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Jars and Jugs, Bottles and Beakers

"Take cups made of Saguntan clay which your servant may hold and keep without anxiety." (Martial, Epigrams XIV.108)

"You will forgive me if I say I prefer glass: at least it doesn't smell. If it were not so breakable I should prefer it even to gold; as it is, it is so cheap." (Petronius, Satyricon 50)

Clearly the manufacture of amphorae was a major Roman industry, and one of a scale that always would be swayed by the year-to-year state of wine production throughout the Roman World. That will have been true also wherever wooden casks (cupa) rather than pottery amphorae were the preferred means of storage. But other craft industries were effected by such matters as well. Someone had to make the various kinds of bottles that stored wine and wine-based sauces in the kitchen of every home, and all the beakers and jugs that were used throughout the day in each city tavern, and those brought out each evening during each family's evening meal. Someone has to keep the quartermasters of frontier armies supplied with such vessels as well. When the population of the Empire approached 54 million during the reign of emperor Trajan, around A.D. 116, potters and glassblowers combined probably were producing as many as 100 million wine-related vessels every year, just to keep pace with normal household wear-and-tear and tipsied carelessness.