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Headword: *ku/lic r(opalwth/
Adler number: kappa,2666
Translated headword: club-shaped cup, kylix rhopalote
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the refreshment vessel for the many.
"Commodus, the Romans' emperor, when he had tired himself out in the performance, took from a woman some sweet chilled wine in a cup shaped like a club and drank it in one gulp. At that everyone immediately shouted that usual thing people say at parties: 'long may you live!'."[1]
And elsewhere: "alas for a cup mixed half and half!" They used to make a mixed libation offering to Hermes alone on account of his ruling the living and the dead and his receiving honors from them both.[2]
And there is also this oath which was on the cup (kylix):[3] "I won't ever willingly submit to my husband, but, if he should rape me through force against my will, I will ill allow it, and I won't move my hips.[4] I won't raise my Persian slippers to the roof.[5] I won't stand as a lioness on a cheese knife.[6] If I keep this oath, let me drink from this cup, but, if I should do wrong, let the cup be full of water."
Greek Original:
*ku/lic r(opalwth/: to\ para\ polloi=s diaklu/sthron. *ko/modos, o( basileu\s *(rwmai/wn, e)pi\ th=| a)gwni/a| kamw/n, ku/liki r(opalwth=| para\ gunaiko\s gluku\n oi)=non e)yugme/non labw\n a)musti\ e)/pien. e)f' w(=| paraxrh=ma pa/ntes tou=to dh\ to\ e)n toi=s sumposi/ois ei)wqo\s le/gesqai e)cebo/hsan, zh/seias. kai\ au)=qis: oi)/moi ku/likos i)/son i)/sw| kekrame/nhs. tw=| *(ermh=| mo/nw| e)/quon kekrame/nhn spondh\n dia\ to\ zw/ntwn kai\ teteleuthko/twn a)/rxein kai\ par' a)mfote/rwn ta\s tima\s de/xesqai. e)/sti de\ kai\ o(/rkos o( e)pi\ th=s ku/likos ou(=tos: ou)de/poq' e(kou=sa ta)ndri\ tou)mw=| pei/somai: ei) de/ m' a)/kousan bia/zhtai bi/a|, kakw=s pare/cw, kou)xi\ proskinh/somai: ou) pro\s to\n o)/rofon a)ntenw= ta\ *persika/: ou) sth/somai le/aina e)pi\ turoknh/stidos. tau=t' e)mpedou=sa me\n pi/oim' e)nteuqeni/: ei) de\ parabai/hn, u(/datos e)mplhsqh=| ku/lic.
For kylix (cup) see also e.g. alphaiota 6, kappa 2665.
[1] This is adapted from Cassius Dio 72.18.2, who also describes the preceding performance, wherein Commodus had made a show of killing domestic and exotic animals. This story occurs also at alpha 1687 and partially at zeta 88. For Commodus see also alpha 528, alpha 1507, alpha 3902, gamma 32, kappa 1199, kappa 2007 (main entry), pi 1890, pi 1951, and sigma 235 (as well as web address 1).
[2] Aristophanes, Plutus [Wealth] 1132 (web address 2), with comment from the scholia there; cf. omicroniota 102, kappa 1263.
[3] The cup mentioned is the one by which the women of Aristophanes' Lysistrata swore: see lines 226-235 for the oath loosely quoted here (web address 3).
[4] The verb, proskinh/somai, indicates the movement involved in sexual intercourse. The idea is that the woman will not respond to her husband.
[5] As the scholia to Aristophanes explain, "Persian slippers" is a fancy alternative for "feet" or "legs". That is, the woman will not raise up her legs, since this action, just as moving her hips, would be a sign that she was cooperating with her husband rather than resisting.
[6] The scholia to this passage compare cheese knives or graters (ma/xairai) which had ivory-sculpted handles representing crouching lions. Therefore, the woman is swearing that she will not assume a crouching position. For this passage see also eta 426, lambda 226, omicron 967, pi 2730, and tau 1197.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3
Keywords: art history; athletics; biography; comedy; daily life; definition; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; historiography; history; imagery; religion; women; zoology
Translated by: Abram Ring on 11 November 2003@12:58:07.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links and cross-references, set status) on 11 November 2003@13:11:11.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; another keyword; cosmetics) on 15 November 2003@07:32:11.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 10 June 2005@02:51:12.
David Whitehead (mpre keywords; tweaking) on 20 March 2013@08:23:43.


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