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CAPIS an earthen vessel used in sacrifices. Other forms are capedo (Cic. Parad. 1.2, 11), capeduncula (id. N. D. 3.17, 43), and capula (Varr. L. L. 5.121, “capis et minores capulae a capiendo, quod ansatae ut prehendi possint, id est capi” ). We thus see that it was fitted with a handle, but its shape is variously described. According to Varro (ap. Non. p. 547, 15), it was a small pitcher (urceolus); according to Festus (P. Diac. p. 48 M.), a cup (poculum). It is joined with the lituus among the sacred implements of the augurs (Liv. 10.7), and the two are often represented on coins and medals struck in honour of persons belonging to the more distinguished priesthoods. One of these coins is figured under AUGUR another under URCEUS Another shape occurs on coins given by Daremberg and Saglio; but in these the vessel is more probably the SIMPULUM which was also used in sacrifices, and which is figured under SECESPITA and SIMPULUM The presence of the lituus makes the pitcher shape the most probable. The conservatism of Roman religion required the retention of the primitive plainness of material as well as of the antique shape; in the time of Cicero (ll. cc.) costly vessels were only beginning to be used in sacrifices. Pliny dates a great increase in the luxury of capides et pocula from Pompey's third triumph, B.C. 61: and after this time the capis was no longer reserved for sacred purposes, but passed into ordinary use. (Plin. Nat. 37. § § 18, 20; cf. Petron. 52; Marquardt, Privatl. 684.)


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