Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A game played by throwing wine at metal disks or pans, trying to knock them down or make them sink in a basin of water.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ancient Greek game, which consisted in throwing portions of wine left in drinking-cups into a vessel or upon a specified object, as a plate of bronze, so as to produce a clear sound and without scattering the fluid. From the successful performance of this feat good fortune, especially in love affairs, was augured.

Etymologies

Latin, from Ancient Greek κότταβος (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Before the evening is over various games will be ordered in, especially the "cottabus," which is in great vogue.

    A Day in Old Athens; a Picture of Athenian Life

  • So Aenesidemus is said to have sent the ‘cottabus’ prize to Gelon, who had just reduced a town to slavery, because Gelon had got there first and forestalled his own attempt.

    Rhetoric

  • Pour lead into the hollow and fit a good, long stick to the top; and you will have a balanced cottabus.

    Peace

  • For (to Phidippides) consider, O youth, all that attaches to modesty, and of how many pleasures you are about to be deprived -- of women, of games at cottabus, of dainties, of drinking-bouts, of giggling.

    Clouds

  • Some of the company, however, regard this as too profound, and after trying their skill at the cottabus betake themselves to the never failing chances of dice.

    A Day in Old Athens; a Picture of Athenian Life

  • While most of the company prefer the cottabus, two, who profess to be experts, call for a gaming board and soon are deep in the "game of towns" -- very like to latter-day "checkers," played with a board divided into numerous squares.

    A Day in Old Athens; a Picture of Athenian Life

  • I must drink water, that you may play the cottabus (This game consisted in projecting wine out of cups; it was a diversion extremely fashionable at Athenian entertainments.) with Chian wine!

    Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches — Volume 1

  • Come, it’s only a game of cottabus!” said Glaucia, and changed the subject.

    The First Man in Rome

  • "There’s more pattern and less chance to it than there is in a game of cottabus."

    The First Man in Rome

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