a wooden cask, butt or barrel, used like the largest
earthen vessel, the dolium,
to receive the
fresh must from the wine-press (torcular
to contain it during the process of fermentation. The cupa was always of
wood; the dolium,
like the amphora,
always of earthenware. Hence of the derivatives, Fr.
follow the original meaning; while in It. coppa,
it is modified. The inferior wines were drawn for drinking
from the cupa, without being bottled in amphorae;
whence vinum de cupa
(Cic. in Pis. 27
§ 67; Varr. ap. Non. 2.113; Dig. 18
) is equivalent to our
expression “from the wood.” [A caution may be necessary against
the rendering of the passage in Cicero by some editors, as if cupa
were for copa,
“a hostess;” though Charisius (p. 47 P. = 63, 11 K.) has
quamvis Vergilius librum suum
] Cicero says also de dolio haurire
for drinking new wine
83.288; cf. Guhl and Koner, ed. 5, p. 594). The phrase
in Horace (Sat.
2.2, 123) may be dismissed with
the remark that all good editions give with the MSS. culpa potare magistra:
Bentley's long note is, as often with
him, ingenious but not convincing.
The cupae, like our own casks, were made with staves (tabulae,
Pallad. 1.38.1) and hoops (circuit,
Plin. Nat. 14.132
). The close
resemblance is shown in the annexed illustration.
Cupae. (From Trajan's Column.)
The hoops might be of rushes or osiers, perhaps also of iron: Varro objects
to rush hoops on cupae vinariae,
as not strong
enough to stand the fermentation (op.
). For the staves, the pitch-pine was preferred
(Plin. Nat. 16.42
); it is not stated
that wooden casks received a coating of pitch, as the dolia
did (H. N.
14.134; Guhl and Koner, l.c.
). They were used for a variety of purposes, as in modern times:
for preserving and transporting fruits and corn (Dig.
forming rafts and pontoons (Lucan 4.420
22; cf. Vopisc. Aurelian.
48); containing combustibles in war (Caes. Gal.
2.11); and even for a sarcophagus
II. Part of an olive-press (Cat. Agr. 21
) ; in
this sense probably derived from κώπη,