Skyphos, Southern Italy, 400-375 BCE

Made:
400-375 BCE in Apulia

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Red figure skyphos or drinking cup, painted by the Wellcome painter, `depicting a youth holding a strigil, Apulian, South Italy, 400BC-375BC

A skyphos is a drinking cup with two handles. This one is decorated with an image of a young man holding a strigil. Part of the bathing and personal hygiene routine in ancient Rome involved cleaning the body with oil. Having rubbed the oil in, a strigil was used to scrape away any excess as well as any dead skin and dirt.

Athletes scraped their skin with strigils to remove dirt, dust and oil from their bodies after exercise. This was sometimes bottled and sold as a medical treatment called gloios to relieve aches, pains and sprains.

Details

Category:
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
A122634
type:
skyphos cups, archaeology (graeco-italian), domestic ware (drinking) and archaeology (graeco-italian), cups, domestic ware (drinking) and skyphos
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • oil vessel
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
credit:
Pritchard and Co.

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