Fragment of glass cup

eMuseumPlus

Image courtesy of Benaki Museum

I know this isn’t the most visually appealing object ever (surprising right?) but I stumbled upon it at the Benaki Museum during my stay in Athens (expect some reviews soon!) and it intrigued because it’s stamped with a personification of the city of Tyre. I’m not hugely familiar with glass making and decoration techniques, since glass only starts to be used at the very end of the period I’m most interested in. This cup fragment is from the late 3rd-early 4th century A.D, so Roman times. I don’t have much information about it, just what the museum label says to me; and part of that is that it was found in Syria. Syria could mean largely Syria and Lebanon so it’s not excluded that this object might have been found in the actual city of Tyre, but don’t take my word for it.

I think it’s cool that cities have personifications, and this isn’t the first time I’ve encountered that of Tyre. It also helps archaeologists that this fragment is inscribed with the name of the city. In addition to the city of Tyre in the center, you can see the hand of a Nike holding a wreath, and the scales of justice. Side note, Nikes were victory goddesses in Ancient Greece so now you know a fun fact about the origin of the name of the brand.

So stay tuned for reviews of museums and activities in Athens and Crete, and I’m going to the Basque country next week as well so you can also expect a review of the Guggenheim Bilbao!

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