Pythagoras cup, Pythagorean cup of justice or Fair cup, Greedy Cup, Tantalus cup.
Museum Copy, Ancient Greek Classical Period 485 BC engraved in hand, internally glazed, depicts Greek Goddess, Hestia.
"Goddess of the Hearth and Domestic Life"
Hestia was the goddess of the hearth, home, architecture, domesticity, family, and the state. She was one of only three virgin goddesses, next to Athena and Artemis. Although both Poseidon and Apollo wanted to marry her, Hestia made an oath to Zeus that she would remain forever pure and undefiled, never entering into a union with a man. She is a goddess of the Olympian generation, daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hera.
As the goddess of the hearth, she personified the fire burning in the hearth of every home.
Hestia receiving the first offering at every sacrifice in the household with families pouring sweet wine in her name and dedicating the richest portion of food to her.
Though Hestia did not have a public cult, she was worshipped at any temple, regardless of the god the temple was dedicated to. Hestia is described as a kind, forgiving and discreet goddess with a passive, non-confrontational nature.
A Pythagoras cup (also known as a Pythagorean cup, a Greedy Cup or a Tantalus cup) is a form of drinking cup which forces its user to imbibe only in moderation. Credited to Pythagoras of Samos, it allows the user to fill the cup with wine up to a certain level. If the user fills the cup only up to that level he may enjoy his drink in peace. If he exhibits gluttony, however, the cup spills its contents out the bottom (the intention being: onto the lap of the immodest drinker).
A Pythagorean cup looks like a normal drinking cup, except that the bowl has a central column in it, giving it a shape like a Bundt pan. The central column of the bowl is positioned directly over the stem of the cup and over the hole at the bottom of the stem. A small open pipe runs from this hole almost to the top of the central column, where there is an open chamber. The chamber is connected by a second pipe to the bottom of the central column, where a hole in the column exposes the pipe to (the contents of) the bowl of the cup.
When the cup is filled, liquid rises through the second pipe up to the chamber at the top of the central column, following Pascal's principle of communicating vessels. As long as the level of the liquid does not rise beyond the level of the chamber, the cup functions as normal. If the level rises further, however, the liquid spills through the chamber into the first pipe and out the bottom. Gravity then creates a siphon through the central column, causing the entire contents of the cup to be emptied through the hole at the bottom of the stem.
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- CAUTION: No Microwave, No Dishwasher - It's best to clean with a dry cloth
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