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Mythological Beakers: A Re-examination

All About Glass

In 1972, Gladys Davidson Weinberg published a study of 24 vessels and fragments of a type of first-century A.D. mold-blown glass known as a mythological beaker.1 While subsequent publications have included individual beakers and fragments, they have not been surveyed again as a group,2 and they are re-examined here to resolve some of the questions surrounding their iconography that were left unanswered in earlier studies.3 The group now numbers 41 objects, with new vessels and fragments appearing frequently on the art market and in excavations.

Weinberg divided the beakers into four iconographic groups. These groups have been maintained and are discussed and catalogued in separate sections, much as they were in the 1972 publication. Weinberg's entries have been updated, and additional bibliographic citations have been provided. New catalog entries are added to Weinberg's sequence; they contain the same type of information included in her entries. Tables of comparative measurements accompany the catalog4 and help to identify the number of different molds used to produce the groups.

Group I

The beakers of Group I form the most coherent group iconographically, stylistically, and geographically. All of the figures are derived from a single visual source: the wedding procession of Peleus and Thetis. On works with relief decoration dating to the second and first centuries B.C. and the first century A.D., figures from this composition appear in varied combinations on Neo-Attic reliefs, Campana reliefs, lead-glazed and Arretine pottery, and puteals, and individually on gems. Thus, they provide both earlier and later parallels for figural style and the identification of attributes. The consistency of the figural types on such a wide variety of media suggests the existence of a relief representation of the scene that was well known to artisans of the late Hellenistic period.

Weinberg discusses the iconography of this group extensively, as many of the pieces had been published prior to her article.5 Her compilation of the various identities proposed for the figures concludes that Hermes (Mercury), Winter, and Hercules are proper identifications, and that the fourth figure is either Hymen or a Season.6

Figure A: Glass beaker, Group I-7: WinterFigure A: the personification of Winter, who stands in a three-quarter frontal position with her weight on her straightened right leg; her left leg is drawn back behind her. She wears a chiton and a cloak. She holds a stick over her left shoulder, from which animals hang at either end; there are two birds in the front and a hare in the rear. She holds a small boar by the hind legs in her downstretched right hand.7

This figure8 first appears on Arretine vases of the first century B.C. She is accompanied by her sister Seasons, and many additional attributes, such as animals, are distributed among the four.9 This specific "Arretine type" of Winter is also found on gems,10 in the company of other figures from the Peleus and Thetis scene on lead-glazed vessels produced in Asia Minor at the end of the first century B.C.,11 on puteals,12 and on Campana reliefs, where she appears on one variety with Hercules13 and on another with her sister Seasons.14 She appears in exactly the same manner in later art, most notably on the second-century Albani sarcophagus, which also depicts the wedding procession of Peleus and Thetis.15

Figure B: Glass beaker, Group I-7: HerculesFigure B: Hercules, nude, in a three-quarter rear view with right leg advanced. Over his left arm, he carries an inverted calf, whose head and forelegs hang down in front of Hercules' chest, and whose hind legs and tail dangle behind his left shoulder. The weight of the calf is indicated by Hercules' bent knees. His hair is short, and he may be bearded.

Like Winter, the figure of Hercules is a known type, although it is adapted from another composition.16 It is taken straight from the sixth and fifth centuries B.C., when Attic vase painters chose it to depict Hercules' labor of the Erymanthian boar; he carries the boar on his left shoulder in the same position as the calf is shown on the glass vessels.17 Like Winter, he appears individually on gems,18 and also in the form of statuettes.19 In group compositions, he is found on puteals,20 lead-glazed wares,21 provincial terra sigillata,22 and Campana reliefs,23 all of which include figures from the wedding procession. The earliest examples of this calf-bearing type all date to the first century B.C., which suggests that it was a late Hellenistic-early Roman creation based on the earlier Greek boar-bearing figure. It was used into the first century A.D. on such objects as the glass beakers,24 but it then faded from the repertoire of Roman art.

Figure C: Glass beaker, Group I-7: HymenFigure C: Hymen, who wears a chitoniskos and chlamys; his hair is pulled back in a bun. Over his left shoulder, he carries a burning torch, whose flame has been shaped into a continuous curve. In his downstretched right hand, he carries a vessel that resembles an amphoriskos, but it is probably a stylized loutrophoros, which would be more appropriate to the context. His weight is placed on his straight left leg, and the right leg is drawn back.

Surviving depictions of the figure of Hymen in compositions that predate his appearance on mythological beakers are unknown to me; all of the six known figural examples postdate the glass vessels. A Hellenistic composition by Aetion of the wedding of Alexander and Roxanne is recorded in a literary description, but it is now lost.25 Hymen appears alone only once, in a Pompeian painting from the House of Meleager.26 The painting is Fourth Style, and it has been dated to about A.D. 70, which corresponds to the chronological period assigned to the mythological beakers.27 This figural type, however, is somewhat different from the Hymen on the beakers, for he is draped around his lower torso, he has long hair with a crown of flowers, and he holds a torch and a floral wreath. In the other surviving examples, Hymen is one of a number of figures in marriage scenes. Three of these are mosaics dating to the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth century A.D.,28 and two are sarcophagus compositions dating to the second century A.D.29 The closest figural comparison comes from the Albani sarcophagus, where the personification attends the wedding of Peleus and Thetis.30

When comparing the figure of Hymen on the Albani sarcophagus with the figures on the glass vessels, the similarities are quite evident: the costume, hair, and position of the body are all the same. What is dissimilar, however, is the treatment of the torch held by the figure. On the Albani sarcophagus, the object held over Hymen's left shoulder is definitely a flaming torch, but on the beakers, it rather resembles a pedum, or shepherd's crook. The questions surrounding this attribute are responsible for the tentative identification of this figure as a Season31 or as some type of pastoral figure. I believe that the object held by the figure on the glass beakers is the same attribute as that held by Hymen on the Albani sarcophagus—a flaming torch—but that in the process of mold making and glass inflation, details were lost, and the flames at the end of the torch became fused with the shaft and took on a curved appearance. It seems quite unlikely that a group composition including a female Season whose figural type is paralleled elsewhere would also include a male Season whose figural type and attributes are unknown, and whose gender does not become commonplace in Roman artistic production until half a century later.32 If the figure of Summer or Spring were intended on the mythological beakers, the established female Arretine type would have been included, as it is on other compositions showing the wedding group, such as lead-glazed wares.

Figure D: Glass beaker, Group I-7: MercuryFigure D: Mercury, who stands in right profile with his left foot advanced. He holds a caduceus before him in his right hand, and the skull of a ram in the palm of his left hand. A chlamys is draped over his left forearm. His torso is muscular and well defined; his hair is short and curly.

The figure of Mercury, like that of Hercules, is derived from a well-established Greek type.33 A very close parallel to this figure is found on a gem signed by Dioskourides in the British Museum; the only difference is in the position of the head.34 The skull-bearing type is also seen on lead-glazed wares,35 and in small bronze sculptures used in household shrines, or lararia. In the sculptures, which are based on a Polykleitan prototype,36 the figure is shown with or without his petasos. The prototype, then, is a creation of the late classical period, but it was still popular in the first centuries B.C. and A.D.

All of the beakers in the group are quite similar. Some have less clearly discernible figures than others because the crispness of the molding varies. The shape of Corning's 79.1.29 [Figs. 1-4] (cat. no. I-11), however, is different. Rather than being cracked off above the figural zone to construct a beaker, the vessel was drawn up, its neck was constricted, and it was finished at the top as a flask with a flaring mouth. This is the only such piece in the entire corpus of beakers.

Figure 1: Glass beaker, Group I-11: Winter

Figure 2: Glass beaker, Group I-11: Hercules

Figure 3: Glass beaker, Group I-11: Hymen

Figure 4: Glass beaker, Group I-11: Mercury

With one exception, all of the pieces in Group I are associated with find spots in Asia Minor and Turkey, but only three can be placed there with certainty. The most securely placed beaker is the British Museum's GR 78.10–20.1, excavated in Cyzicus and published in 1879 by Titus Carabella.37 Two other beakers have very strong connections to the region. One is said to have been found at Gallipoli,38 and the other was with a group of material from Balikesir.39 The rest of the pieces in the group were purchased on the art market; they are said to be from Asia Minor or Turkey, and the object in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is associated with "Syria-Palestine." It is quite possible that the vessel discovered by Carabella, the first mythological beaker known and published, provided a provenance for the art-market pieces. But if not, and if all of these objects can be associated with the region, a workshop for their production, located somewhere along the well-populated coast of Asia Minor, seems likely. Lead-glazed wares containing some of the same figures and compositional arrangements were being made in Asia Minor prior to the production of the glass vessels.40 Glass, too, was manufactured in the region at an earlier date, as core-formed amphoriskoi and molded bowls attest, so a continuation into free and mold-blowing in the first centuries B.C. and A.D. is likely.

