a general term among the Greeks and Romans, as often in the Vulgate, for a pitcher (q.v.) or vessel to hold wine or water. Thus the passage in Lu 22:10, is rendered, "There shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water" — (κεράμιον) amphoram aquaeportans. At other times it is taken for a certain measure. The Roman amphora contained forty-eight sextaries, equal to about seven gallons one pint English wine measure; and the Grecian or Attic amphora contained one third more. Amphora was also a dlr measure used by the Romans. and contained about three bushels (Smith's Dict. of Class. Ant. s.v.).
Amphorae were generally tall and narrow, with a small neck, and a handle on each side (whence the name, from ἀμφί, on both sides, and φέρω, to carry), and terminating at the bottom in a point, which was let into a stand or stuck in the ground. They were commonly made of earthenware. Homer mentions amphorae of gold and stone, and the Egyptians had them of brass; glass vessels of this form have been found at Pompeii.