In the 7th Century BC on the northern shores of the Black Sea there
lived a barbarian society known as the Thracians who regarded
idleness as being noble and agricultural work as being dishonorable
and who considered their society’s elite to be their horse-riding
warriors. Warfare and plundering were the highest acts of the
It was during this time that the Greeks came along and began to
establish colonies among these people and they discovered an even
lower class of cultivators among these Thracians who had produce the
Greeks were keen to acquire in exchange for such desirables as wine
and gold and silver vessels from which to drink.
It is thought by those who have vivid imaginations that the peasants
of the land did all the work while the elite sat back and drank the
rewarded wine. This would of course have to preclude the notion that
men are fair creatures who would never dream of taking from their
fellow men the just fruits of their labors. Only the most primitive
of the primitive would indulge in such practices.
And then the Persians came along… and they too pandered to the
Thracian taste for wine in exchange for using Thracian mercenaries in
their wars against the Scythians. Wine–it would appear–had great
influence upon the warrior people of these Balkan regions… and it
was not long before it became eminently apparent that it might be a
tad more convenient… and even a bit more aristocratic… if one had
a handsome vessel at hand from which to imbibe this heady nectar.
It was to this aim that Rhytons were born… vessels in the form of
animal heads used for imbibing that dizzying refreshment known upon
occasion to lower the inhibitions. Gorgeous hollowed containers
sculpted to perfection made for filling and drinking in order to
facilitate reveling and carousing. How much better could life get? A
couple of wars… some raping and pillaging…and all was well with
the human condition.
I have one such Rhyton folks. Made of gold and formed in the shape of
a deer’s head… gleaned from the Thracian hoard found at
Pangyurishte in Bulgaria. Wanna see? Once viewed… you will all give
up your morning paper coffee cups and demand… one and all… light
and sweet in a Rhyton please.
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and you will get to view a dear headed gold rhyton
of exquisite exquisitosity.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.