amphora


amphora
amphoral, adj.
/am"feuhr euh/, n., pl. amphorae /-feuh ree'/, amphoras. Gk. and Rom. Antiq.
a large two-handled storage jar having an oval body, usually tapering to a point at the base, with a pair of handles extending from immediately below the lip to the shoulder: used chiefly for oil, wine, etc., and, set on a foot, as a commemorative vase awarded the victors in contests such as the Panathenaic games. Cf. pelike, stamnos.
[1300-50; ME < L < Gk amphoreús, equiv. to am(phi)- AMPHI- + phoreús bearer (i.e., handle), akin to phérein to bear]

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      ancient Roman unit of capacity for grain and liquid products equal to 48 sextarii and equivalent to about 27.84 litres (7.36 U.S. gallons). The term amphora was borrowed from the Greeks, who used it to designate a measure equal to about 34 litres (9 U.S. gallons).

  ancient vessel form used as a storage jar and one of the principal vessel shapes in Greek pottery, a two-handled pot with a neck narrower than the body. There are two types of amphora: the neck amphora, in which the neck meets the body at a sharp angle; and the one-piece amphora, in which the neck and body form a continuous curve. The first is common from the Geometric period (c. 900 BC) to the decline of Greek pottery; the second appeared in the 7th century BC. The height of amphorae varies from large Geometric vases of 5 feet (1.5 metres) to examples of 12 inches (30 centimetres) or even smaller (the smallest are called amphoriskoi). The average normal height is about 18 inches (45 centimetres). Amphorae, which survive in great numbers, were used as storage and transport vessels for olives, cereal, oil, and wine (the wine amphora was a standard Attic measure of about 41 quarts [39 litres]) and, in outsize form, for funerals and as grave markers. Wide-mouthed, painted amphorae were used as decanters and were given as prizes.

      The neck amphora, prefigured in Mycenean (14th-century-BC) pottery and remodelled as a main shape in the Protogeometric style (1000–c. 900 BC), has about 12 distinct shape variations, determined as much by utilitarian as by aesthetic considerations. Noteworthy are the Nolan type (from Nola, Italy), some of which had triple handles popular in red-figure pottery; the Panathenaic (Panathenaea) amphora, painted in black-figure and presented as a prize (filled with olive oil and having the inscription “I am one of the prizes from Athens”) at the Panathenaic Festivals from the 6th to the 2nd century BC (they often depict contests and victors); and the loutrophoros, slender-bodied, with a tall neck and flaring mouth, used from the 6th century for ritual purposes at weddings and funerals. The one-piece amphora maintained a more consistent shape, with cylindrical handles, flaring lip, echinus foot, and amply curved belly. Amphorae, such as wine containers, continued to be made in profusion during the Roman Empire. Because amphorae were used to transport goods, they are widely found throughout the ancient eastern Mediterranean world.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Amphŏra [2] — Amphŏra (lat., griech. Amphoreus), bei den Griechen und Römern ein großes, zweihenkeliges Tongefäß mit mäßiger Mündung (s. Abbildung und Tafel »Vasen«), das zur Aufbewahrung von Flüssigkeiten, besonders von Wein und Öl, sowie (schon in der… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amphora — Amphora, großer, meist thönerner Krug mit spitzzulaufendem unteren Ende, um in der Erde stecken zu können, oben mit 2 Henkeln und engem Halse, zur Aufbewahrung von Wein, Oel u.s.w. bestimmt, der Kork oben mit Pech oder Gyps versiegelt. Als… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • amphora — (n.) early 14c., two handled vessel for holding wine, oil, etc., from L. amphora from Gk. amphoreus an amphora, jar, urn, contraction of amphiphoreus, lit. two handled, from amphi on both sides (see AMPHI (Cf. amphi )) + phoreus bearer, related… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Amphora — Am pho*ra, n.; pl. {Amophor[ae]}. [L., fr. Gr. ?, ?, a jar with two handles; ? + ? bearer, fe rein to bear. Cf. {Ampul}.] Among the ancients, a two handled vessel, tapering at the bottom, used for holding wine, oil, etc. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Amphŏra — (gr.), 1) Gefäß mit 2 Henkeln; 2) enghalsiges Gefäß aus Thon für flüssige Dinge, bes. für Wein, u. für trockne; 3) römisches Mast für flüssige u. trockne Dinge von 1 römischen Kubikfuß, faßte 80 römische Pfund Wasser, 60 Pfund Getreide u. war,)… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Amphŏra [1] — Amphŏra (griech., Wasserkrug), das Zeichen des Wassermanns im Tierkreis (♒) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Amphora — Amphŏra, bei den alten Griechen und Römern tönernes, bauchiges Gefäß mit engem Hals und zwei Henkeln, bes. zur Aufbewahrung des Weins, auch zu Aschenkrügen benutzt [Abb.]; als griech. Flüssigkeitsmaß = 39,39 l, als römisches = 26,26 l …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • amphora — [am′fə rə] n. pl. amphorae [am′fərē΄] or amphoras [L < Gr amphoreus, a jar with two handles, contr. < amphiphoreus < amphi (see AMPHI ) + phoreus, bearer < pherein, BEAR1] a tall jar with a narrow neck and base and two handles, used… …   English World dictionary

  • Amphora — This article is about the type of container. For other uses, see Amphora (disambiguation). Amphorae on display in Bodrum Castle, Turkey …   Wikipedia

  • AMPHORA — I. AMPHORA fluviolus, seu potius rivus Foroiuliensis provinciae in Italia. Cadit in mare Adriaticum, prope Aquileiam. II. AMPHORA mensitra apud Romanos liquidorum erat, Quadrantal Veterib. dicta, capiens urnas duas, sextarios octo et quadraginta …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale