The krater pictured here is a volute krater because of its egg-shaped body and handles that rise from the shoulder of the vase and curl well above the rim in a volute (scroll-shaped) form. Kraters, also spelled craters, are ancient Greek vessels used for diluting wine with water. They are large with a broad body and base and usually a wide mouth and may have horizontal handles placed near the base or vertical handles rising from the shoulder. Made of metal or pottery and often painted or elaborately ornamented, they usually stood on a tripod in the dining room.
Miriam tells us how, when visiting Noah, her betrothed in The Deadliest Lie, a maid brought them light refreshments including a krater of wine:
During the silence that grew between us, I heard the ping of glassware and the clink of cutlery as a maid approached balancing a silver tray across her pillowy breasts. Perching the tray near the edge of the table as she covered it with a cloth of bleached Indian cotton, she unfurled a starched napkin for each of us with an efficient snap of her pudgy wrist.
Then, unloading the tray, her reddened hands served us grapes and an assortment of cheeses on a gold-leaf platter; two small silver dishes, one of pistachio nuts and the other of mixed berries; a krater of wine; a pair of crystal goblets; some silver utensils; and a cut glass bowl of floating red roses.
Before serving, the wine was diluted with water and often a sweetener like fruit juice or honey because the grapes cultivated at that time yielded a bitter fruit. And yes, some of Miriam’s experiences in The Deadliest Lie were bitter, but don’t let that stop you from reading the story. In fact, it was selected by Wiki Ezvid as one of the nine most riveting mysteries set in the distant past. To find out more and watch a promotional video, just click here.