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CY´ATHUS (κύαφος), derived like κύλιξ from the root κυ-, which means “hollow” (Curt. Gr. Et. No. 79), and it is found applied to the hollow of the hand (see Liddell and Scott, s. v.). It was a small cup, used for transferring liquids from a larger to a smaller vessel. It had a high handle, to prevent the hand touching the liquid when the cup was dipped in the larger vessel. (See the accompanying specimen.) We hear of them as made

Cyathus. (Dennis, Etruria, ii. p. 471.)

of silver (Ath. 424b) and brass (Poll. 10.122). Another form of the word seems to be κυαφίς, which Ath. 480b calls κοτυλῶδες ἀγγεῖον.

That the κύαφος was also used as a vessel for drinking from seems to be the opinion of competent archaeologists, e. g. Stephani and Jahn. (See Becker--Göll, Charikles, 3.91; Gallus, 3.403.) For the difficulties connected with κυαφίζεσφαι and drinking according to cyathi, the reader is referred to SYMPOSIUM

Cyathus. (Dennis, Etruria, i. p. cxx.)

It is maintained by some (e. g. by Ussing) that [p. 1.590]κύαφος should be applied to the ladle with a long perpendicular handle, as in the cut below, called simpulum or trulla in Latin.

The term is also applied to an exact measure of capacity. It varies with the κοτύλη, of which it is always one-sixth, while it is one-twelfth of the sextarius. According to most of the tables, it is .0456 of a litre (=2/25 of a pint); but in the table headed περὶ μέτρων καὶ σταφμῶν ἱππιατρικῶν it is .0547 of a litre. The Greek symbol is Κυ; the Latin ΤΙ, Κυ, Κγ. (See Hultsch, Metrologici Scriptores, 1.237, and Index; also Griech. u. Röm. Metrologie, 104 sqq., 637-9, and Table x.)

The Greek word is further applied to a cupping-glass for bruises about the eyes (Ar. Lys. 444); and brass cups were originally used for this purpose. (See the Schol. on Ar.

Cyathus. (
Museo Borbonico,
vol. iv., pl. 12.)

Pax, 572.) But the Latin cyathus is not so used, the Latin term being cucurbita, from its gourd-like shape (cf. σικύα).


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