under marked Roman influence: sometimes the relief consists of mere ornament, and the treatment is always architectural. Some late examples of such antefixa are in the Museum at Sèvres; two of them are inscribed with the names of the makers, Fecinus and Verecundus, probably freedmen or slaves (Brongniart, Mus. de Sèvres, p. 16). Birch (p. 492) gives several instances proving the use of such slabs in the decoration of Roman houses and tombs.

Another important use of terracotta was in the making of all sorts of drain pipes (tubuli fictiles): these were usually circular for all purposes connected with water, and were probably turned upon the lathe around a core: they were made to almost any size, some being as much as 8 inches in diameter; they are made narrow at one end, with a collar for insertion, and were joined together with mortar. For warming the tepidaria and the rooms of baths and other chambers, a rectangular flue tile was used, which had a hole at one side for the ejection of the air; the clay is scored while still moist with patterns of lines, in order to afford a better hold for the cement. They are as a rule of the same paste as the roof-tiles, and average about 16 inches in length.

iv. Other uses.--It would be impossible here to enumerate all the various uses to which so handy and adaptable a material was put in antiquity. Besides those already stated, we may mention brick cisterns for holding water, of which examples have been found in Sicily: in Greece public cattle-troughs seem to have been made of this material. In an inscription from Eleusis (Ἐφημ. Ἀρχ. 3rd ser., 1883, p. 1) mention is made of “four cattle troughs (τριπτῆρες) for watering beasts of burthen on the road, obtained from Tibeas the potter, κεραμοπώλης.” Imitation jewellery for the tomb was made in terracotta and gilt; masks of deities intended for religious purposes (prosopa); other masks intended to be hung on trees [OSCILLA]; and numbers of cones and disks with inscribed names and perforated for suspension have been found, but whether these were intended as weights for garments, for cattle, or for steel-yards, cannot be ascertained.

v. Stamped Inscriptions and Emblems.--The practice of stamping a name or an emblem upon a vase as a mark of the locality or workshop where either the vase or its contents were made, though it was common in Roman times, was rare in Greek pottery, and may indeed be said to have been confined almost exclusively to one class of vases. These were the unpainted amphorae, or diotae [see AMPHORA], which were in extensive commerce from the third century downwards throughout the ancient world; they were chiefly used for the export of wine, but also for that of figs, honey, salt fish, and other substances: the amphora which is represented on the coins of Athens after the time of Alexander probably alludes to the large Attic trade in oil which was exported in these vases. The place usually selected for stamping is upon the upper surface of one of the handles, and the form of stamp differs according to the locality from which the amphora had been exported. The British Museum has a collection of several hundreds of stamped amphora handles which have been found in the most remotely distant sites all over the ancient world. There seems, however, to have been three principal centres of the export of these amphorae--Rhodes, Cuidos, and Thasos, and each is marked by a slightly different clay, a different form of vase, [p. 1.851]and a different system of stamping. Though the series extends over a period of at least three centuries, the character of each class is more or less stereotyped, both as regards form, dimensions, and mode of fabrication. The stamps of Rhodes are of two kinds: a circular medallion, which has an emblem like a coin type, such as a rose or a head of Helios, usually surrounded with a legend which gives the name of the eponymous magistrate of the year, a phrourarchos or a priest of the Sun, and a month ; or an oblong label, which gives either an emblem with a magistrate's name, or a magistrate's name and that of a month. Those of Cnidos are usually diamond-shaped or oblong, and have an emblem with the name of an eponymous magistrate, who seems to have been a demiourgos, a phrourarchos or an astynomos, and occasionally a second name, perhaps that of the exporter, followed by letters of the word ΚΝΙΔΙΩΝ. The stamps which have been preserved of Thasos are much rarer: they have usually the inscription ΘΑΣΙΩΝ, followed by a name, and an emblem such as a cornucopia or a dolphin. Besides these three classes, specimens are preserved with inscriptions which refer their origin to such sites as Sinope, Bosporos, and Olbia; and there are several kinds which bear monograms, abbreviations, single letters, or merely emblems.

