Black-glazed ware is a type of ancient Greek pottery, with the modern term describing vessels covered with a shiny black slip. These black-glazed wares replaced the previously popular red-figure pottery from the Mediterranean markets and soon became ubiquitous across the Empire.
Southern Italy was populated by a large number of Greek colonies from the 8th century BC onwards – so much so that the Romans referred to the area as Magna Graecia – ‘Great Greece’. These Greek colonies were instrumental in bringing Greek culture and thought to Italy, greatly influencing Roman literature, philosophy, and material culture in turn. Greek pottery from Southern Italy is most characteristically defined by the glossy black finish, as seen on this cup.
To find out more about different types of Greek vessel please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Greek Vases.