A series of precise measurements was taken from the beakers to determine how many molds were used in their manufacture.41 It was expected that such measurements as the total height and the diameter of the rim would vary, as this part of the vessel was not restricted by the mold or subject to its patterning. The diameters of the bases were expected to be somewhat close,42 as were the heights of the figural and architectural elements.

As can be seen from the table following the catalog entries, the intact beakers range in height from 12.13 cm to 12.67 cm. Their rim diameters are between 6.31 cm and 7.6 cm, and the diameters of their bases are from 4.2 cm to 4.51 cm. The bases themselves are of two types: those with two rings and those with three. This suggests that two base molds were used for the production of the entire group. The figural heights are all within millimeters of one another, which argues strongly that the same side panels were used for all of the beakers that were measured. The size of the group also suggests limited production with one set of side mold panels, as only 11 pieces survive. This conclusion may change as more pieces from the group appear on the market to provide more comparative measurements, although only two have appeared since 1972.43

Group 1—Catalog

Table 1: Comparative Measurements, Group I


1. Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), M.88.129.52.
H. 12.33 cm; D. (rim) 6.31–6.57 cm, (base) 4.33–4.4 cm; Th.(at rim) 0.17–0.25 cm.
Beaker of transparent, mottled, dull blue-green glass. Base patterned with three concentric rings of varying dimensions. The outermost ring is more a disk that continues to the edge of the base. Blown into a five-part mold. Rim very slightly flared. Intact, with a vertical crack that runs from rim to top of head of Hymen. Weathering layer on parts of the interior and exterior, and some soil accretions on interior. Small amount of surface pitting in base area. Striations in the glass, most notably between Mercury and Winter. Rim chipped in some places, cracked off; horizontal lines scratched onto exterior surface between rim and tops of pediments. Said to have come from Syria-Palestine, although Weinberg reports Turkey. Acquired by Hans Cohn in 1970; donated by him to LACMA in 1988.
Additional bibliography: A. von Saldern, Glass, 500 B.C. to A.D. 1900: The Hans Cohn Collection, Los Angeles, California, Mainz, 1980, p. 53, no. 46, fig. 46a, b, color pl. 5; Weinberg [note 1], p. 29, figs. 3 and 8; Wight [note 3], pp. 34–35.

2. The Corning Museum of Glass, 68.1.9.
H. 12.58 cm; D. (rim) 6.61–6.82 cm, (base) 4.32–4.49 cm (slightly ovoid).
Beaker of light yellowish amber glass. The decoration is less crisply molded. Columns appear to be unfluted. Blown into a five-part mold. Rim is slightly flared. Intact, with one crack at base. Some surface encrustation on interior of base. Rim was cracked off; incised lines are visible on exterior of beaker below flare of rim. Said to be from Turkey; acquired by The Corning Museum of Glass in 1968.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], pp. 29–30, no. 2, fig. 4; D. Harden and others, Glass of the Caesars, Milan, 1987, pp. 163–164, no. 85, illus., with profile drawing; Wight [note 3], pp. 35–36, figs. 13–17.

3. British Museum, GR 78.10–20.1.
H. 12.67cm; D. (rim) 6.38cm, (base) 4.39cm.
Beaker of light greenish blue glass. Blown into a five-part mold. Base is decorated with three concentric rings, but patterning is slightly varied when compared with base pattern of I-1. Rim is slightly flared inward. Figural groundline is not perfectly horizontal. Intact; some iridescence; surface has been cleaned. Some inclusions in the glass, most notably above figures of Hercules and Hymen, below figure of Winter, and in base below figure of Hymen. Rim has been cracked off; there are incised horizontal lines below rim and above pediments. Excavated from a grave at Cyzicus, Turkey; purchased for the British Museum from Titus Carabella in Constantinople through Sir A.H. Layard.
Additional bibliography: K. Friedrichs, Die Gipsabgüsse antiker Bildwerke in historisher Folge erklärt, Berlin, 1885, no. 2010; Simon [note 7], p. 212, note 12; Weinberg [note 1], p. 30, figs. 5–6; D.M. Bailey, A Catalogue of the Lamps in the British Museum III: Roman Provincial Lamps, London, 1988, p. 414, Q3297; Wight [note 2], p.72; idem [note 3], pp. 36–37, figs. 18–22; D.M. Bailey, "A Grave Group from Cyzicus," Journal of Glass Studies, v. 34, 1992, pp. 27–34.

4. National Museum, Athens, acc. no. 3000.
According to Weinberg: H. 12.2 cm; D. (rim) about 6.9 cm, (base) 4.2 cm; Th. (walls) 1.5 mm.
Fragmentary beaker of olive green glass. Rim slightly everted. Badly cracked; part of rim and upper part of body missing. Large bubbles; some enamel weathering. Blown into three- or five-part mold. Rim is cracked off. Provenance unknown; purchased from a dealer before 1894.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p. 30, no. 4; Wight [note 3], pp. 37–38; G. Davidson Weinberg, Glass Vessels in Ancient Greece, Athens, 1992, pp. 129–130, no. 103, illus.

5. Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, acc. no. 1637.
According to Weinberg: H. 12 cm; D. (rim) about 6.7cm, (base) about 4.5cm; Th. (walls) about 2 mm.
Fragmentary beaker of brown glass. Rim slightly everted. Cracked; section of rim and body above Winter missing. Enamel weathering and a heavy lime encrustation (now removed). Blown into three- or five-part mold. Confiscated in village of Cekirdeki with other objects from Balikeșir, Turkey, in 1934.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], pp.30–31, no.5; Wight [note 2], p.72; idem [note 3], p.38.

6. Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, acc. no. P 1970–1.
H. 12.13cm; D. (rim) 6.91cm, (base) 4.36–4.51cm; Th. (at rim) 1 mm.
Beaker of purple glass. Base decorated with three concentric rings in a manner very similar to base of I-1. Rim very everted, with a distinct demarcation at edge of mold and beginning of flare. Blown into a five-part mold. Intact; slightly iridescent; encrustation covering bottom half of interior. Rim cracked off, with some horizontal indented lines below flare of rim and above pediments. Said to have come from Turkey.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p. 31, no. 6, figs. 7–8; Wight [note 3], pp. 38–39, figs. 23–27.

7. Private collection, on loan to The Corning Museum of Glass; Weinberg's Swiss art market.
H. 12.25cm; D. (rim) 7.6cm, (base) 4.31–4.51cm.
Beaker of yellow-green glass. Fluting is apparent only on some of the columns. Rim sharply everted. Figural groundline slopes markedly. Base decorated with three concentric rings, the innermost of which is impressed twice, taking the shape of a figure eight. Blown into a five-part mold. Intact. Some surface encrustation on interior; slight iridescence on exterior. The rim, slightly chipped, is cracked off and ground. Horizontal incised lines below flare of rim on outside. Base slightly abraded. Formerly European art market, then Constable Maxwell collection; sold at auction in June 1979.
Bibliography: Ancient Glass and Glazed Wares, London: Gawain McKinley Ltd., n.d.; Weinberg [note 1], pp. 31–32, no.7; Catalogue of the Constable Maxwell Collection of Ancient Glass, London: Sotheby Parke Bernet, 1979, pp.87–90, lot 143, line drawing on p.87, color pls. on pp. 88–89; The Corning Museum of Glass, Newsletter, Autumn, 1985, illus. on p. 2; Wight [note 2], p. 71, note 1; idem [note 3], pp. 39–40.

8. Art Museum, Princeton, acc. no. y1944–70.
H. (preserved) 11.04 cm.
Fragment of beaker preserving part of slightly everted rim, and figure of Mercury, including portions of partly fluted columns on either side. Made of pale yellow-green glass. Surface very smooth. Some minor surface encrustation in crevices on outside and inside; minor iridescence on inside. Rim cracked off and ground down; slight incision lines below flare and above top of pediment. From Turkey (Istanbul art market); gift of Mrs. Saul S. Weinberg.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p. 32, no.8; Wight [note 3], pp. 40–41.

9. British Museum, GR 1972.5–11.1.
H. 12.46cm, D. (base) 4.3–4.36cm (ovoid).
Fragmentary beaker of greenish glass preserving figures of Winter and Hercules. Base decorated with three concentric rings, very similar to treatment of I-1. Columns appear to be unfluted. Rim slightly everted. Blown into a five-part mold. Reconstructed from three fragments. Exterior heavily iridescent and pitted. Rim cracked off; remains of incision lines at rim below flare. Said to have been found in Gallipoli; donated to the British Museum by Maj. D. Abel-Smith.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p. 47; Wight [note 2], p.71, note 1, and p.72; idem [note 3], pp. 41–42, figs. 28–29; Bailey, "A Grave Group" [cat. no. l-3], p. 33, fig. 13.

