Encyclopedia > Tripod

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A tripod is any three-footed utensil or article of furniture. The name is specially applied to the following:
  1. A seat or table[?] with three legs.
  2. A stand for holding the caldron[?] used for boiling water or cooking meat; when caldron and stand were made in one piece, the name was given to the complete apparatus.
  3. A sacrificial tripod, or altar, the most famous of which was the Delphic tripod, on which the Pythian priestess[?] took her seat to deliver the oracles of the god.

Tripods are frequently mentioned by Homer as prizes in athletic games and as complimentary gifts, and in later times, highly decorated and bearing inscriptions, they served the same purpose. They were also used as dedicatory offerings to the gods, and in the dramatic contests at the Dionysia[?] the victorious choregus (a wealthy citizen who bore the expense of equipping and training the chorus) received a crown and a tripod, which he either dedicated to some god or set upon the top of a marble structure erected in the form of a small circular temple in a street in Athens, called the street of tripods, from the large number of memorials of this kind. One of these, the monument of Lysicrates[?], erected by him to commemorate his victory in a dramatic contest in 335 BC is still in existence.

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