10. Stamped Amphora handles. (British Museum.)

Judging from the character of the writing, it would appear that stamps of two materials were used: in some cases the inscriptions are clearly cut and sharply defined, and would have been impressed from metal stamps, such as have been found in great numbers (though none as yet which can be connected with this special class of diotae): in other cases the lettering is faint and almost illegible, and was probably the result of using a worn wooden stamp. One interesting fact in the study of these inscriptions is that they show the ancients to have come very near the invention of printing: many of these amphora handles have inscriptions made by combinations of single-letter stamps; and in some cases a letter in a word has been wrongly inserted and is corrected with another letter stamped over it.

The intention of these stamps on amphora handles is still a matter of uncertainty, notwithstanding a large amount of study which has been devoted to its elucidation. It is evident that the majority of these inscriptions indicate primarily a date; and many suppose that the date on the handle indicates the time when the wine or other contents were inserted. This is obviously improbable: the stamp is impressed while the clay is wet, and not necessarily at the time of bottling: moreover, the buyers of Rhodian wine all over the world would have had to know by heart the entire list of Rhodian priests of the Sun: and lastly, Cnidos, whose amphora handles are found everywhere throughout the Mediterranean, was not famous for wine, and certainly never in the way of exporting produce. Besides, we know that in instances where vases were employed for preserving, it was usual to seal the mouth with stucco or mud, and on this material to stamp the contents, and possibly the date. The Greeks in this matter probably followed the Egyptian practice. Mr. Petrie found at Daphnae a series of “jar stoppings” of mud and straw, each of which was stamped with the king's name in whose reign the jar which they covered was laid down. What then is the intention of these amphora-stamps? It seems probable that they were the official stamp of the magistrate whose duty it was, as we know from other sources, to certify to the legal capacity. Thus M. Dumont (Inscr. Cér. p. 42) quotes the analogy of a marble σήκωμα with a similar inscription: the σήκωμα was a table of official weights placed in the agora; and the inscription certifies these weights as examined and found correct by the public official. We must recollect in this connexion that the amphora was a distinct measure of capacity, and is frequently so mentioned in Greek inscriptions. We may therefore conclude that all amphorae intended for this purpose were examined and stamped officially before they underwent the final baking. Of course the amphora of Thasos, Rhodes, and Cnidos need not have been all of the same size: our “Winchester pint” is an analogous case; but this accounts for the small variation in shape and size among all the amphorae from any one of these fabrics during the centuries in which they were being produced.

There is another class of terracotta vessels of which the handles decorated and stamped have been extensively found, and of which the annexed cut gives an illustration. These handles are raised from the rim of large circular vessels, about 2 ft. in diameter, and

11. Brasier handle. (British Museum.)

[p. 1.852]have a portion projecting considerably towards the interior of the vessel. It has been shown that they belong to circular brasiers or firepans, and most of them bear the mark of having been used for this purpose. Three such handles stood around the rim, and the interior projections may have served to support the plates or other utensils which were placed over the burning charcoal. The most usual type is that here given; it consists of a bearded head, usually Bacchic in character, of which the long beard forms the interior projection to the vase: others have floral devices, thunderbolts, &c.: a few are inscribed, the inscription forming part of the mould from which the decoration is cast. With two exceptions, all the inscribed specimens bear the name ΕΚΑΤΑΙΟΨ: one in the British Museum has the name ΝΙΚΟΛΑΟΨ: and one from Naucratis has ΦΙΛΑΤΠΟΨ. These brasier handles have been found extensively in Athens, Italy, Egypt, and along the coast of Asia Minor; but it looks as if the casts for the decorations at any rate had been all issued from one fabric. Benndorf (Reisen durch Lykien, vol. i. p. 17) mentions a complete circular altar of terracotta in the Musée Fol at Geneva (Catal. No. 743) which has handles with similar decorations. (See Dumont, Inscr. Cér. p. 410.) From a quantity of these handles which he found at Naucratis, Mr. Petrie concludes that the earliest type had merely a knob in the interior, low down: this was gradually enlarged upwards until the form gradually suggested a bull's head; and as this projected inwards and upwards, more and more it developed into the bearded head, which type became fixed. (Petrie, Naukratis, i. p. 42.)

The better class of Roman ware, particularly the Samian and Arretine, is frequently stamped with the maker's name. As a rule the names are those of freedmen or slaves, and they are often ill-spelt and confused. They seem to have been pressed in from a stamp which is either square, round, or oval. The name of the potter is sometimes accompanied by the letters O, or OF, for officina, manufactory; or by M for manu, or F for fecit, the name of course being in the genitive or nominative, according as the case required.