10. Cinzano Collection.
According to Lazarus: H. 12.5 cm.
Beaker of green glass. Rim everted. Intact; some surface encrustation and deterioration. Rim cracked off; horizontal incised lines below flare of rim and above pediments. Said to have come from Pergamon.
Current whereabouts unknown.
Bibliography: P. Lazarus, The Cinzano Glass Collection, London, n.p., 1974, 1978, no. 10, color pl., black-and-white illus., brief catalog entry; Wight [note 2], p. 71, note 1, and p. 72; idem [note 3], p. 42.

11. The Corning Museum of Glass, 79.1.29 (Fig. 1–4).
According to the Museum: H. 19.8cm; D. (rim) 5.2 cm, (shoulder) 7.1 cm.
Flask. Reconstructed from fragments. Ex-Reedy collection; donated to The Corning Museum of Glass by Reedy in 1979.
Bibliography: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, auction catalog, December 13, 1979, lot 197; "Recent Important Acquisitions," Journal of Glass Studies, v. 19, 1977, p.170, no. 6; Wight [note 3], pp. 42–43, figs. 30–34.

Group II

While the quality of the figural rendition in this group is much less fine than that found on the beakers of Group I, the figures are readable and can be identified. As with Group I, Weinberg summarizes the various iconographic identifications proposed for the figures, concluding that Neptune and Bacchus are easily identifiable, and that the other two figures are probably Seasons.44

Figure A: Neptune, who stands frontally, with his bearded head in left profile. The drapery exposes his upper right torso, falling from his left shoulder to cover his lower torso. In his upraised left arm, he holds a trident; in his outstretched right hand, a dolphin is poised, snout downward.

The figure of Neptune is very straightforward.45 The trident and dolphin clearly reveal his identity, and parallels for his type appear on gems46 and coins.47 The type was developed in the late Republican period, and it appeared frequently on Augustan coinage after the battle of Actium, in which Neptune was perceived to have played a major role in ensuring Octavian's victory.

Figure B: Bonus Eventus, who stands frontally, wearing a chlamys. He holds three stalks of grain or flowers in his lowered right hand, and an object that resembles a bird in his outstretched left hand.

Of all the figures appearing on the mythological beakers, this one has been the most difficult to identify because his attributes are unclear. He was thought by Weinberg to be the personification of a Season, perhaps Autumn.48 He is, in fact, Bonus Eventus, a Roman personification originally associated with the harvest, and later used as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.49 His image appears most frequently as a single figure on gems50 and coins,51 but he is shown in group compositions as well.52 The gem image most closely related to Bonus Eventus, as seen on the beakers, has been dated to the first or second century A.D.53 In all of the images, the treatment of the hair is the same.

Figure C: a youthful Bacchus, who stands frontally, wearing a chitoniskos. He holds a thyrsus upright in his left hand, and he pours wine from a kantharos or krater, held in his right hand, into the open mouth of a small panther, which sits next to and behind his right foot. His hair is pulled up, and his head is in left profile.

Bacchus is easily recognizable; the thyrsus and panther attest to his identity.54 The youthful, unbearded type wearing a chitoniskos is paralleled on Roman gems and statues.55 In the second century, this type also appeared on coins.56 The dates of the comparable types indicate that the figural type seems to have been created in the fourth century B.C. and copied frequently during the Roman period.

Figure D: Hymen, who stands in a three-quarter frontal position, wearing a chitoniskos that is draped to expose the right half of his upper torso. He holds a flaming torch across his left shoulder and in his lowered right hand is a vessel, probably the marriage loutrophoros. His hair is dressed up, as if rolled around a fillet.

Another of Weinberg's Seasons is identified here as Hymen; it is the same figure as that found on Group I, although the vessel and torch are even more blurred.57 The closest figural parallel is found on the Albani sarcophagus, mentioned above in conjunction with Group I. It is unclear why earlier authors failed to see a resemblance between this figure and his counterpart in Group I, or the comparison with Hymen on the Albani sarcophagus. As Weinberg notes, one possibility is that, prior to her publication, Groups I and II were never treated together as a complete corpus.58 Another problem pertaining to this personification is the female gender of the figure on the Yale and Tokyo beakers,59 where breasts are quite evident. This may be an error on the part of the artist responsible for the manufacture of the mold, who perhaps mistook the figure for a female when this panel was prepared. The drapery of Hymen on the Yale and Tokyo beakers is also somewhat different; it appears to be a chitoniskos and a himation, rather than a chitoniskos with right shoulder bared. Why this figure varies in gender, if it is not simply a misunderstanding on the part of the moldmaker, is unclear, as Hymen is generally considered to be a male personification.

While the figures have individual iconographic parallels, they are never united in a group composition as they are on the beakers. The two deities appear together in depictions of the Roman pantheon, but the figures of Hymen and Bonus Eventus do not. The meaning of this specific assemblage remains unclear, in contrast to the comprehensible collection of figures on Group I.

The beaker that has the greatest clarity in its relief decoration, Yale 1955.6.49,60 is also unusual for an additional element in the overall design. All of the figures stand atop high pedestals, as if they were freestanding sculptural works placed within an arcade. One other piece in Group II, the fragmentary beaker in Tokyo,61 also follows this decorative pattern. The conceit of placing the figures atop pedestals is also found on the beakers of Group III, but there the pedestals are much lower and lack the impressive character of the Yale and Tokyo pieces.

There is one other piece in Group II that varies from its companions. This object, which recently appeared on the art market, has only three figures, rather than four.62 The missing figure is Bacchus. The beaker is comparable in height and diameter to other beakers in the group. Because there is more space surrounding the three figures, some design elements were modified. The swags are not suspended; instead, they run straight across from column capital to column capital. In addition, ribbons or fillets hang on either side of the capitals and fill some of the area on either side of the figures' heads. A third difference is the treatment of the area below the figural groundline: there is an additional relief line encircling this beaker. It is possible that the mold for this variant was taken directly from a damaged four-figured beaker and that modifications were made to the swags and base area. Even with additional space surrounding the figures, the moldmaker was unable to articulate the figural details more clearly than in the other beakers of the group.

I have measured only six of the 18 pieces in this group. Therefore, any conclusions about the number of molds used to produce the group are speculative. That there were at least three sets of side panels is evident from the design differences among the three varieties of beakers: those with pedestals, those without, and the one anomaly with three figures. The heights of the figures on the standard variety of beaker (unpedestaled, with four figures) seem to confirm this theory because each is within one or two millimeters of the others. This comparison includes the heights of the figures on the three figured beaker. It seems likely, then, that one set of side panels was used for the beakers with pedestals, one set was used for the standard beakers, and a third set was employed for the three-figured beaker, based on a beaker produced with the standard beaker mold. Two of the pieces, the Yale and Weprin beakers, have four rings on the underside of the bases, while the rest have three rings. Although the three-figured beaker has three rings on the underside of its base, the base itself is concave rather than flat. This indicates a base mold different from that used for the other beakers with three-ringed bases.

Group II — Catalog

Table 2: Comparative Measurements, Group II

1. Narodni Musej Ljubljana, acc. no.7013.
According to Weinberg: H. 12.4 cm; D. (rim) 7 cm, (base) 4.9 cm.
Beaker of olive green glass. Four concentric rings on underside of base, which look slightly askew, as if the mold had been set slightly out of position. Blown into a five-part mold. Rim tapers slightly inward above bulge where the glass was inflated over top of mold. Reconstructed from numerous fragments. Pieces missing in some places, most notably at rim above figure of Neptune. Surface appears to have been cleaned. Rim has been cracked off. There may be some surface pitting and inclusions within the glass. Excavated by amateurs from a cremation burial at Črnelo, near Stična; grave goods purchased as a group from a dealer.
Additional bibliography: L. Berger, Römische Gläser aus Vindonissa. Veröffentlichungen der Gesellschaft pro Vindonissa, Band IV, Basel, 1960, p.51, pl. 8, fig. A; Weinberg [note 1], p.39, fig.18; S. Petru, "Rimsko Steklo Slovenije," Arheološki Vestnik, v. 25, 1976, p.14 and p.22, pl. 1; Wight [note 2], pp.73–74; idem [note 3], pp.58–59.

2. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, inv. no. E 644.
According to Weinberg: H. 12.5 cm; D. (rim) about 7.5 cm, (base) about 5 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of greenish glass. Blown in to a five-part mold. Rim is treated similarly to that of beaker II-1; it tapers inward above overblown area. Partly reconstructed from fragments; one small fragment missing from rim above figure of Neptune, and larger fragment missing just above and to left of his head. There appears to be some surface encrustation and iridescence on both the outside and inside. Rim has been cracked off and is uneven; there are two sets of horizontal incision lines at overblow and above swags. From the Novikov collection, purchased in Kerch; Kisa mentions that the glass was found at Panticapeum.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1] , pp.39–40, no. 2; N. Kunina, "Syrian Mould-Blown Glass Vessels from the Acropolis of Panticapeum," in Monuments of Ancient Applied Art, ed. K.S. Gorbunova, Leningrad, 1973, p. 134ff., fig. 24 (incorrectly labeled as E 223); Wight [note 2] , p.74; idem [note 3], pp. 59–60.

3. The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, no. 71.6780, former acc. no. GAnR.68.1.
According to museum: H. 11.6 cm; D. (rim) 7.4 cm, (base) 4.7 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of purple glass. Missing portions include half of rim, capitals of columns, swags, heads of figures of Neptune and Hymen, top of thyrsus held by Bacchus, and part of wall just above base. One raised and one indented ring on base. Rim, unevenly cracked off, tapers inward slightly at the top. Blown into a five-part mold. Reconstructed from fragments, with restoration. Some iridescence and encrustation. Some surface pitting evident. Purchased by Julius Carlebach in Lebanon in 1964. Said to have come from Asia Minor; donated to the Chrysler Museum by Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., who purchased the beaker from the Carlebach Gallery, New York.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1] , p.40; N. Merrill, A Concise History of Glass Represented in the Chrysler Museum Glass Collection, Norfolk, Va., 1989, p.19, fig. 9, and p.186, no. 9; Wight [note 3], pp.60–61, figs. 35–38.

4. Baden Museum, inv. no. Ba Mi 131; inked traces of a previous number, 1123.
H. 3.45 cm; W. 3.3 cm; Th. (at top) 0.08 cm, (at bottom) 0.15 cm.
Fragment of a beaker of pale green glass. Preserved are legs of Bacchus, panther at his right foot, and part of base and shaft of column to his right. Fragment has been cleaned on exterior; some encrustation preserved on interior. Excavated sometime between 1892 and 1897 from a building called a "military hospital" in Aquae Helveticae (modern Baden).
Bibliography: Berger [cat. no. II-1], pp.51–52, pl.8, no.128; Weinberg [note 1], p.40, no. 4; S. Fünfschilling, "Römische Gläser aus Baden-Aquae Helveticae (aus den Grabungen 1892–1911)," Jahresbericht der Gesellschaft pro Vindonissa, Brugg, 1985, p.91 and p.120, pl. 12, no.131; Wight [note 2], pp.73 and 75; idem [note 3], pp.61–62, fig. 39.

5. Provinciaal Museum G.M. Kam, Nijmegen, acc. no. XXa 424.
According to Weinberg: H. 10.2 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of aquamarine glass with relief decoration consisting of base and complete figure of Hymen, entire column to right, and part of column to left. Some surface encrustation on exterior; glass appears to be somewhat pitted in spots. Unknown provenance; presumed to have been found in Nijmegen.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.40, no.5, fig 19; Wight [note 2], p.74; idem [note 3], p.62, fig.40.

6. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, inv. no. 1971.32.
According to Weinberg: H. 12.5 cm; D. (rim) about 7 cm, (base) 4.8 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of bluish green glass. Preserved portions consist of left half of Neptune, part of column between Neptune and Hymen, all of Hymen, part of column between Hymen and Bacchus, Bacchus, part of column between Bacchus and Bonus Eventus, all of Bonus Eventus except his legs and feet, part of column between Bonus Eventus and Neptune, and some parts of rim. Three concentric rings on underside of base; central one, impressed twice, forms a figure- eight pattern. Rim is fairly straight, but slightly tapered inward at top. Blown into a five-part mold. Heavily restored in some parts. Rim has been cracked off. Some surface encrustation and iridescence on exterior. Said to be from Asia Minor.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], pp.40–41, no.6; Wight [note 3], pp.62–63, figs.41–45.

7. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, inv. no. 1938.5999.40.
H. (preserved) 6.83 cm, W. 2.73 cm.
Two fragments of a beaker of greenish blue glass with relief decoration. Preserved are part of a column and left side of Hymen. Some surface encrustation; lower fragment somewhat pitted. Excavated at Dura-Europos; findspot not recorded.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.41, no.7; S. Matheson, Ancient Glass in the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 1980, p.59; Wight [note 2] , p.73; idem [note 3], pp.63–64, fig. 46.

8. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, acc. no. 1955.6.49.
H. 19.0–19.1 cm; D. (rim) 9.33–9.39 cm, (base) 6.04–6.15 cm; Th. (at rim) 0.29 cm.
Beaker of green-yellow glass, with amethyst streak running through Bonus Eventus. The figure of Hymen is female (breasts evident). She wears a sleeveless chiton below the himation, and holds an amphoriskos. Four rings in relief on underside of base; base was set twice, as impressions of innermost two rings are duplicated. Blown into a five-part mold. Rim is fairly straight, but tapers inward slightly at top. Intact, with one stress crack between Neptune and Hymen. Partly weathered inside and out; iridescence on exterior. Rim has been cracked off and ground; very faint traces of incised horizontal lines at rim above Neptune and Bonus Eventus. Glass is thicker than that of the other, smaller beakers; perhaps because of vessel's size, a larger gather was used. Said to have come from Hama, Syria; part of the Hobart and Edward Small Moore Memorial Collection, most of which was collected between 1900 and 1928; donated to the gallery in 1955.
Additional bibliography: F. Kouchaki, "Catalogue of the Moore Collection of Glass," unpublished, about 1940–1945; M.T.J. Rowe, "The Moore Collections at Yale," Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University, v. 22, no. 2, March 1956, pp.2–6; C. Clairmont, The Glass Vessels. The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report, part 5, New Haven, 1963, p.13, note 26; Weinberg [note 1], pp.41–42, figs. 20–21; Matheson [cat. no. II-7], pp.56–59, figs . 137 a–d, color pls. xxvi-xxvii; Wight [note 3], pp.64–65, figs. 47–51.

9. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, (acc. no. 85.AF.83).
H. 12.55 cm; D. (rim) 7.03 cm, (base) 4.86 cm; Th. 0.14-0.18 cm.
Beaker of bluish green glass. Three concentric rings on bottom of base; innermost has been double-set and forms a figure-eight pattern. Rim tapers inward above bulge of overblow. Blown into a five-part mold. Intact, with some stress cracks. Encrustation on interior and exterior. Rim cracked off and chipped in some places. Said to be from Syro-Palestinian coast; formerly Kofler-Truniger collection. Purchased by Getty Museum at Christie's auction, London, March 5–6, 1985, lot 92.
Bibliography: Christie's, London, auction catalog, March 5–6, 1985, pp. 60–61, lot 92; P. Clayton, Treasures of Ancient Rome, New York, 1986, p.183; "Acquisitions/1985," The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, v. 14, 1986, p.195, no.69, fig.69; "Recent Important Acquisitions," Journal of Glass Studies, v. 28, 1986, p.99, fig.3; E. Drury, ed., Antiques, London, 1986, p.68; Wight [note 2] , p.71, note 1; idem [note 3], p.66, figs. 52–55.

10. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Weprin, New York.
H. 12.35–12.43 cm; D. (rim) 6.85 cm, (base) 4.65–4.78 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of bluish green glass. Four concentric rings on underside of base, two in center impressed twice, forming a figure-eight pattern. Rim tapers inward above bulge of overblow. Blown into a five-part mold. Almost complete (area of restoration on rim above figure of Neptune); some encrustation on both interior and exterior surfaces; some minor iridescence. Rim has been cracked off unevenly. Said to be from Syria; first offered at Christie's, London, on July 9, 1984, lot 55, then offered again at Christie's, London, December 9, 1985, lot 17.
Bibliography: Christie's, London, auction catalog, July 9, 1985, pp.24–25, lot 55, figs. 55a–d; Christie's, London, auction catalog, December 9, 1985, lot 17, fig. 17; Wight (note 3], pp.66–67.

