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For other uses, see Patera (disambiguation). Patera_sentence_0

In the material culture of classical antiquity, a phiale (Ancient Greek: φιάλη [pʰi.á.lɛː) or patera (Latin pronunciation: [ˈpatɛra) is a shallow ceramic or metal libation bowl. Patera_sentence_1

It often has a bulbous indentation (omphalos, "bellybutton") in the center underside to facilitate holding it, in which case it is sometimes called a mesomphalic phiale. Patera_sentence_2

It typically has no handles, and no feet. Patera_sentence_3

(A drinking cup with handles is a kylix. Patera_sentence_4

A circular platter with a pair of C-handles is not a patera, but a few paterae have single long straight handles.) Patera_sentence_5

Although the two terms may be used interchangeably, particularly in the context of Etruscan culture, phiale is more common in reference to Greek forms, and patera in Roman settings, not to be confused with the Greek (Πατέρας) Patéras or Father. Patera_sentence_6

Use Patera_section_0

Further information: Ancient Greek vase painting and Pottery of ancient Greece Patera_sentence_7

Libation was a central and vital aspect of ancient Greek religion, and one of the simplest and most common forms of religious practice. Patera_sentence_8

It is one of the basic religious acts that define piety in ancient Greece, dating back to the Bronze Age and even prehistoric Greece. Patera_sentence_9

Libations were a part of daily life, and the pious might perform them every day in the morning and evening, as well as to begin meals. Patera_sentence_10

A libation most often consisted of mixed wine and water, but could also be unmixed wine, honey, oil, water, or milk. Patera_sentence_11

The form of libation called spondē is typically the ritualized pouring of wine from a jug or bowl held in the hand. Patera_sentence_12

The most common ritual was to pour the liquid from an oinochoē (wine jug) into a phiale. Patera_sentence_13

Libation generally accompanied prayer. Patera_sentence_14

The Greeks stood when they prayed, either with their arms uplifted, or in the act of libation with the right arm extended to hold the phiale. Patera_sentence_15

After the wine offering was poured from the phiale, the remainder of the contents was drunk by the celebrant. Patera_sentence_16

In Roman art, the libation is shown performed at an altar, mensa (sacrificial meal table), or tripod. Patera_sentence_17

It was the simplest form of sacrifice, and could be a sufficient offering by itself. Patera_sentence_18

The introductory rite (praefatio) to an animal sacrifice included an incense and wine libation onto a burning altar. Patera_sentence_19

Both emperors and divinities are frequently depicted, especially on coins, pouring libations from a patera. Patera_sentence_20

Scenes of libation and the patera itself commonly signify the quality of pietas, religious duty or reverence. Patera_sentence_21


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Architecture Patera_section_1

In architecture, oval features on plaster friezes on buildings may be called paterae (plural). Patera_sentence_22

See also Patera_section_2


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