A psykter (in Greek ψυκτήρ "cooler") is a type of Greek vase that is characterized by a bulbous body set on a high, narrow foot. It was used as a wine cooler, and specifically as part of the elite sympotic set in the ancient Greek symposium. The psykter, as distinct from other coolers, is a vase which has a mushroom-shaped body, and was produced for only a short period of time during the late-sixth to mid-fifth centuries, with almost all of this type dating to between 520 and 480 BCE.
The fact of its brevity combined with there being a number of simpler methods of cooling wine suggests that this shape was merely a fad. It is possible that it came about as a response to avoiding mixing contaminated snow-ice directly in wine, as it was known that this could cause illness, but this is unlikely as the alcohol in wine has useful sterilizing properties. Even proportionately to other wine utensils of its time it is comparatively rare, with few examples being found. Although the psykter did have its specific function, nevertheless, it was almost certainly something of a whimsical device, an objet du jour, which will have given the symposion’s guests some aesthetic titillation and the host kudos for good taste. Because the process of cooling wine could be achieved in a number of other ways, none of which required the psykter, its redundancy appears to have quickly made it obsolete.
Typically, wine was cooled by the addition of chilled water or snow-ice to wine in a krater, and that method pre-dated and outlasted the psykter. Less certain is precisely how it was used. It appears that it was designed to float in the krater, and to either contain wine which became chilled as it floated in the ice-cooled water, or instead the psykter was filled with ice which chilled the wine in which it floated. With regards to what effect each of these options would have on the wine’s temperature it is possible to arrive at the following conclusions. If the wine was to be chilled as is common today, to about 12 degrees C., then we would expect to see the wine in the krater and the coolant in the psykter. This is because the wine would have ice on one side (the inside) and room temperature on the other side (the outside of the krater). This would maintain the temperature of the wine part way between room temperature and 0 degrees C., though, it would be closer to room temperature than to 0 degrees C. because the outer surface area of the wine is greater than the inner surface area. However, if the wine was to be cooled to near 0 degrees C., then the only possible option is to put the ice in the krater and the wine in the psykter, as in this case the wine is almost fully enclosed by ice. Whilst neither one is conclusive, the first option is appealing because it does not alter the ancient Greek tradition of wine being mixed in the krater.
Whilst the ancient sources do write of people drinking wine directly from a psykter, it is not clear whether they refer to the mushroom-shaped psykter specifically. Additionally, it would be considerably less costly to fill the psykter with ice rather than the krater. If the coolant were to be pre-chilled water then either way would be economical, although the cooling effect of chilled water, as opposed to ice, in the psykter would be minimal.
A dehumidifier is an electrical appliance which reduces and maintains the level of humidity in the air, usually for health or comfort reasons, or to eliminate musty odor and to prevent the growth of mildew by extracting water from the air. It can be used for household, commercial, or industrial applications. Large dehumidifiers are used in commercial buildings such as indoor ice rinks and swimming pools, as well as manufacturing plants or storage warehouses.
Kottabos was a game of skill played at Ancient Greek and Etruscan symposia, especially in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It involved flinging wine-lees (sediment) at a target in the middle of the room. The winner would receive a prize, comprising cakes, sweetmeats, or kisses.
A water dispenser, known as water cooler, is a machine that cools or heats up and dispenses water with a refrigeration unit. It is commonly located near the restroom due to closer access to plumbing. A drain line is also provided from the water cooler into the sewer system.
A refrigerator consists of a thermally insulated compartment and a heat pump that transfers heat from its inside to its external environment so that its inside is cooled to a temperature below the room temperature. Refrigeration is an essential food storage technique in developed countries. The lower temperature lowers the reproduction rate of bacteria, so the refrigerator reduces the rate of spoilage. A refrigerator maintains a temperature a few degrees above the freezing point of water. Optimum temperature range for perishable food storage is 3 to 5 °C. A similar device that maintains a temperature below the freezing point of water is called a freezer. The refrigerator replaced the icebox, which had been a common household appliance for almost a century and a half.
In ancient Greece, the symposium was a part of a banquet that took place after the meal, when drinking for pleasure was accompanied by music, dancing, recitals, or conversation. Literary works that describe or take place at a symposium include two Socratic dialogues, Plato's Symposium and Xenophon's Symposium, as well as a number of Greek poems such as the elegies of Theognis of Megara. Symposia are depicted in Greek and Etruscan art that shows similar scenes.
A krater or crater was a large vase in Ancient Greece, used for the dilution of wine with water.
Thermosiphon is a method of passive heat exchange, based on natural convection, which circulates a fluid without the necessity of a mechanical pump. Thermosiphoning is used for circulation of liquids and volatile gases in heating and cooling applications such as heat pumps, water heaters, boilers and furnaces. Thermosiphoning also occurs across air temperature gradients such as those utilized in a wood fire chimney or solar chimney.
Euphronios was an ancient Greek vase painter and potter, active in Athens in the late 6th and early 5th centuries BC. As part of the so-called "Pioneer Group,", Euphronios was one of the most important artists of the red-figure technique. His works place him at the transition from Late Archaic to Early Classical art, and he is one of the first known artists in history to have signed his work.
