), a vessel for
cooling wine or water. Wine was also cooled more simply by putting it in
wells (Athen. 3.124
d; Plut. Quaest.
6, 4), or mixing it with snow (Athen.
c), or, less commonly, with ice (Sen. Ep.
78). These special wine-coolers were introduced to keep the snow separate
from the wine. The vessel bore various names, in Greek usually ψυκτὴρ
but also βαύκαλις
11.244) and κάλαθος
(Hesych.); in Latin calathus
(Verg. Ecl. 5
; Mart. 14.107
In Plat. Symp.
A, the ψυκτήρ,
which Alcibiades substituted
for a drinking-cup, contained two quarts, but this was a small size; on the
other hand the enormous ψυκτήρ,
in Ath. 5.199
as carried in a procession and
containing from 18 to 54 gallons were clearly not for ordinary use. The
material was metal (silver or bronze, Athen. l.c.
and iv. p. 142 d) as well as earthenware, and therefore the cooling cannot
have depended on evaporation through a porous substance. As regards the
shape, an example is given by Baumeister (Denkm.
but it is not likely that they were all of one type. Pollux (6.99) says that
it was a δῖνος,
which implies that it [p. 2.520]
was rounded at the bottom (Schol. Aristoph. Cl. 1474
618; cf. Athen. 4.142
, where it is on a tripod),
and he adds that it was distinguished from the ACRATOPHORUS by having no
pedestal, but standing on little knobs (ἀστραγαλίσκοι
), with which Ussing compares a vessel figured
in Mus. Borbon.
3.14. It is not improbable that the rounded
shape was found convenient for the inner vessel in the double ψυκτήρ.
The name calathus
also may be descriptive of one of the shapes which it
took (perhaps most commonly), like the ordinary pailshape, larger at the top
and diminishing towards the base. [CALATHUS
The name Psycter might probably be given to any vessel in which wine was
cooled, even when the process was merely putting in snow, but the
contrivance specially so called consisted of a smaller vessel placed within
a larger one. Sometimes the wine (or water) to be iced was placed in the
smaller and plunged into the larger vessel which contained snow, sometimes
the snow was placed in the smaller vessel and let down into the larger vase
of wine. When the wine was sufficiently iced, the smaller vessel was no
doubt removed, and the wine ladled out with a cyathus
): we have no reason to suppose that a tap was used, as seems to
have been sometimes the case in the AUTHEPSA
for hot drinks. A contradiction has been imagined
between Suidas, who derives the name ἀπὸ τοῦ
ψύχεσθαι ἐν αὐτῷ θᾶττον τὴν κρᾶσιν,
and Pollux, who
says, ἐν ᾧ ἦν ὁ ἄκρατος
: but there
is no difficulty in assuming that the wine was sometimes mixed before it was
cooled, and sometimes afterwards.
Iced water, the gelida
of Juv. 5.63
Tac. Ann. 13.16
), which, like the calida,
was handed round to mix with the wine, or
was used as a drink by itself (Athen. 3.121
122 f), was prepared in a ψυκτὴρ
described (in Mart. 14.116
, lagona nivaria
), and a special term decocta
belongs to it, because it was boiled first in order
that it might more readily be iced afterwards (Plin. Nat. 19.55
; Juv. 5.50
Mayor ad loc.
). Pliny (31.40
) says that this decocta
an invention of Nero's (cf. Suet. Nero 48
and that the water, which had sometime previously been boiled, was placed in
a glass vessel and so plunged into a larger vessel of snow, that it might
escape any impurities (vitia
) of the snow. The
was borrowed by some Greek
writers (Galen, x. p. 467; cf. Athen. 3.121
The snow for this purpose, or for use in the colus
was kept through the summer in pits
covered over with chaff and woollen cloths (Plut. Symp.
Augustin. de Civ. Dei,
21.4): compare the narrative of Chares
(ap. Athen. 3.124
c), who tells us that
Alexander preserved snow in India by putting it in trenches and covering it
with oak boughs. The method of Antiochus stated below (p. 124 e), when
were placed on straw
on the top of the house at night, seems to have been the method of freezing
by evaporation which is common in Persia at the present time. (See also
Ussing in Annal. d. Inst.
1849; Beckmann, Hist. of