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SCYPHUS (σκύφος), a drinking cup with two straight handles on the rim, much deeper than the κύλιξ or calix and of ruder shape, as may be seen from the woodcut below. It was said to be the cup of Heracles, both as more rustic in form and as holding more, while the CANTHARUS is given to the more refined Dionysus (Macr. 5.21; Athen. 11.500 a; Serv. ad Aen. 8.288; cf. Plut. Alex. 75). This tradition agrees with the fact that it is consistently ascribed by Greek writers to peasant life and the use of herdsmen and shepherds ( Athen. 11.498 f, g; Od. 14.112; Eur. Cycl. 390; Theocr. 1.143), and represented as originally of wood, faginus (Tib. 1.10, 8); δουράτεον (Athen. l.c.), “ingens ligneum poculum” (Serv. l.c.). The material was changed to earthenware (Athen. p. 500 a), and then to silver (Varr. ap. Gel. 3.14; Cic. Ver. 4.14, 32), or even gold (ib. 4.24, 54), and in Latin we find it a drinking cup at the tables of the rich, having lost its rustic character (Hor. Od. Ep. 1.27, &c.), but no doubt retaining its shape as in the

Ordinary Scyphus. (Dennis.)

annexed cut. The example given by Marquardt (Privatleben, p. 652) is nearly the same, but the sides are straighter.

Later form of Scyphus. (Dennis.)

Dennis gives as a later and more elaborate form a scyphus with incurved handles (Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria, i. cix.).


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Euripides, Cyclops, 390
    • Homer, Odyssey, 14.112
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.4.32
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 3.14
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 75
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