13.8.17

Epinetron

Pottery of Ancient Greece

Lebes Gamikos | Loutrophoros | Epinetron | Alabastron | Aryballos | Lekythos | Pyxis

One of the more unusual painted pottery shapes, the epinetron (pl. epinetra) is not a pot, but was placed over the thigh during the preparation of wool for weaving.
The epinetron (Greek: ἐπίνητρον, plural: epinetra, ἐπίνητρα; "distaff"); Beazley also called them onoi, singular: onos) was a shape of Attic pottery worn on the thighs of women during the preparation of wool, not unlike a thimble for the thigh. Decorated epinetra were placed on the graves of unmarried girls, or dedicated at temples of female deities.

Because of the strong association between wool-working and the ideal woman and wife — as in the case of Penelope weaving in the Odyssey — it is a shape associated with the wedding. Its decoration was not exclusively related to its own use, though it often was.

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