11. Shogakukan Publishing Company, Tokyo.
According to Puhze catalog: H. 19.5 cm.
Fragmentary beaker of greenish glass. Rim is straight, with very slight bulge at top. Blown into a five-part mold. Reconstructed, with some fills at rim above Hymen, above Bonus Eventus, and between Hymen and Bacchus. Numerous stress cracks throughout. Encrustation on exterior. Rim cracked off. Galerie Günter Puhze 1981; then Axel Weber, Cologne; then Morishige and Funahashi, Tokyo.
Bibliography: Galerie Günter Puhze, Katalog 1981, Freiburg, 1981, p.29, no. 293, fig. 293; Wight [note 2], p.71, note 1; idem [note 3], pp.67–68.

12. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, inv. no. E 223.
According to Kunina: H. 12.5 cm; D. (rim) 6.8–7 cm, (base) 4.8 cm.
Fragmentary beaker. Groundline appears to slope unevenly below Neptune. Rim tapers inward slightly at top above overblow. Blown into a five-part mold. Large fragment missing from rim above Bonus Eventus. Surface encrustation and iridescence on exterior. Rim cracked off; series of incised lines faintly discernible at top of rim. Said to be from Panticapeum.
Bibliography: Kunina [cat. no. II-2], p.134ff., fig.25 (incorrectly numbered as E 644); Wight [note 2], p.71, note 1; idem [note 3], pp.68–69.

13. Private Swiss collection, no. M41.
H. 12.27–12.51 cm; D. (rim) 7.15–7.18 cm, (foot) 4.61–4.82 cm.
Beaker of bluish green glass. Three concentric rings on underside of base. Rim tapers inward slightly above overblow. Blown into a five-part mold. Intact, with stress crack through Neptune and Bonus Eventus. Iridescence and surface encrustation on interior and exterior. Rim cracked off and ground down; no apparent horizontal striations at rim. Perhaps Syria (according to Lucerne catalog).
Bibliography: M. Kunz, ed., 3000 Jahre Glaskunst von der Antike bis zum Jugendstil, Lucerne, 1981, p.19, color pl. F11, and p.81, no. 274; D. Klein and W. Lloyd, eds., The History of Glass, London, 1984, p.30, color pl. 30; Wight [note 2], p.71, note 1; idem [note 3], p.69, fig.56.

14. Musée Municipal de Nuits-Saint-Georges, no. C50.
According to Planson: H. (a) about 3.2 cm, (b) 2.8 cm; W. (a) 4.4 cm, (b) 3.8 cm; Th. (a) 0.25 cm, (b) 0.1 cm.
Fragments of a beaker of bluish glass with relief decoration consisting of part of column, head and upper shoulders of Bonus Eventus on fragment b, and part of column, legs above ankles, drapery covering thighs, and right hand with attribute of Bonus Eventus on fragment a. Condition unknown. Excavated from the necropolis of Les Bolards in central France.
Bibliography: E. Planson and others, La Nécropole Gallo-Romaine des Bolards, Paris, 1982, pp.48–49, no. c50, pl. 14:C50; Autun Augustodunum. Capitale des Éduens, Autun, 1987, p.147; Wight [note 3], pp.69–70.

15. New York private collection (formerly Antiquarium Ltd., New York).
H. 13.38–13.4 cm; D. (rim) 7.21 cm, (base) 4.58–4.68 cm.
Beaker of yellowish brown glass with relief decoration consisting of three of the four figures usually found on this group of beakers. Three figures preserved here are Hymen, Bacchus, and Bonus Eventus. Swags, while treated somewhat similarly, are straight across the tops of figural areas, rather than hanging; fillets or ribbons hang from column capitals and fill space next to upper shoulders and heads of figures. Base below figural groundline is encircled by relief line. Rim straight. Base, decorated with three concentric rings, is concave. Heavier than other beakers. Blown into a four-part mold. Complete, with two large stress cracks. Some surface encrustation on interior and exterior. Rim has been cracked off and ground down; horizontally incised lines encircle the vessel between the rim and the swags. Said to be from Asia Minor.
Bibliography: Reflections on Antiquity: Ancient Glass through the Ages, exhibition catalog, New York: Antiquarium Ltd., 1989, pp. 10–11, illus.; Wight [note 3], pp.70–71.

16. Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, box no. 18971.
Dimensions unknown.
Description unavailable. Condition unknown. Fragment. Excavated at Lixus (modern Larache), Morocco. Information provided by M. Beaudoin Caron.
Bibliography: Wight [note 2], p.71, notes 1 and 2; idem [note 3], pp. 71–72.

17. American Academy, Rome.
According to Grose: H. about 1.6 cm, W. about 0.8 cm.
Fragment consisting of upper part of column and part of swag to left, upper part of thyrsus, and back of head of Bacchus. Condition unknown. Excavated at Cosa; no findspot given.
Bibliography: D. Grose, "The Glass from the Roman 'Colonia' of Cosa," Bulletin de l'AIHV, no. 7, 1973–1976, p.176, fig. 189:9, and p.179; Wight [note 3], p.72; D. Grose, forthcoming catalog of the glass finds from Cosa, cat. no. 220.

18. Belfer Collection, New York.
According to Gawain McKinley: H. 12.7 cm, D. (rim) 7 cm.
Colorless beaker with greenish tinge; slightly bubbly, with blowing streaks. Complete, with one apparent crack running vertically from rim to right of figure of Hymen. Encrustation on interior and exterior. Some restoration along column shaft on either side of Bacchus; patches of dark weathering crust adhering to interior; exterior has slight overall iridescence. Formerly Rothenberg collection, New York. Findspot unknown.
Bibliography: "Recent Important Acquisitions”, Journal of Glass Studies, v. 24, 1982, p.88, no. 5; Wight [note 3], pp.72–73.

Group III

In this group, Weinberg identified only the figure of Fortuna, and other scholars provided no further opinions about the identity of the other figures.63 They are males who hold less discernible attributes.64 All four frontal figures stand atop low pedestals and look to their right.

Figure A: Fortuna, wearing himation and cloak, who stands cradling a cornucopia in her left arm; she has a rudder next to her right leg.

Fortuna is very straightforward. Her stance, costume, and attributes are all well-known from coins65 and gems,66 and they are consistent with her representation on the beakers. A sestertius minted in Rome during the rule of Germanicus, which depicts his three sisters in the guise of personifications, shows that the figural type of Fortuna with rudder and cornucopia was known in the late 30s A.D.67 The Roman Fortuna's figural type and attributes are based on the Hellenistic Tyche figure, which appeared in the fourth century B.C .

Figure B: Apollo, pouring a libation with a phiale, and with his bow strapped across his back.

Apollo appears here in quite an Augustan guise. His popularity in Augustan art is well known, and Zanker's discussion of the political use of the figure is skillfully drawn out.68 Parallels for this figure type exist in coins69 and gems.70 As exemplified by a gem in Vienna,71 the type was known in the Hellenistic period, and due to the popularity of Apollo in the Augustan period, it flourished, along with a variety of other depictions of the god, in different artistic media of the Roman period.

Figure C: Bacchus, holding his thyrsus and a cluster of grapes.

Bacchus makes his second appearance on mythological beakers in an altered form. Although he has his thyrsus, he is nude except for a nebris draped across his chest, unlike his clothed counterpart in Group II. Parallels for this rendition of the figure exist in sculpture (both large- and small-scale),72 on gems73 and in reliefs.74 Furtwängler dates the figural prototype for a gem to the fourth century B.C.75 and a relief in the Museo Nuovo76 and a bronze statue in Baltimore77 attest to the use of this type in the early imperial period. Thus, this appears to be another case of a figural type making its way from the late classical period into the Roman repertoire.

Figure D: Mercury, holding his money bag and cradling his caduceus against his right forearm.

Mercury appears in this group in a manner different from that in Group I. He is frontal, but his caduceus and money bag are present to assist in his identification. Parallels for this figural type exist on Campana reliefs78 and in bronze statuettes.79 Like the Polykleitan type seen in Group I, the figure is based on pre-existing late classical models reused in Roman artistic production.

As can be seen from the above descriptions, the figures of Bacchus and Mercury in this group are different from their representations in Groups I and II. This suggests that the moldmaker was choosing his figures from a different iconographic source. Stylistically, the figures of Group III relate more to Group I than they do to Group II, as they are finely proportioned. Their architectural setting, however, relates more closely to Group II, since the columns are interspersed with swags rather than pediments. Because of the stylistic similarities of their figures, it seems likely that Groups I and III were manufactured first, and that Group II followed, using one figure from Group I and copying the swags and pedestals from Group III.

