BMCR 1994.01.06

1994.01.06, E-Post-It (Old Wine)

The Beazley Archive as of January 1994 totaled 18525 black figure and 28987 red figure vases. Using it, I constructed the following chart (numbers in parentheses = total occurrences):

An asterisk marks those distributions that look statistically significant. For example, the term man occurs in the description of 15% of all BA vases (7317/47512) and so we expect 15% of the other terms to occur with man and most are close enough (komos 609/2271= 27%, symposium 411/1674= 25%; amphora 43/324= 13%, krater 37/295 = 13%) but satyr (98/3139 = 3%) and wineskin (22/408 = 5%) are way low.

This is not surprising as satyr is often seen as the “other” to man, and wineskin is often seen to represent uncivilized, natural wine, construed as the opposite of the sympotic krater. Likewise wineskin is found more often than expected with satyr (147/408, 36% actual vs 3139/47512, 7% expected). Surprisingly, the relationship with krater does not follow, for krater is not found less often with satyr than expected (36/295, 12% actual vs 7% expected) while it is found somewhat less but not significantly less than expected with man (37/295, 13% actual vs 7% expected).

The komos is the opposite of the symposium and it is less surprising that the occurrence of the two (.16/1674, 1% vs expected 2271/47512, 5%) is way low than that there are any occurrences at all. But this opposition does not mesh with that of satyr vs man: men and satyrs appear as expected in a symposium, while satyrs hardly ever appear in a komos (11/2271). The explanation for the high incidence of amphora (89/324 27%) and krater (95/295 32%) with komos is probably that wine implements are needed to identify a komos. The next step is to compare black figure and red figure iconography.

It hardly needs to be said, I hope, that these data are rough, depending as they do on undefined (but I hope consistently applied) terms and an incomplete (but large) sample.