Update
Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE (www.oxfordreference.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 May 2024

Pyxis, 

Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium
Author(s):
Anthony CutlerAnthony Cutler

modern conventional term (from Greek πυξίς, “box”) for a circular or elliptical container cut from a section of elephant tusk. Most are attributed on stylistic grounds to the 5th–7th C. and to North Africa, Gaul, or Syria-Palestine, although the provenance of only two is known. Normally, pyxides do not exceed 9 cm in height, although two examples with Orphic scenes are exceptionally tall (16 cm). Elaborately carved, about 20 examples with pagan iconography and more than 40 with Old and New Testament subjects or, more rarely, scenes of martyrdom, are preserved. The diversity of subject matter represented on the outside provides a few clues as to their function. It has been argued that pyxides with scenes of Christ healing may have been used for medications and that others with the ... ...

Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.