Small and Miniature Vases at Ancient Corinth

by Elizabeth Pemberton

Hesperia, Volume 89, Issue 2
Page(s): 281-338
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.89.2.0281
Year: 2020


This study surveys the small and miniature vases from a number of different sanctuaries and burials in ancient Corinth from the later 7th century B.C. on, in order to determine which shapes appear where and when. Their contexts and chronology identify the variation in types, important for understanding cult rituals. Some misconceptions about miniatures are addressed: they were not for poor people or children, nor were they substitutes for their larger prototypes. Their supposed low value is in fact fundamental for their meaning, as several ancient writers suggest. Because they are inexpensive, offered anonymously, and nonfunctioning as vases, they are special-gifts for the gods.