Like the amphorae, so also the Greek lamps seem to have circulated largely in the ancient world, some having been found by Layard at Nimrud. In Roman lamps, and in Greek lamps of the Roman period, it is usual to find inscriptions stamped on the base: these consist either of the name of the potter in the genitive case, or of the names of emperors. A list of such inscriptions is given in Birch, Hist. of Pottery, appendix ii., but the intention of them seems to be by no means clear. The inscriptions stamped beneath Roman lamps are extremely numerous, and seem to point to various intentions, though this point is somewhat obscure. The most usual is the formula which gives the name or the mark, or both, of the potter; the potter's name is usually in the genitive, the word officina or manu being understood or expressed: one such lamp bears the inscription “from the manufactory of Publius and Titus at the Porta Trigemina.” Another class refers to the purpose for which the lamp was made, such as a dedication to a deity, or a sepulchral inscription, or bears a reference to the Secular games, during the celebration of which the city of Rome was illumined for three successive nights: it is possible that this last class of lamps may have been specially made for the Secular illuminations: the form of inscription in this last case is SAECVL or SAECVLARIA.

The inscriptions stamped on Greek tiles are as yet very little understood, probably on account of the rarity of such inscribed tiles which have come down to us. Some of these inscriptions, at any rate, seem to refer to a date, in a similar formula to that of the amphora handles, i. e. ἐπὶ followed by the name of a magistrate: thus, Birch quotes one from Olbia inscribed: ΕΠΑΠΙΣΤΩΝος

“(This tile was made) in the aedileship of Ariston.” The name following may be the name of the month or of the potter. At Corcyra and elsewhere the stamp is merely ἐπὶ τοῦ δεῖνος, the magistracy, whether Prytanis or otherwise, being implied. One in the British Museum has simply ΕΨΦΑΜΟΨ on the edge, with nothing to show whether this refers to maker or magistrate. Some Athenian tiles have the label ΑΘΕ: and some found at Calymna have ΔΙΟ in intaglio or circular labels with monograms in relief on the body of the tile. Some from Sicily have merely a letter, such as Φ, or an emblem, such as the triskelos. All these inscriptions are pressed in from a complete stamp, probably in metal. Nco Greek inscribed imbrices have as yet been found.

Many of the Roman tiles are inscribed with the names of the consuls of the year in which they were made; this class ranges in date over a period which embraces the second and part of the third centuries A.D.: they occur on the tiles of Italy alone, and it is supposed that a law passed about the time of Trajan obliged the brick and tile makers to affix their distinctive mark upon their wares, possibly as a guarantee of the quality of the clay. These stamps are generally circular, with an emblem in the

12. Tile stamp. (Birch.)

[p. 1.853]centre around which the inscription is arranged. The illustration on the preceding page is taken from Birch, fig. 185.

In the centre is a figure of Victory, the potters' emblem: around it, commencing on the outer band, is inscribed OPVS DOL(iare) DE FIGVL(inis) PVBLINIANIS E(X) PR(A)EDIS AEMILIAE [S]SEVERAE: “Potwork from the Publinian potteries, from the estate of Aemilia Severa.” According to Birch, “The most complete stamps have the date of the emperor or of the consulship, the name of the estate which supplied the clay, of the pottery which baked it, and of the potter who prepared it; sometimes even of the slave who moulded the tile, and the very dimensions of the tile itself.” From the praedia or estates which produced the clay, the Roman landed proprietors, usually people of high rank, must have derived a considerable income: a large number of these proprietors are names of females: it is supposed that the extensive proscriptions resulted in a deficiency of male heirs, and the large estates in this way devolved upon females. These praedia were doubtless placed under the superintendence of freedmen or slaves. The especial manufactory would be distinguished by a name such as the gentile name Publinian given above, or after an emperor, such as Domitian; and instances occur where a second manufactory of the same proprietor is mentioned. The bricks of Praeneste generally show different stamps from those which are found in Rome and the other cities of Latium. Thus on a brick recently found there is the inscription M ˙ LATER ˙ Q ˙ evidently the name of M. Juventius Laterensis, Quaestor, who is known to have given the games at Praeneste, and who was the personal and political friend of Cicero (Römische Mittheil. 1887, p. 292).

