Pythagorean Cup: The Cup For Gluttons

I’d venture to say there’s a glutton hiding inside all of us. Some of us are gluttons for food, some for money, and some for that enchanting nectar – alcohol. Alcohol addiction has plagued humankind since we first discovered the joys of that sweet, fermented liquid. The ancient Greeks were no less immune to gluttonous drinking and Pythagoras of Samos cleverly designed a cup that would expose the greedy: the Pythagorean Cup.

Pythagorean cup, (Author: Nevit Dilmen)

Pythagorean cup diagram, (Author: Nevit Dilmen)

From Wikipedia:

A Pythagorean cup (also known as a Pythagoras cup, a Greedy Cup or a Tantalus cup) is a form of drinking cup that forces its user to imbibe only in moderation. Credited to Pythagoras of Samos, it allows the user to fill the cup with wine up to a certain level. If they fill the cup only to that level, the imbiber may enjoy a drink in peace. If they exhibit gluttony, however, the cup spills its entire contents out of the bottom (onto the lap of the immodest drinker).

Here’s an example of how they work:

Hey, it might be an excellently passive aggressive Christmas gift for your drunk uncle.

4 Comments on "Pythagorean Cup: The Cup For Gluttons"

  1. Apparently the Greeks never played hour of power or they would have realized they were just helping the glutton get hammered that much faster.

  2. Rus Archer | Jul 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm |

    or just make a smaller cup?
    but you can still fill it as often as you want, so…

  3. Sarcasmo | Jul 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm |


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