The small pedestals on which the figures stand are found on Campana reliefs depicting Hercules in the company of athletes,80 and on a group of ceramic vessels found in central Gaul. A small group of appliqué vessels depict five figures standing atop low pedestals within an arcade.81 These vessels provide a later compositional parallel for some of the same figures as those found on the glass beakers. Only three of the five figures on the ceramic vessels can be identified with certainty, as the most complete example of the type is reconstructed from fragments. They are Fortuna, Apollo, and Vulcan. A fourth, male figure might be identified as either Bacchus or Mercury when compared with the figures on the glass beakers, but the attribute in his right hand is missing, as is that in his left hand, and only the torso and legs remain to provide an idea of the figure's pose. The fifth figure on the ceramic vessel is an unidentified, fully draped female whose head and arms are missing.

The ceramics were made at the beginning of the third century A.D. Therefore, they are not helpful in providing any prototypes for the glass vessels, but they do exemplify the fact that the figural grouping as found on Group III is not an anomaly. The inclusion of the figure of Vulcan is quite interesting, for the fragments of Group IV found at Vindonissa indicate that another group of glass beakers contained this figure.82 It could very well be that the combinations of figures on Group III and the group containing Vulcan were composed from a larger pre-existing group composition, perhaps a scene of the Roman pantheon.

A partially preserved bronze relief strip in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Trier depicts four of the 12 Roman gods often included in the pantheon.83 Three of the four figures—Bacchus, Fortuna, and Mercury—appear on the strip in the same manner as on the beakers of Group III, and they stand within an architectural framework of columns supporting pediments, but not atop pedestals.84 The groundlines on which the figures stand are not continuous, as is the case on the glass vessels. The fourth figure on the Trier strip is identified as either Jupiter or Neptune.

Another body of material that shows groupings of four figures is commonly known as Viergöttersteine. This large group of provincial bases is carved on each side with a different deity.85 While their figural groupings do not match any of the beaker compositions, they nevertheless contain many of the same figures in similar poses.86 Like the Gallic ceramics and Germanic relief strips, the majority of the Viergöttersteine date to the third and fourth centuries A.D., and all of them may be drawn from the same source compositions.

All of the figures in Group III are separated by columns that are linked above by swags, as in Group II, but there is a rosette above the midpoint. Flanking the figures' heads are small ornaments in the form of an x or a +. Unlike the previous two groups, the groundline is not continuous between the pedestals and column bases. An element unique to the group is the floral branches that appear below the figural zone. Their purpose, if other than ornamental, is unclear, and Weinberg speculated that they might be wreaths or branches.87 They are plants with clearly defined stems, branches, and fruits. Weinberg's belief that they might be wreaths was bolstered by the fact that she thought the male figures might be athletes; she compared them with the Campana reliefs that depict athletes in the company of Hercules standing atop low pedestals.88

I have been able to measure the two fairly complete pieces: the beaker in Washington and the Oppenländer beaker in Stuttgart. The rest of the group consists of fragments. The comparative measurements for the side panels are all very close, and it seems likely that the same panels were used for both preserved beakers. Different base molds were used, however, for the Washington beaker has only two rings, while the Oppenländer beaker has three.

Group III — Catalog

Table 3: Comparative Measurements, Group III


1. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., ELS
H. 12.5–12.59 cm; D. (rim) 6.28–6.43 cm, (base) 4.19–4.37 cm; Th. (at rim) 1 mm.
Beaker of pale yellowish green glass. Rim tapers inward at top. Underside of base is decorated with two concentric rings. Blown into a five-part mold. Complete except for small missing chip at rim above Bacchus. Some encrustation on exterior and interior, and iridescence. Rim has been cracked off and slightly ground down; slight incision lines approximately one-half centimeter below rim. The base is pitted and has dirt inclusions. Formerly John Gellatly collection; given to the Smithsonian in 1932.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], pp.44–45, fig. 22; Wight [note 3], p.86, figs.57–60.

2. Oppenländer collection, Waiblingen-Stuttgart.
H. 12.68–12.84 cm; D. (rim) 6.15 cm, (foot) 4.12–4.32 cm.
Fragmentary and partly reconstructed beaker of pale green-yellow glass. Three concentric rings on underside of base; middle ring is doubled, as glass was reset into mold at onset of blowing. Rim tapers inward at top. Blown into a five-part mold. Reconstructed from fragments; large restored section, including figure of Fortuna. Rim is cracked off and ground down. Surface has been cleaned. Said to have been found in Turkey.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.45, no. 2, figs. 23–24; A. von Saldern and others, Gläser der Antike. Sammlung Erwin Oppenländer , Hamburg, 1974, p.166, fig.457, and p.167, no.457; Wight [note 3], p.87.

3. Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, acc. no. MHG 15159.
According to museum: H. (preserved) 5.8 cm; W. (preserved, at rim) 6.2 cm.
Fragment of yellowish green glass that preserves part of rim and body. Surviving decoration consists of upper part of a column and swag and rosette to left. A very uncrisp x preserved in area below and to right of swag. Some surface encrustation and iridescence. Rim has been cracked off; slight traces of incised lines discernible below rim. Provenance unknown.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.45, no. 3, fig. 25; Wight [note 3], p.88, fig. 61.

4. Private collection, London.
According to gallery: H. (estimated original) 12 cm.
Fragment of yellowish green glass preserving figure of Mercury and parts of columns framing him. Floral branch below him is also partly pre-preserved. Heavy iridescence and some pitting. Purchased by owner in Jerusalem, perhaps from Palestine.
Bibliography: Wight [note 3], p.88.

5. Musée Rolin, Autun.
According to museum: H. 5.6 cm, W. 2.7 cm.
Fragment of whitish green glass preserving legs of Mercury, part of pedestal, part of the floral ornament beneath, and part of left column. Some surface encrustation. Provenance unknown.
Bibliography: B. Grosjean, "Note sur quelques verreries du Musée Rolin," Mémoires de la Société Eduenne, v.54, fasc. 3, 1983, pp. 169–179, fig. 9; Autun [cat. no. II-14], pp. 146–147, no. 243; Wight [note 2], p.71, note 1; idem [note 3], p. 89, fig.62.

Group IV

The pieces in this small group, all fragments, form an unrelated assemblage and iconographically fail to fit into the previous three groups. The group is composed of two fragments excavated at Vindonissa, three fragments excavated at Masada, and two fragments included here only because full descriptions are not available. One is in Lausanne, and the other was recently excavated in Turkey.89 The fragments from Vindonissa are related to each other by their iconography, as are those from Masada. This group is valuable in that most of the pieces come from controlled excavations and provide some of the more precise dates for the entire corpus. The Masada material has not been fully published, but some contextual information is available.

The fragments from Vindonissa preserve the same figure, which Berger has identified as Vulcan.90 This identification seems plausible because the drapery, a chitoniskos with the right shoulder bared, matches the Roman type for this figure, and the treatment of the head also seems to match the established iconography for Vulcan. The attributes held in his hands are extremely indistinct, but they may be a pair of tongs and a hammer, the tools associated with the god of the forge and frequently included in Roman depictions of the deity.

The figure of Vulcan is based on a type created by Alkamenes in the late classical period. It is found on reliefs,91 on terra-cotta lamp medallions,92 and frequently in the form of bronze statuettes.93 The costume and pose of the figures on the Vindonissa fragments are the same as the Alkamenes type; this may also be true of the attributes, although they are so blurred that their identification cannot be fully verified. The figure of Vulcan as found on the above-mentioned Lezoux vessel is probably the most compelling parallel, and he also appears on other molded vessels made in Gaul.94

Who his companions on the glass vessel would have been is unknown, as no other fragments of the beakers found in Vindonissa survive. It is possible that the unidentified draped female depicted on the Lezoux vessel was one of these figures, if both came from the same source composition—perhaps the pantheon of Roman gods mentioned above in conjunction with Group III.

The Masada fragments are also related to one another iconographically; all are Bacchic. One depicts a silenos, another shows the foot and flying drapery of a dancing maenad, and the third seems to depict Bacchus himself. This cohesiveness of figures places these fragments apart from the larger corpus of mythological beakers, in that all of the figures found on the vessel are not gods or personifications, and they form an immediately recognizable group: the retinue of Bacchus. In this way, they resemble a footed vessel in the Yale University Art Museum, which depicts a similar scene.95 While they are not from the same mold as the Yale vessel, the concept is similar and eminently suitable for a drinking vessel.

As noted above, the fragments in Group IV provide the firmest dates for the entire corpus of vessels. Those from Vindonissa were excavated from a garbage dump just outside the legionary camp, and they belong to a stratum dating from A.D.60 to 75.96 The Masada fragments, which were perhaps found in the Herodian Palace,97 date to after the fall of the fortress in A.D.73; thus, they correspond in date to the Vindonissa fragments.98 A late Julio-Claudian or Flavian date for the corpus compares well with the figural styles used; it also fits well with the presence of some of the figures in the corpus, such as Fortuna, who was very popular on Flavian coinage. These dates also strengthen the argument that some of the objects were produced in the eastern provinces of the empire and were carried westward by their owners, especially those in the military, during troop movements in A.D.69 and 70.