An important section of these inscriptions are those on the so-called Legionary tiles, i. e. those which bear the name of a certain legion, and which are found wherever Roman armies carried their standards in the ancient world. They were probably made by the soldiers themselves, and consequently the name of the maker is seldom added. The stamp is apparently of metal, and usually in the form of a foot or oblong, giving the number and title of the legion. By means of these tiles, it has been possible to trace a great deal of the distribution of the Roman military forces, and the successive changes of their quarters.

The small terracotta cones and pyramids which have been mentioned above are frequently inscribed or stamped with emblems, but these inscriptions give little help in deciding what is the intention of either cone or inscription: sometimes these inscriptions consist of the names of deities; and if the cones were intended to be hung on the necks of cattle, these names might be referred to the deities to whose temple the cattle belonged. Dumont (Inscr. Cér. p. 51) supposed that some which are found in tombs may have been placed there in imitation of offerings of food; being led to this conclusion by the inscription ΓΛΨΚΨ (=γλύκυσμα̣) and ΜΕΛΙ, which occur on two specimens. A similar case is that of the disks of terracotta pierced for suspension: the British Museum has a series of these from Tarentum, on which the word ΕΗΜΙΟΒΕΛΙΟΝ, or part of it, is stamped: whether this disk represents a half obol weight of some commodity, as has been suggested, cannot now be ascertained. (See Hell. Journal, 4.156; 7.41.)

At Naucratis in Egypt, and also elsewhere, a series of circular stamps have been found, made of terracotta, about 3 in. in diameter, with a handle at back: the under-surface has a device in intaglio, usually representing some subject related to grapes or grape gathering. Mr. Petrie, who found a number of these (Naukratis, i. p. 45, pl. xxix.), calls them “cake stamps :” it seems probable, however, that they were intended for stamping the stucco or mud cap with which the mouth of an amphora containing wine or other preserves was sealed.

C. STATUARY AND TERRACOTTAS.--This part of the subject is naturally so much connected with the art of statuary proper, that it will be best to refer the reader for all general purposes to STATUARY and TERRACOTTA: under this head we shall only refer to the actual methods of working statues and statuettes in clay.

When first the spirit of imitation arises in man in a primitive or savage state, the material most ready and most easily applied is clay: among people of anthropomorphic ideas, it is natural that clay should be very early employed for the imitation of men and animals. The legend of Prometheus, and the use of the word πλάσσω, first for modelling in clay and afterwards for statuary in metal and stone, both point to the parentage of these in the fictile art proper.

In Greece, statuary in terracotta seems never to have attained respectable rank as an independent art: it lived as the necessary adjunct of the sculptor, who especially, if he worked in bronze, had to mould his design in clay; and sometimes even of the painter, for we are told that Zeuxis used to model in terracotta the subjects which he afterwards painted: otherwise, as an independent art, it was relegated to such humble handicraftsmen as the statuette makers (κοροπλάθοι, κοροπλάσται), who made the little figurines (ζῶα) of which so many examples have come down to us from Greek tombs, especially from Tanagra. In early times, however, large terracotta statues seem to have been occasionally set up. Pausanias (1.2, 5; and 1.3, 1) mentions two such πήλινοι θεοί, which he saw at Athens, and which dated from very early times; also the unbaked statues of the potter Chalkosthenes, after whose factory the Ceramicus at Athens was named, are mentioned by Pliny (35.155). These are but isolated examples of an art which in Greece probably went no farther.

In Italy, on the other hand, terracotta statuary attained much greater importance. The conditions which were mentioned above as bringing this material into use for architecture, held good doubtless for statuary: the limited facilities for obtaining marble caused the early artists of Italy to turn their energies to work in terracotta, which attained there a development which, judging from literary accounts and from actual monuments, must have been considerable. Previously to the period when Italy was flooded with works of Greek art, the Etruscans were as famous for terracotta as for [p. 1.854]bronze statuary. We read of the earthen group of a quadriga which stood on the Capitoline temple, and which had come from Veii; of the statue of Jupiter on the Capitol, by a Volscian artist, Turrianus of Fregellae; and the fictiles dei of these early times are frequently alluded to in the later Roman writers. Specimens of this art have come down to us in the portrait heads of clay which surmount the cinerary vases of early Etruscan art; and also in the nearly life-sized groups of figures which recline on the lids of the sarcophagi from Chiusi and Perugia, and of which one excellent example is in the British Museum. The difficulty of baking so large a group must have been considerable, and the amount of success which these primitive artists have achieved speaks highly for the skill which they had attained. For religious purposes, the art seems to have given place entirely to work in bronze and marble, but it remained still in use in private life, as we see from the terracotta sarcophagi which continued to be modelled down to late times: and Pliny (35.156) mentions a certain Arcesilaus, a friend of Lucullus, who was even in that time a noted modeller in terracotta.

