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Headword: Kottabizein
Adler number: kappa,2153
Translated headword: to play kottabos
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] to play a game. They used to toss a drink up, throwing it into bronze bowls, which are called latageia;[1] and if a louder sound occurred, they thought that [the player] was loved by his lovers. Kottabos is what they call the dregs of the cup, which they used to toss into the bowls [latages]. Such was a game among Athenians: a long staff fixed in the earth and another on top of it, moved as on a draft-animal -- it had two disks hung from it and two mixing-bowls of water below the disks and under the water a gilded bronze statuette. This was [done] in the symposia. And when all were playing, [one] stood up holding a bowl filled with unmixed wine and standing at a distance sent all the wine in one drop into the disk, so that being filled it would be weighed down and would fall down, and when it fell would strike against the head of the statuette which was hidden under the water and would make a noise. And if it was not poured out of the wine, he won and he knew that he was loved by his beloved [girl]; but if not, he was defeated. The statuette under the water was called manes.[2]
Greek Original:
Kottabizein: paizein. eis chalkas de phialas, hai kalountai latageia, anerriptoun emballontes ti poma: kai ei egeneto meizôn psophos, edokoun hupo tôn erastôn erasthai. kottabos de legetai to leimma tou potêriou, ho eneballon eis tas latagas. ên de paignion par' Athênaiois toiouton: rhabdos makra pepêgmenê en têi gêi kai hetera epanô autês, kinoumenê hôs epi zugiou: eiche de plastingas duo exêrtêmenas kai kratêras duo hudatos hupokatô tôn plastingôn kai hupo to hudôr andrias chalkous kechrusômenos. touto de ên en tois sumposiois. kai pantôn paizontôn anistato echôn phialên gemousan akratou kai mêkothen histamenos epempen holon ton oinon hupo mian stagona eis tên plastinga, hina gemistheisa barunthêi kai katelthêi kai katelthousa krousêi eis tên kephalên tou andriantos tou hupo to hudôr kekrummenou kai poiêsêi êchon. kai ei men mê ekchuthêi ek tou oinou, enika kai êidei, hoti phileitai autos hupo tês erômenês: ei de mê, hêttato. elegeto de ho andrias ho hupo to hudôr manês.
From a scholion on Aristophanes, Peace 343 (web address 1). See also kappa 2152, kappa 2154; and Wikipedia entry (with illustrations) at web address 2.
[1] cf. lambda 142, lambda 143.
[2] cf. mu 148.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: art history; comedy; daily life; definition; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; women; zoology
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 3 February 2009@22:14:09.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 4 February 2009@03:12:57.
David Whitehead on 13 March 2013@09:12:58.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 7 April 2013@01:56:05.
David Whitehead (cosmeticule) on 15 April 2013@05:06:38.


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