Lebes Gamikos

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Lebes Gamikos by Asteas, c. 340 BC, National Archaeological Museum of Spain

The lebes gamikos, or "nuptial lebes," (plural - lebetes gamikoi) is a form of ancient Greek pottery used in marriage ceremonies (literally, it means marriage vase).[1][2] It was probably used in the ritual sprinkling of the bride with water before the wedding. In form, it has a large bowl-like body and a stand that can be long or short. Painted scenes are placed on either the body of the vessel or the stand.

One of the earliest lebetes gamikoi was painted by, apparently, a follower of Sophilos (c. 580 - 570).[full citation needed] The lebes gamikos had the typical wedding procession, accompanied by the unique addition of chariots bearing Helen and Menelaos and the bride's brothers.[3]

A typical lebes gamikos shows wedding scenes (including mythic weddings such as the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, but the iconography can also be related to scenes such as mimes.


  1. ^ "lebes gamikos". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Traditionelle Hochzeitsbräuche aus Bulgarien und Griechenland". Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ Boardman, John (1974). Athenian Black Figure Vases. World of Art. Thames & Hudson. p. 19. ISBN 9780500181447.