Concept

Kylix

Summary
In the pottery of ancient Greece, a kylix (ˈkaɪlɪks , ˈkɪlɪks ; κύλιξ, pl. κύλικες; also spelled cylix; pl.: kylikes ˈkaɪlɪkiːz , ˈkɪlɪkiːz ) is the most common type of cup in the period, usually associated with the drinking of wine. The cup often consists of a rounded base and a thin stem under a basin. The cup is accompanied by two handles on opposite sides. The inner basin is often adorned in the bottom so that as the liquid is consumed an image is revealed, this adornment is usually in a circular frame and called a tondo. There are many variations of the kylikes, other cups available in the era include the skyphos, or the kantharoi. Kylikes were also popular exports, being the most common pottery import from Attica found in Etruscan settlements. The word is the Greek kylix meaning cup, which could refer to a drinking vessel as well as the cup shape of a flower. This word is possibly related to the Latin word calix, also meaning cup. It is also believed these words may have originally borrowed from a non-Indo-European language, possibly the same one. These were later borrowed into French and became calice then English to become chalice. Kylix appears to in antiquity refer to the characteristic wide and short shape of the vessel and may have referred to many types of drinking vessels. Some types of kylikes have their own names with their own etymology. One such variety is komast cups, where komast refers to the name of the type of drunken figures painted on them which is characteristic of the style. Another uniquely named type is a Siana cup, which is named after a site in Rhodes where it was originally found. The last major variety that has a specific name is the little master cup, which is translated from German which references the small scale of the adornments on the cup. More details of these styles and others can be found below in the subtypes section. Kylikes are most famous for their association with symposiums and wine, where the set of kylikes could match the kraters, which are the mixing vessels for diluting wine.
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