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Patera

patent, vol, vase, roman, plates and described

PATERA, (from pa teo, I am open,) among antiquaries, a goblet, or vessel, used by the in their sacrifices, in which they received the blood of their victims, offered their consecrated meats to the gods, and made libations.

On medals, the patera is seen in the hands of several deities ; and frequently in the hands of princes, to mark the sacerdotal authority joined with the imperial, Sc. Hence F. Joubert observes, that besides the patera. there is fre quently an altar, upon which the patent seems to be pouring its contents.

The patera is an ornament in architecture, frequently introduced in friezes, fascias, and imposts, over which are hung festoons of husks or flowers ; or they are sometimes used by themselves, to ornament a space ; and in this case it is common to hang a string of husks or drapery over them; sometimes they are much enriched with foliage, and have a mask or head in the centre.

In vol. xiv. of the Arclueolo,r.,ria, a description and plate are given of a Roman patent and vase dug up when sinking a ditch in Essex, in June, IS00. They were found near an ancient Roman road, between Camehainum and Camboritum. "The metal vase and patera merit attention, as none similar to the first have been figured or described in the works of the society ; nor do I know that any like either have been presented their inspection. The vase is of that form which Montfaueon has figured in his 2d. vol., pl. 19, fig. 10, and calls a profiTi enlu m. used by the Romans at their sacrifices, for pouring wine into the patent. See p. where he controverts Festus's opinion that the przeferieuhi were without handles. Another, noire nearly resembling that here represented, is given in his 3d. vol., pl. •4, fig. 9, and called by Beger an epiehysis, but not allowed to be such by .Moutthucon. The metal patera which belongs to the above, differs from the earthen paterie in general. by being bossed in the eentre, a circumstance not easily to be accounted fiir, unless it was for the firmer fixing the pra:ferieulu III Upon, when placed with the body at the time of interment." With the above Roman antiquities were

found several little cups of Sam jail ware. " The uses of these elegant little cups have not." the antiquary continues, " that I know of, been ascertained by any author. The real pur poses to which they were applied must remain at present in obs•urity." It nay lie stated, also, that the 1Iindoos, in their sacrifices and ceremonies, have immemorially used, and still use. articles exactly similar to those described in vol. xiv. of the Arcl:uo logia, plates 1 and 5; and it is curious to see hoot nearly they agree in form. A comparison of the article in the plates just adverted to, with those in plates SG, and 105 of the Hind:)o Pantheon, will strikingly evince this. The sacrificial vase, in the latter plate, has the satne firm, though more elaborately ornamented, as the above described prteleri•uium ; and the others exhibit metallic circular patertu, anti the central embossment, which, though " not easily accounted for,• is found anion:* 1 mystics to have very protOilnd The Roman patent has also the mysterious run, or yoni, respecting whirl] the reader II lay consult the work last referred to. Dr. Clarke, in his Travels, notices that " the patent used by priestesses in the rites of Ceres, had this pyramidal node or cone in the centre. A priestess is repro: seined holding one of these, on a bas-relief. in the vestibule of Cambridge University library." Vol. ii., p. 334. Greek :Marbles, No. xv.. p. 37. Similar articles are still used in the rites of the (limbic) Ceres ; as are also the " little cups" described and exhibited in the Archicologia, as above referred to, and in many of the plates of the I lindoo Pantheon. In India, they are used for holding clarified butter, a C01111110n ingredient in the frequent oblations to fire; and unguents, and holy water, in the sradha, or funeral obsequies, and in other rites and ceremonies.