from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A broad, shallow dish used for drinking, primarily in a ritual context such as a libation.
- n. A circular ornament, resembling a dish, often worked in relief on friezes etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A saucerlike vessel of earthenware or metal, used by the Greeks and Romans in libations and sacrifices.
- n. A circular ornament, resembling a dish, often worked in relief on friezes, and the like.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A shallow, circular, saucer-like vessel used by the Romans for pouring libations in sacrificial rites. It corresponds to the Greek phiale.
- n. In architecture, the representation of a flat round dish in bas-relief, used as an ornament in friezes, etc.
- n. Patera process. See process.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The word would have been used in reference to shape only without reference to the vessel's usage, and probably overlapped in meaning with the Latin word patera while at the same time being used to describe shallow bowls as well.
A sliding door or panel at one end was lifted up -- the body deposited within, on a shelf -- the door reclosed -- a spring a the side touched -- a sudden 'whishing,' sighing sound heard from within; and lo! at the other end of the machine the lid fell down, and a small handful of smouldering dust dropped into a 'patera' placed to receive it.
It sits between two volcanoes, and while the name "patera" is traditionally given to irregularly shaped volcanic craters, scientists know at least enough about the Orcus Patera to know it wasn't formed by a volcano.
The son took up the 'patera' and said (in what I understood afterwards was the usual form of words), "Behold how great is the Maker!
The scene is represented on a patera from Orvieto, now in the Berlin Museum, reproduced and fully described in “The Art of Horsemanship by Xenophon,” translated, with chapters on the Greek Riding – Horse, and with notes, by Morris H. Morgan, p. 76. 64
This is what a 2nd century CE Roman patera looks like. because it's found consistently in libational contexts with direct objects like liquids, jugs, pateras, etc.
For the visually inclined, this is a picture of what a prototypical patera looks like:
Yet, we are told that inscription TLE 30 (mi tafina Lazia Vilianas) is on a black-finish patera (read here and here) .
Then we have TLE 341 (mi Lareces Śupelnas θafna), written on yet another patera (read here).
A patera plural paterae is "a saucerlike vessel of earthenware or metal, used by the Greeks and Romans in libations and sacrifices".