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Chous

Article by Philip Smith, B.A., of the University of London
on p280 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

p280 CHOUS (χοεύς, χοῦς), a Greek liquid measure which is stated by all the authorities to be equal to the Roman congius, and to contain six ξέσται or sextarii, nearly 6 pints English. Suidas alone makes a distinction between the χοῦς and the χοεύς, making the former equal to two sextarii, and the latter equal to six. Now when we remember that the χοῦς was commonly used as a drinking vessel at Athenian entertainments (Aristoph. Acharn. v. 1086), that on the day of the χόες [Dionysia], a prize was given to the person who first drank off his χοῦς, and that Milo of Croton is said to have drunk three χόες of wine at a draught, it is incredible that in these cases the large χοῦς mentioned above could be meant. It seems, therefore, probable that there was also a smaller measure of the same name, containing, as Suidas states, two sextarii, or nearly 2 pints English. At first it was most likely the common name for a drinking vessel. According to Crates (Ap. Athen. XI p496), the χοῦς had originally a similar form to the Panathenaic amphorae, and was also called πελίκη. (Pollux, X.73; Wurm, De Pond. Mens. &c., pp127, 136, 141, 198; Hussey, Ancient Weights, &c., p211‑213.)


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