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Rhyton by the painter from Brussels R 330 , around 470/60 BC Chr.

A rhyton ( neutr. , Plural rhyta , Greek ῥυτόν ) is a usually single-handled drinking vessel or donation vessel for pouring libations through an opening in the lower area. Often rhyta come in the form of animal protomes such as bull or ram head.

Development and forms

In the Anatolian town of Tiliura , a Hattic city ​​in the land of Pala near Nerik and Liḫzina , a clay figure of the Hattic god Taru (identical to Tarḫunna ) from around 1300 BC was found. BC, which was represented as a rhyton with a bull's head supported on four legs. It is one of the oldest forms of a rhyton. A Hittite deer hyton from the Norbert Schimmel collection from Anatolia dates from the 15th to 13th centuries BC. Chr.

Rhyta, which come from the Cretan culture , are shaped like humans or animals. These are both painted and unpainted in Greek ceramics . Rhyta have also been found among the Etruscans and in Apulia . In the Persian Achaemenid Empire , various rhyta are documented that also show horses and even riders. This shows that the fashion also spread among equestrian peoples and Persians. It is obvious that drinking horns preceded the rhyton, but that devices made from horn have not been preserved or have not yet been proven.

Drinking vessels made of horns are from the Colchis , Georgia z. B. Kantsi and on the Kuban in the Caucasus, in the Thracian - Cimmerian find horizon, of Scythian stone steles, known from ancient Greece as Keras and also among Teutons as Sumbel and Celts , whereby especially equestrian peoples are attested a real drinking horn fashion, which from the 5th century onwards v. Begins.


During the 19th century, the shape of the rhyton became popular again in the wake of the various " oriental " fashions for handicrafts . This time, however, it was not used for cultic purposes, but for purely decorative purposes. Especially in the Victorian Age in the United Kingdom and in the Second Empire of Napoléon III. in France such vessels were found as decorative elements of the salons .


Web links

Commons : Rhyton  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Reallexikon der Assyriologie; De Gruyter, Berlin (1987–1990); Vol. 7; P. 18f. ISBN 3-11-010437-7