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Skyphos (pl. Skyphoi) (Σκύφος): Corinthian, Athenian, Cup Skyphos

In classifying the pottery of Ancient Greece, a skyphos (plural skyphoi) is a two-handled deep wine-cup on a low flanged base or none. The handles may be horizontal ear-shaped thumbholds that project from the rim (in both Corinthian and Athenian shapes), or they may be loop handles at the rim or that stand away from the lower part of the body. Skyphoi of the type called glaux (owl) have one horizontal and one vertical thumbhold handle.

Skyphos LHIII Louvre AM1026

Corinthian Skyphos

Early skyphoi were made during the Geometric period. Corinth set the conventions that Athens followed. Over a long period the shape remained the same while the style of decoration changed.

Attic skyphos in black figure depicting hoplite soldier looking back as he walks. Circa 490-480 BC; excavated at Contrada Pezzino cemetery, Agrigento, Sicily (Source).

Skyphos protoattic BM GR 1865-7-20-11

Skyphos protoattic BM GR 1910-6-16-2

Skyphoi were also made of precious metals. A Roman skyphos of cameo glass is at the Getty Museum.

Comparable forms of a handled drinking cup on a base:

  • Kotyle, a more generic term for any cup.
  • Kantharos
  • Komast

Jellyfish are included in the class Scyphozoa (from Greek skyphos and zoon "animal".



Perseus Encyclopedia: skyphos

Ancient Greek Pottery

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