from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large drinking cup with two handles
  • n. A fountain or basin in the courtyard of an ancient church for worshippers to wash before entering

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In classical antiquity, a widemouthed cup or vase, with a foot, and two handles rising above the rim. It was used especially for drinking wine.
  • n. [LL.] A fountain or cistern in the atrium or courtyard before ancient and some Oriental churches, where persons could wash before entering the church; a laver. Now generally called phiale.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of acanthopterygian fishes, of the family Sparidæ. C. griseus, a British species, is known as the black bream, or black sea-bream. Cuvier, 1829.
  • n. [capitalized] [NL.] A genus of mollusks.
  • n. A chandelier used in churches, described as a disk of metal having candles fixed upon it.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek κάνθαρος.


  • At last he seized a brimming cantharus by its rings, raised it straight up into the air with his outstretched arms, from which his chains hung down, and then looking to heaven, and still holding the cup he said:


  • All insects that slough at all slough in the same way; as the silphe, and the empis or midge, and all the coleoptera, as for instance the cantharus-beetle.

    The History of Animals

  • The cantharus or scarabeus rolls a piece of dung into a ball, lies hidden within it during the winter, and gives birth therein to small grubs, from which grubs come new canthari.

    The History of Animals

  • St. Paul's basilica there was a cantharus, restored by Pope Leo I, of which the saint writes thus to Ennodius;

    The Ceremonies of the Holy-Week at Rome

  • Madame could not have chosen better foils for her own voluptuous style than the three women, all angles -- looking as she always did, as though she had been visiting Vulcan, and feeding on the red-hot coals beneath his hammer, while quenching her thirst from a cantharus given her by the hand of Bacchus himself.

    A Heart-Song of To-day

  • We find that they were also used in the ceremonies of the Mysteries, for we see their forms represented on the vases themselves: Bacchus frequently holds a cantharus, Satyrs carry a diota.

    Museum of Antiquity A Description of Ancient Life

  • He is usually exhibited as over-laden with wine, and seated on a saddled ass, upon which he supports himself with a long staff in the one hand, and in the other carries a _cantharus_ or jug, with the handle almost worn out with frequent use.

    Roman Antiquities, and Ancient Mythology For Classical Schools (2nd ed)

  • They brandished frontal bones, the dismembered quarters of kids and goats; they struck the bronze cantharus, they tossed the silver obba up aloft.


  • When the atrium of the Christian basilica was reduced to the proportions of a narrow court or a simple porch, the cantharus gave way to a less pretentious structure.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability

  • It is now only exceptionally that the cantharus is found doing service as a holy water font, mainly at Mount Athos, where the phiala of the monastery of Laura stands near the catholicon in front of the entrance and is covered by

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 7: Gregory XII-Infallability


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