Active in Attica, Greece, 475-450 B.C.E.
Red-figure Lekythos: Libation Scene
Earthenware, painted decoration
30.7 cm (h.), 10.9 cm (diam.)
Gift of Lisa Newman Greenspan in memory of David Beryl Greenspan, inv. 2013.651
Archeology and World Cultures
Performing a libation was a simple gesture denoting reverence to the gods. This gesture was often done by pouring a mixture of water and wine (as well as other things, such as honey or olive oil) as an offering to the gods followed by the invocation of a prayer. As a simple performance of piety to calm and appease the gods, it was enacted in many everyday ritualistic contexts. Other types of libations, such as apotropaic libations, were considered to ward off evil or harm, and these would have been carried out before war, a voyage or a peace pact.