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Red-figure hydria, c. 360–350 BC, from Paestum; the vertical handle used for pouring is located on the opposite side (Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Louvre)

A hydria (plural hydriai) is a type of Greek pottery used for carrying water. The hydria has three handles. Two horizontal handles on either side of the body of the pot were used for lifting and carrying the pot. The third handle, a vertical one, located in the center of the other two handles, was used when pouring water. This water vessel can be found in both red- and black-figure technique. They often depicted scenes of Greek mythology that reflected moral and social obligations.

By the mid-5th century BC, Greek artisans were also creating hydria from bronze, some of which were elaborately decorated with finely detailed figures. A 6th-century example is in the Historisches Museum, Berne.[1] Such vessels were also known from the Minoan times.

See also


  1. Cunliffe, Barry, The Ancient Celts (Penguin, 1999), fig. 36 on p. 53.

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