I have been unable to measure any of the fragments in this group; the sources of the measurements provided here are mentioned in the catalog entries. Because no base fragments survive for any of the pieces, it is impossible to say what they may have looked like. The fact that the two Vindonissa fragments depict the same figure suggests that they may have been produced from the same mold panel, but without comparative measurements of specific figural details, this remains supposition.


1. Vindonissa Museum, Brugg, no.126.
According to Weinberg: H. 6.8 cm, Th. 1–3 mm.
Fragment of greenish cloudy glass preserving figure of a headless male wearing chiton with bared right shoulder. He holds an indiscernible long object in his right hand and a smaller object in his left hand. Identified by Berger as Vulcan. The fragment has been cleaned; the surface is scratched and somewhat pitted. Excavated from dump outside north wall of legionary fortress at Vindonissa.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1] , p.46, no. 1; Fünfschilling [cat. no. II-4], p.91; Wight [note 2], p.75; idem [note 3], p.97, fig. 63.

2. Vindonissa Museum, Brugg, no. 127.
According to Weinberg: H. 7.4 cm, Th. 1 mm.
Fragment of greenish cloudy glass preserving in relief the head and right side of figure similar to male discussed above in IV-1. The fragment has been cleaned; the surface is scratched and slightly abraded. Excavated from dump outside north wall of legionary fortress at Vindonissa.
Additional bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.46, no. 2; Fünfschilling [cat. no. II-4], p.91; Wight [note 2], p.75; idem [note 3], pp.97–98, fig. 64.

3. Masada, ix 413–576.
According to Weinberg: H. of figure (estimated original) about 7 cm.
Fragment of green-yellow(?) glass preserving in relief the legs of a frontal figure who holds a wreathlike object in left hand, and part of a column at right. Some iridescence; unweathered. Excavated from palace at Masada.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], p.46, no.3; Harden and others [cat. no. l-2], p.164; Barag [note 98], p.139; Wight [note 2], p.75; idem [note 3], p.98.

4. Masada, ix 413–576.
According to Weinberg: H. of figure (estimated original) about 7 cm.
Fragment of greenish yellow (?) glass preserving frontal torso and bearded head of a silenos. Part of column is shown at left. Some iridescence and slight enameling. Excavated from palace at Masada.
Bibliography: Weinberg [note 1], pp.46–47, no. 4; Harden and others [cat. no. l-2], p.164; Barag [note 98], p.139; Wight [note 2], p.75; idem [note 3], p.98.

5. Masada, ix 309–200/1.
Dimensions unknown.
Four fragments of greenish yellow (?) glass. One preserves a portion of a column base; the second, part of a column and a bit of drapery; the third, the upper left torso of a frontal nude male leaning on a long staff, and the flying drapery and heel of a maenad; and the fourth, elements of drapery. Surface encrustation and iridescence. Excavated at Masada.
Bibliography: Harden and others [cat. no. I-2], p.164; Barag [note 98], p. 139; Wight [note 2], p.75; idem [note 3], p.99·

6. Musée Romain, Lausanne-Vidy.
Dimensions unknown.
Fragment. Description, condition, and provenance unknown.
Bibliography: Wight [note 2], p.71; idem [note 3], p.99.

7. Arykanda, Turkey.
Dimensions unknown.
Lower legs and feet of a standing figure, with base of a column at right.

Condition unknown; fragment. Excavated at Arykanda by a team from Ankara under the direction of Prof. Cevdet Bayburtluoğlu; unstratified find. I learned of the fragment through a personal correspondence with C.S. Lightfoot, who had spoken with one of the excavators.
Bibliography: Wight [note 3], p.100.


While the generic function of the beakers as drinking vessels is clear, the possibility remains that they served as gifts for specific ceremonial occasions or were used as ritual vessels. In some instances, the iconography of the vessel groups relates to their possible function. This relationship is apparent in Group I, as the imagery pertains to marriage and the wedding feast. The fact that some of the beakers come from funereal contexts indicates that the vessels were treasured possessions, placed in the burial as an offering for the deceased.99 Where the contents of the burials that contained beakers are known,100 they provide some information about the individuals. In the case of the Cyzicus tomb, the burial contained a glass aryballos and iron strigil, a terra-cotta lamp, and a glass patera, leading Carabella to conclude that the occupant might have been an athlete and the beaker a competition prize.101 In any case, compared to what Carabella terms the "poverty" of the tomb's other contents, the beaker does stand out for its quality. The Črnelo burial contained a blown ribbed bowl, a ceramic kantharos with barbotine decoration, a terra-cotta lamp containing the name "FRONTO," a glass flask, and a Flavian coin.102 Unlike the Cyzicus burial, the contents provide no clue as to the sex or occupation of the deceased,103 but again the beaker is among the more costly of the items interred.

Whether the beakers served any sort of ritual function cannot be determined from the information at hand. The iconography of the groups does not suggest this, nor is there any indication that Romans used vessels of this shape for ritual purposes; the vessel most frequently employed for the pouring of sacrificial libations was the phiale.

The beaker does not seem to have been a part of the usual drinking service of the first century A.D. Wall paintings at Pompeii depict drinking services consisting of kraters, bowls, and ladles for the mixing and serving of wine, and skyphoi and kantharoi are the vessels of choice for the actual drinking.104 These vessels are a reflection of the wine services used for hundreds of years, and similar services can be found depicted in symposium scenes on Attic red-figure vases of the fifth century B.C. However, the beaker shape did exist in ceramic and metal forms by the first century B.C., and it was frequently found in glass by the first century A.D.105 Therefore, it seems to be a shape that was used with greater frequency during the Julio-Claudian period.


The purpose of this article has been to update Weinberg's catalog to include all of the new pieces added to the corpus, and to identify the figures that remained in question. Although I have attempted elsewhere to determine the date and place of production for the corpus,106 there has been no archaeological evidence to support my conclusions. I hope that future excavations will uncover evidence of glass workshops dating to the first centuries B.C. and A.D. that will help to shed some light on the means and place of production for this corpus of vessels, as well as for others produced by a similar technique of inflation into a multi-paneled mold.

While the technique used to produce mythological beakers has not been discussed here,107 mention has been made throughout the text of the use of different base molds within a single group. It should be understood that the mold panel used for the base could be employed for a number of differently decorated vessels,108 since the side panels containing the principal designs could be interchanged. The transferability of mold parts suggests a relationship among different multi-paneled mold-blown vessels hitherto unrecognized. If the bases of these vessels were examined and measured, and relationships formed on the basis of the mold characteristics,109 these data could be combined with other evidence provided by the vessels found in archaeological contexts, and a wealth of information about the production and dating of Roman mold-blown glass might be ascertained.

This article was published in the Journal of Glass Studies, Vol. 36 (1994), 24–55.

1. Gladys Davidson Weinberg, "Mold-Blown Beakers with Mythological Scenes," Journal of Glass Studies, v. 14, 1972, pp. 26–47.

2. Prior to the completion of my doctoral dissertation, a reassessment of the problems surrounding the corpus was presented at the 11th Congress of the International Association for the History of Glass: K. Wight, "Mythological Beakers: Questions of Provenance and Production," Annales du 11e Congrès de l'AIHV, Amsterdam, 1990, pp. 71–76.

3. The beakers were the subject of my doctoral dissertation: K.B. Wight, "Mythological Beakers and Roman Glass Production in the First Century A.D.," Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1991.

4. See note 41 below for a discussion of the specific measurements that were taken on the beakers and fragments.

5. Weinberg [note 1], pp. 33–38.

6. Ibid.

7. The identification of the attributes is based on a comparison with the same figure on Arretine vases, the Albani sarcophagus (see E. Simon, "Zum Hochsheitssarkophag mit Peleus und Thetis in der Villa Albani," Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Römische Abteilung, v. 60/61, 1953–1954, pp. 211–223, pls. 88–94), and Campana reliefs.

8. She was first identified as Winter on the glass beakers by C. Robert (Die antiken Sarkophagreliefs. II, Berlin, 1890, p.5) who compared her with the figure of Winter on the Albani sarcophagus (see Simon [note 7]).

9. See G. Hanfmann, The Season Sarcophagus at Dumbarton Oaks, Cambridge, Mass., 1951, p. 130ff.

10. See G.M.A. Richter, Catalogue of Engraved Gems: Greek, Etruscan and Roman, Rome, 1956, no. 385, a glass gem from Cyprus; illustrated in cast form by Weinberg [note 1], fig. 13.