An absorption refrigerator is a refrigerator that uses a heat source to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling process. The system uses two coolants, the first of which performs evaporative cooling and is then absorbed into the second coolant; heat is needed to reset the two coolants to their initial states. The principle can also be used to air-condition buildings using the waste heat from a gas turbine or water heater. Using waste heat from a gas turbine makes the turbine very efficient because it first produces electricity, then hot water, and finally, air-conditioning—trigeneration. Absorption refrigerators are commonly used in recreational vehicles (RVs), campers, and caravans because they can be powered with propane fuel, rather than electricity. Unlike more common vapor-compression refrigeration systems, an absorption refrigerator can be produced with no moving parts other than the coolants.
Douris or Duris was an ancient Athenian red-figure vase-painter and potter active c. 500 to 460 BCE.
Geometric art is a phase of Greek art, characterized largely by geometric motifs in vase painting, that flourished towards the end of the Greek Dark Ages, circa 900 BC – 700 BC. Its center was in Athens, and from there the style spread among the trading cities of the Aegean. The Greek Dark Ages are also called the Geometric period in reference to this characteristic pottery style, although the historical period is much longer than the art-historical period, being circa 1100 – 800 BC. The vases had various uses or purposes within Greek society, including, but not limited to, funerary vases and symposium vases.
The pottery of ancient Greece has a long history and the form of Greek vase shapes has had a continuous evolution from Minoan pottery down to the Hellenistic era. As Gisela Richter puts it, the forms of these vases find their "happiest expression" in the 5th and 6th centuries BC, yet it has been possible to date vases thanks to the variation in a form’s shape over time, a fact particularly useful when dating unpainted or plain black-gloss ware.
The Pan Painter was an ancient Greek vase-painter of the Attic red-figure style, probably active c. 480 to 450 BCE. John Beazley attributed over 150 vases to his hand in 1912:
"Cunning composition; rapid motion; quick deft draughtsmanship; strong and peculiar stylisation; a deliberate archaism, retaining old forms, but refining, refreshing, and galvanizing them; nothing noble or majestic, but grace, humour, vivacity, originality, and dramatic force: these are the qualities which mark the Boston krater, and which characterize the anonymous artist who, for the sake of convenience, may be called the 'master of the Boston Pan-vase', or, more briefly, 'the Pan-master'."
Cold is the presence of low temperature, especially in the atmosphere. In common usage, cold is often a subjective perception. A lower bound to temperature is absolute zero, defined as 0.00 K on the Kelvin scale, an absolute thermodynamic temperature scale. This corresponds to −273.15 °C on the Celsius scale, −459.67 °F on the Fahrenheit scale, and 0.00 °R on the Rankine scale.
Free cooling is an economical method of using low external air temperatures to assist in chilling water, which can then be used for industrial processes, or air conditioning systems. The chilled water can either be used immediately or be stored for the short- or long-term. When outdoor temperatures are lower relative to indoor temperatures, this system utilizes the cool outdoor air as a free cooling source. In this manner, the system replaces the chiller in traditional air conditioning systems while achieving the same cooling result. Such systems can be made for single buildings or district cooling networks.
Radiators are heat exchangers used for cooling internal combustion engines, mainly in automobiles but also in piston-engined aircraft, railway locomotives, motorcycles, stationary generating plant or any similar use of such an engine.
Turbine inlet air cooling is a group of technologies and techniques consisting of cooling down the intake air of the gas turbine. The direct consequence of cooling the turbine inlet air is power output augmentation. It may also improve the energy efficiency of the system. This technology is widely used in hot climates with high ambient temperatures that usually coincides with on-peak demand period.
Dipylon kraters are Geometric Period Greek terracotta funerary vases found at the Dipylon cemetery, near the Dipylon Gate, in Kerameikos, the ancient potters quarter on the northwest side of the ancient city of Athens. A krater is a large Ancient Greek painted vase used to mix wine and water, but the large kraters at the Dipylon cemetery served as grave markers.
The calyx-krater by the artist called the "Painter of the Berlin Hydria" depicting an Amazonomachy is an ancient Greek painted vase in the red figure style, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It is a krater, a bowl made for mixing wine and water, and specifically a calyx-krater, where the bowl resembles the calyx of a flower. Vessels such as these were often used at a symposion, which was an elite party for drinking.
Ancient Greek funerary vases are decorative grave markers made in ancient Greece that were designed to resemble liquid-holding vessels. These decorated vases were placed on grave sites as a mark of elite status. There are many types of funerary vases, such as amphorae, kraters, oinochoe, and kylix cups, among others. One famous example is the Dipylon amphora. Every-day vases were often not painted, but wealthy Greeks could afford luxuriously painted ones. Funerary vases on male graves might have themes of military prowess, or athletics. However, allusions to death in Greek tragedies was a popular motif. Famous centers of vase styles include Corinth, Lakonia, Ionia, South Italy, and Athens.
Athenaeus, Deipnosophists Book XI, d, e; Plato, Symposium, 214, a; Plutarch, Moralia, The Dinner of the Seven Wise Men, c.
Drougou, S. (1975) Der Attische Psykter (Beiträge zur Archäologie, 9.), Würzburg: Konrad Triltsch.
Lynch, K. M., Lawall, M. L., and Little, L. M. (2011) The Symposium in Context: Pottery from a Late Archaic House near the Athenian Agora, Hesperia Supplements, Vol. 46 edn., Princeton, New Jersey: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Thomas, D. C. (2019) 'Making the Symposion: A study of the use and production of wine utensils in the collection of the British Museum.'
Venit, M. S. (2006) 'Point and Counterpoint: Painted Vases on Attic Painted Vases 49. Jahrg. (2006), pp. 29-41.
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