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K

kalathos Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a small krater with a spout near the foot used to hold wine (image).

Kalchas (Calchas) - soothsayer who predicts Troy will not be taken without Achilles.

Kalends Click here to hear this word pronounced. - in the Roman calendar the Kalends fell on the first day of each month; tristes Kalendae, called the 'gloomy Kalends' because interest was due on the Kalends.

Kallipateira Click here to hear this word pronounced. - in ancient Greece women were not allowed to participate in or attend athletic competitions, with the exception of young girls (virgins) and the priestess of Demeter Chamyne were; if caught attending the Olympic games, for example, a woman was thrown off mount Typaion; Kallipateira defied the rules by disguising herself as a trainer so she could watch her son, who she had trained her son following her husbands death, compete; Kallipateira was so elated when her son won that she lept over the barrier that enclosed the trainers’ area and lost her clothing; her identity revealed, Kallipateira faced certain death but because her father, three brothers, nephew, and son were Olympic victors the official pardoned her in honor of her victorious family members.

kalos names - the names of individuals that appear in inscriptions on vases in reference to a beautiful or fair youth; for an example, see Louvre F 53 (image).

kalpe Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a race for mares established as an Olympic event in 496 BCE.

kanon Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a wooden rod used to record jumps by athletes in ancient Greek athletics.

kantharos - a footed bowl whose name means 'dung beetle'; the bowl has two curving handles set on each side (image).

kartereia Click here to hear this word pronounced. - the level of sacrifices, mental strength, and endurance in the face of long hours of training and practice without complaint an athlete demonstrated during the long training periods and competition; an athletes kartereia was his most important virtue.

katabasis - (Greek) “going underneath”; descent to the Underworld included in literature; many epics include a katabasis at some point; Homer includes a katabasis in the Odyssey and Vergil includes one in Book 6 of the Aeneid.

kato pale Click here to hear this word pronounced. - ground wrestling in ancient Greek athletics in which opponents fought until one acknowledged defeat by holding up their right hand with their index finger extended.

kekryphalos - a hair net for women; for an example, see Tampa 86.102 (image).

keles Click here to hear this word pronounced. - bare back horse riding competition established as an Olympic event in 648 BCE.

kentron - a stick with a pointed end used to drive animals; for an example, see Harvard 1969.14 (image).

Keres Click here to hear this word pronounced. - the spirits who controlled the destiny of each hero on the battlefield; they played a prominent role in the Iliad; the Keres were horrible monsters with long white fangs and nails; these creatures drank the blood of the wounded and dead and tore dead bodies to pieces; they resembled the Moirae.

keroma Click here to hear this word pronounced. - an ancient Greek wrestling arena that was muddy; keroma means beeswax.

keros - an animal horn; for an example, see Harvard 1972.41.

kerykeion - a caduceus or messenger's wand; for an example, see Boston 01.8025 (image).

kerykes - a family group from whom the officials for the Eleusinian Mysteries were chosen.

ketos - a sea monster ; for an example, see Boston 63.420 (image).

Khepri Click here to hear this word pronounced. - an ancient Egyptian deity, Khepri’s association with the dung beetle and his role as a sun god resulted in his depiction as a man with a beetle on his head or with a beetle head rolling the sun and moon across the sky.

Khonsu Click here to hear this word pronounced. - an ancient Egyptian deity, Khonsu is the son of Amon-Re and Mut; Khonsu is a moon-god, who was said to cause the crescent moon to shine, cattle to become fertile, women to conceive, and for the lungs of the people to fill with fresh air.

kibisis - a wallet or sack; the silver bag with gold tassels (as Hesiod describes it, Shield of Herakles line 234) in which Perseus carried Medusa's head; sack carried by Hermes and Mercury.

kidaris Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a Scythian hat from which flaps hang down onto the chest; for an example, see London E 135. Pronunciation

kithara - a stringed instrument, like a lyre; for an example, see Boston 26.61 (image).

Kleisthenes - see Cleisthenes.

klimax Click here to hear this word pronounced. - in ancient Greek athletics, a voluntary point in a boxing match that was running long when the two boxers took turns standing still while one hit the other; the boxer receiving the blows did not try to avoid them and this led to a quicker resolution of the fight.

kline - a dining couch; for an example, see Louvre CA 453 (image).

Knossos - an ancient city on the island of Crete best known as the location of the great Minoan palace; Knossos was well established by the Geometric period and was the leading city on the island in the archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods; Knossos was made a Roman colony in 36 BCE and prospered until the early Byzantine period; found at Knossos are well-preserved Roman houses; for more on Knossos and to view images of the ancient city, follow the link below.

Knowledge Builder™ - step-by-step instruction for expanding your knowledge of Perseus and the ancient Greek world. Each Knowledge Builder addresses a particular topic related to the ancient Greek world.

kommos - (plural, kommoi): a song of lament in tragedy; a set of lines that alternate between an actor (or actors) and the chorus in ancient drama; a kommos could be used to heighten emotion or show indecision for a character.

komos - a scene depicting a party; for an example, see Toledo 1964.126 (image).

kore - female youth or maiden.

koryphaeus - see coryphaeus.

kotinos Click here to hear this word pronounced. - crowns of wild olives leaves awarded to the winners of competitions in the Olympic games; according to myth, it was Iphitos who first used a crown of wild olive leaves from the kallistephanos, an ancient wild olive tree near the temple of Zeus, to crown victors at the Olympic games.

kottabos Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a drinking game from Sicily that involved flicking a few drops of wine from the bottom of a kylix onto a specified target; for an example of how it was played, see Boston 01.8034 (image).

koros - a youth or boy.

krotala Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a rattle or castanets associated with the rituals of Dionysus and Cybele; for an example, see Boston 00.339 (image).

kykeon - a drink made from grain and pennyroyal that was used traditionally in the Eleusinian Mysteries in ancient Greece.

kylix Click here to hear this word pronounced. - a drinking cup (image).

  • see The Kylix in Context, a paper written by Erin Clossey, for insights into the use of the kylix.


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