Bull Head Rhyton with Dancer & Tympanon

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Nathalie Choubineh
published on 05 March 2021

Apulian red-figure drinking-vessel from c. 360 BCE, attributed to the Illupersis Painter of South Italy (active c. 375-350 BCE), The J. Paul Getty Collection, Malibu, no. 71.AE.196

Horn-shape drinking vessels are among the earliest finer artefacts developed in various civilisations. From the 2nd millennia BCE onwards, they appear in and around the Near East and Central Asia with zoomorphic heads shaped as boars, lions and lionesses, goats, panthers, and bulls. Following the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks in 479 BCE, Persian horn-pitchers of gold, silver, and ivory were introduced to the Greeks and adopted by them under the name of rhyton (roughly meaning ‘pourer’ or ‘pouring vessel’). Ceramic rhyta from mainland Greece and its colonies in South Italy were often decorated around the neck with mythical scenes and characters related to wine-drinking, wine-god Dionysos, dancing, and revelry. This bull-head rhyton is an example, displaying a female dancer, perhaps a maenad, dancing with a tympanon.

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About the Author

Nathalie Choubineh
I'm a translator and researcher, enjoy delving into ancient dances, beliefs and rituals, myths and histories, artworks, and other forms of cultural expression and their crossings. I love to learn and to share.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Choubineh, N. (2021, March 05). Bull Head Rhyton with Dancer & Tympanon. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/image/13519/bull-head-rhyton-with-dancer--tympanon/

Chicago Style

Choubineh, Nathalie. "Bull Head Rhyton with Dancer & Tympanon." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified March 05, 2021. https://www.worldhistory.org/image/13519/bull-head-rhyton-with-dancer--tympanon/.

MLA Style

Choubineh, Nathalie. "Bull Head Rhyton with Dancer & Tympanon." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 05 Mar 2021. Web. 04 Feb 2023.