The number of Roman terracottas which have come down to us is very large; but the Roman artists seem to have followed mainly in the lines of the Greeks: their figurines are for the most part direct descendants of the Greek statuettes and in some cases even from the same moulds. They are called sigilla, and the makers of them sigillarii or figuli sigillares. For decorative purposes, they seem to have reverted to the practice of modelling larger statues in terracotta: the British Museum has two such statues from Pompeii, which are of imperial times: but probably these were usually covered with stucco and painted.

For the two great classes of statuary in terracotta, two distinct processes would be necessary: that is to say, the larger statues and groups would be modelled by hand, while the smaller statuettes were for the most part cast from a mould.

The accompanying woodcut represents Athene

13. Athene modelling.

modelling in clay the Trojan horse. Although the horse of the legend was made of wood, and the instruments which hung in the picture are tools for wood-carving, there can be no doubt that the goddess is here represented working in clay, of which a large lump lies at her feet, and a piece is being laid on in her hand: probably the artist wished to represent the preliminary model in clay (πρόπλασμα, argilla), which was as necessary a preliminary to sculpture in wood as it was for sculpture in bronze. The process seems to have been much the same as it is at the present day: either the artist modelled his figure entirely freehand, adding piece upon piece of the wet clay, or he had a skeleton or stand of wood (κάναβος, stipes, crux), more or less complicated according to the nature of his work, and around this he modelled his clay. The modelling was done with modelling tools. and the finger and nail: the rougher work and the preliminary building up, with the hand (pollice ducere), the finer work and finishing with the tools: these tools were made of wood, bone, ivory, bronze, &c., and the most usual form is like a stylus, with one end pointed and the other flat. The final touches would be given with the finger-nail, and this, according to the sculptor Polykleitos, was the most crucial part of the operation: from it the expressions were borrowed of ἐξονυχίζειν, ad unguem facere, of a work very highly finished.

These larger statues would as a rule be burnt in an oven: and therein would lie the great difficulty: as the moisture evaporated, the clay would naturally shrink, and if every part did not shrink to the same extent, or evenly throughout, the figure would lose its proportions and possibly crack. We have no evidence as to how the ancients avoided these difficulties: in any case, they probably had special contrivances in the oven for regulating the heat, and assuring an even and gradual drying of every part alike. Otherwise, the ovens for these, and likewise for the smaller statuettes, must have been constructed on the same principle as those described above, for the baking of vases.

The idea of casting from a mould was, as described above, applied to various branches of the fictile art: it seems that the ancients made terracotta casts even from statues in marble and bronze, as we do in plaster. Lystratus, brother of the celebrated sculptor Lysippos, is said to have been the first who adopted this process. Some few of the small statuettes are moulded solid, especially the rougher kinds, such as dolls, neurospasta, &c.: but by far the greater number are cast from moulds. For this purpose the finest clay was used, differing of course according to locality: the usual kind is softer and more porous than that of vases, and varies from a deep red to a pale straw colour. The process is as follows: first a model figure, protypos, is made with modelling tools, and from this a mould is taken (usually in one, sometimes in two pieces), which is then baked. The figures, ektypa, are made by pressing a thin crust of clay into this mould, and bringing a thin crust across the top: the figure would thus be hollow inside, and open at the base; in the back, which as a rule is left unworked, a hole is cut, in order to allow of the clay contracting evenly without cracks or fissures. When dry, the figure was taken out of the mould and the final touches added; fingers, huts, attributes, where [p. 1.855]necessary, being separately moulded and attached. It was then ready for the oven, after which the colours were added. It would seem that nearly all ancient works of art in terracotta underwent more or less polychrome decoration, for which see the article PICTURA


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