The Ancient Library

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riving their efficiency altogether from the ability and taste of the sculptor, would not only contri­bute to the more exquisite decoration of earthen vessels, but would be almost the only tools appli­cable for making " Dii fictiles," or gods of baked earth, and other entire figures. (Propert. ii. 3. 25, iv. 1.5 ; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 45, 46 ; Sen. Cons, ad Alb. 10 ; ayd\jMZTa e'/c Tr^AoD, birrijs 77} s, Paus. i. 2. § 4, i. 3. § 1, vii. 22. § 6.) These were among the earliest efforts of the plastic art, and even in times of the greatest refinement and luxury they continued to be regarded with reve­rence.

Vessels of all kinds were very frequently fur­nished with at least one handle (ansa, ovas, u>s). The amphora was called Diota, because it had two. The name of the potter was commonly stamped upon the handle, the rim, or some other part. Of this we have an example in the amphora, adapted for holding grain or fruits, oil or wine, which is here introduced from the work of Seroux d'Agincourt The figure on the right hand shows the name in the genitive case " Maturi," im­pressed on an oblong surface which is seen on the handle of the amphora.

The earth used for making pottery 7??, Geopon. ii. 49) was commonly red, and often of so lively a colour as to resemble coral. Vau-quelin found, by analysis, that a piece of Etruscan earthenware contained the following ingredients: — Silica, 53 ; alumina, 15 ; lime, 8 ; oxide of iron, 24. To the great abundance of the last constitu­ent the deep red colour is to be attributed. Other pottery is brown or cream-coloured, and sometimes white. The pipe-clay, which must have been used for white ware, is called " figlina creta." (Varro, Re Rust. iii. 9.) Some of the ancient earthenware is throughout its substance black, an effect pro­duced by mixing the earth with comminuted as-phaltum (gagates}, or with some other bituminous or oleaginous substance. It appears also that as-phaltum, with pitch and tar, both mineral and vegetable, was used to cover the surface like a var­nish. In the finer kinds of earthenware this var­nish served as a black paint, and to its application many of the most beautiful vases owe the decora­tions which are now so highly admired. (Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 34.) But the coarser vessels, designed for common purposes, were also smeared with pitch, and had it burnt into them, because by this kind of encaustic they became more impervious to moisture and less liable to decay. (Hor. Carm. i.



20. 3; Plin. //. N. xiv. 25, 27.) Hence a " clolium picatum fictile " was used, as well as a glass jar to hold pickles. (Colum. Re Rust. xii. 18, 54.) Also the year of the vintage was inscribed by the use of pitch, either upon the amphorae themselves or upon the labels (pittacia, sckedia), which were tied round their necks. (Hor. Carm. iii. 21. 1—5.) Although oily or bituminous sub­stances were most commonly employed in pottery to produce by the aid of fire (e3 Se jUeAcwflete;/, Horn. Epig. xiv. 3) the various shades of black and brown, the vessels, before being sent for the last time to the furnace [FoRNAx], were some­times immersed in that finely prepared mud, now technically called " slip," by which the surface is both smoothed and glazed, and at the same time receives a fresh colour. Ruddle, or red ochre (jU^Aros, rubrica)) was principally employed for this purpose. (Suidas, s. v. KwAtctSos /cepa/XTjes.) To produce a further variety in the paintings upon vases the artists employed a few brightly coloured earths and metallic ores. [pictura, No. 9.]

As we might expect concerning an art so indis­pensable as that of the potter, it was practised to a great extent in every ancient nation ; even the most uncivilized not being strangers to it, and sometimes displaying a surprising degree of dexte­rity. The remains of an ancient pottery have been found in Britain, and some of the potters1 names preserved on their works, are probably British. We are told of a place called the Potteries (Fig-linae) in Gaul. Numa instituted a corporation of potters at Rome. (Plin. H. N. xxxv. 46.) Men­tion has already been made of Egypt, and there are frequent allusions to the art in the ancient writings of the Jews. We also read of its pro­ductions in Tralles, Pergamus, Cnidus, Chios, Sicyon, Corinth, Cumae, Adria, Modena, and Nola, from which city the exports of earthenware were considerable, and where some of the most ex­quisite specimens are still discovered. But three places were distinguished above all others for the extent and excellence of this beautiful manufac­ture.

1. Samos, to which the Romans resorted for the articles of earthenware necessary at meals, and intended for use rather than displajr. (Plant. Baccli. ii. 2. 24, Stick, v. 4. 12 ; Tibull. ii. 3. 51 ; Cic. pro Muren. 36 ; Plin. //. N. xxxv. 46 ; Tertull. Apol. 25.)

2. Athens, a considerable part of which was called Cerameicus, because it was inhabited by potters. In this quarter of the city were temples dedicated to Athena, as presiding over every kind of handicraft, and to the two fire-gods, Hephaestos and Prometheus, the latter of whom was also the mythical inventor of the art of modelling. Various traditions respecting Coroebus and others point to the early efforts of the Athenian potters (Plin.//. Ar. vii. 57, xxxv. 45 ; Critias up. Atken. i. p. 28) ; and it is a remarkable circumstance that the enemies of free trade, and especially of Athenian influence at Aegina and Argos, imposed restrictions on the use of these productions. (Herod, v. 88.) The Athe­nian ware was of the finest description ; the master­pieces were publicly exhibited at the pana-thenaea, and were given, filled with oil, to the victors at the games ; in consequence of which, we now read on some of them, in the British Museum and other collections, t,he inscription To)*/' AQfyydev a0Acoy or other equivalent expressions. (Pind. Nem.

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