11. See A. Hochuli-Gysell, Kleinasiatische Glasierte Reliefkeramik. Acta Bernensia VIII, Bern, 1977, pp. 107–122 and 145–172, specifically her type T45 of the Tarsos Group 3.

12. Simon [note 7], p. 214 and note 31; pls. 91.1 and 92.1–2.

13. See H. von Rohden and H. Winnefeld, Die Antiken Terrakotten. Band IV, 1–2, Architektonische Römische Tonreliefs der Kaiserzeit, Berlin and Stuttgart, 1911, pl. XLVII, ex-Campana coll., now Louvre, cat. no. 10.95.123.

14. Ibid., pl. XCVIII, ex-Townley coll., now London, British Museum D584.

15. An even later example is a stone relief in the Museo Archeologico di Aquileia that dates to the third century A.D.; see V. Santa Maria Scrinari, Museo Archeologico di Aquileia. Catalogo delle sculture romane, Rome, 1972, fig. 578.

16. First identified as Hercules by P. Wolters (see Robert [note 8]).

17. Boardman recognized this figural parallel; see J. Boardman, Engraved Gems. The Ionides Collection, London, 1968, p. 34. The Erymanthian boar composition makes one of its earliest appearances in archaic Greek art on the metopes from the "Treasury of Hera" at the Silaris River in Paestum, which depict the 12 labors; see Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, (hereafter LIMC), v. 5, s.v. "Herakles" 1698.

18. See Boardman [note 17], pp. 34–35, and other examples cited there.

19. Clay figurine, once Cairo, Fouquet collection (see LIMC, v. 5, s.v. "Herakles" 2362), dated to the first century B.C./ A.D.; bronze statuette, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum VI 367 (see LIMC, v. 5, s.v. "Herakles" 2363), dated to the first century B.C.

20. Simon [note 7], p. 214ff, pls. 91.1 and 92.1–2; W. Fuchs, Die Vorbilder der neuattischen Reliefs, Berlin, 1959, p. 158, note 75.

21. See Hochuli-Gysell [note 11] , pp. 107–122 and 145–172, types T45, T177, T201, and possibly T204, varieties produced in Tarsos at the end of the first century B.C. and in the first half of the first century A.D.

22. He appears on a terra sigillata vase made in Lezoux, most likely by the potter Libertus, who was active from about A.D. 75 to 110; see F. Oswald and T. Davies Pryce, An Introduction to the Study of Terra Sigillata, London, 1920, pl. XXXVI, no. 25, Déchelette no. 470, form 37, in the St. Germain Museum.

23. Rohden and Winnefeld [note 13].

24. The figure appears on a marble base, also dated to the first century A.D. (Rome, Museo Capitolino 205); see LIMC, v. 5, s.v. "Herakles" 1736.

25. LIMC, (v. 5, s.v. "Hymenaios," p. 583ff.) lists only six extant compositions that contain the figure of Hymenaios. In these six examples, only one of the figures of Hymen can be positively identified by inscription; the identifications of the rest are ascertained by comparison and attribute. The lost painting of Aetion contained a torch-bearing figure who might be Hymen, but not enough description is given in the citation to determine how the figure actually appeared; see LIMC, v. 5, p. 584, s.v. "Hymenaios" 6, and references there.

26. See LIMC, v. 5, p. 583, s.v. "Hymenaios" 1.

27. The dating of the corpus is based on the excavated examples. For a full discussion, see Wight [note 3], chap. 7.

28. See LIMC, v. 5, p. 584, s.v. "Hymenaios" 2–4.

29. See Ibid., s.v. "Hymenaios" 5 and 7.

30. The figure on the beakers was first identified as Hymen by C. Robert [note 8], based on a comparison with this sarcophagus. The second sarcophagus (listed in LIMC, v. 5, p. 584, s.v. "Hymenaios" 6) is in the Hermitage, A.433, and it has been dated to about A.D. 180. Within the composition, there is a background figure of a torch-bearing youth who has been identified as Hymen on the basis of this attribute. There is yet another sarcophagus composition (Rome, Palazzo Borghese), which is described as an initiation scene. It contains a torch-bearing figure in a short garment who is pouring a libation from a vessel onto the right end of an altar. This figure very much resembles the Hymenaios found on the Al bani sarcophagus (see LIMC, v. 4, p. 902, s.v. "Demeter/Ceres" 146) . The composition is dated to about A.D. 145.

31. Peda are held by male personifications of Seasons, as depicted on later Roman sarcophagi.

32. According to Hanfmann ([note 9] , pp. 135–136), male Seasons do not make an appearance until the end of the first century A.D. See also Weinberg [note 1] , p. 36, note 18, where a similar conclusion is reached by E. Harrison.

33. The figure was identified as Mercury (Hermes) by T. Carabella in "Fouilles de Cyzique, la tombe d'un athlète et les jeux gymniques à Péramo," Revue Archéologique, v. 37, 2nd ser., Paris, 1879, p.207 (the Cyzicus beaker's first publication).

34. See A. Furtwängler, Antike Gemmen, Leipzig and Berlin, 1900, pls. XLIX, 6 and LI , 19; the gem is dated to the last quarter of the first century B.C.-first quarter of the first century A.D.

35. Hochuli-Gysell [note 11] , pp. 107–122 and 145–172, types T45, T46, T200, T 202, and T204, all produced in Tarsos at the end of the first century B.C. and in the first half of the first century A.D.

36. One good parallel is a bronze statuette in the British Museum (BM 825), dated to the first century A. D. ; see LIMC, v. 5, p. 366, s.v. "Hermes" 940. Another is the Hermes Richelieu, a variation of the Polykleitan type (Louvre MA 573), an Antonine copy of an original of about 360 B.C .; see LIMC, v. 5, p. 367, s.v. "Hermes" 946a.

37. See Carabella [note 33] and cat. no. l-3 for other bibliographic citations on this piece.

38. British Museum, GR 1971.5–11.1, cat. no. I-9.

39. Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, acc. no. 1637, cat. no. I-5.

40. See Hochuli-Gysell [note 11] for the Tarsos group of ceramics.

41. I was able to examine seven of the 11 pieces in Group I. The measurements taken for all of the pieces examined were the total height, the height of the figures, the height of the columns, the height of the undecorated area below the groundline, the height from the groundline to the top of the pediments, the width of the column capitals and bases, the diameter of the concentric rings decorating the underside of the base, the diameter of the base, and the diameter of the rim. Weinberg's measurements were used for those pieces published by her but not examined by me and they are so noted in the catalog text. Precise measurements were unavailable for unpublished pieces, and I have had to rely on information provided by dealers or owners.

42. Many of the bases tend to be ovoid rather than perfectly circular; thus, two sets of measurements were taken to provide the narrow and wide range of the diameter.

43. With the exception of the Cinzano beaker, the Corning flask, and one fragment from Group III, all of the pieces that have appeared since Weinberg's initial publication belong to Group II.

44. Weinberg [note 1], pp. 42–43.

45. All authors concur on this identification.

46. See G. Sena Chiesa, Gemme del Museo Nazionale di Aquileia, Aquileia, 1966, p. 105, no. 48, and pl. III , a jasper gem with the same figural disposition, but with two dolphins at his feet; and Furtwängler [note 34], pl. XXX, nos. 17–19, for three other Neptunes that date to the Republican period, all with slight figural variations.

47. See C.H.V Sutherland, The Roman Imperial Coinage, v. 1 , rev. ed., London, 1984, p.112, no. 58, pl. 14, an as of Gaius minted in Rome in A.D.39, on the reverse stands Neptune, with a cloak over his shoulders; he holds a dolphin in his right hand and a trident in his left hand.

48. See Weinberg [note 1], pp. 42–43.

49. LIMC, v. 3, pp. 123–126, s.v. "Bonus Eventus."

50. See LIMC, v. 3, p. 124, s.v. "Bonus Eventus" 2–5. An especially close parallel for the attributes is an onyx in Monaco, where they are identified as a patera of fruit and poppies; LIMC, v. 3, p. 124, s.v. "Bonus Eventus" 4.

51. LIMC, v. 3, pp. 124–125, s.v. "Bonus Eventus" 6–19. In some instances, Bonus Eventus is depicted on eastern coins as fully draped, perhaps as female, and with the inscription "BONI EVENTUS."

52. LIMC, v. 3, p. 124, s.v. "Bonus Eventus" I, a relief in Caerleon, where he is depicted with Fortuna.

53. See note 50.

54. All of the authors agree on the identity of this figure as Bacchus.

55. See Sena Chiesa [note 46], p. 180, no. 357, pl. 18, a carnelian gem with a similar Dionysus, and other comparable gems illustrated there. A statue in Rome (Museo Capitolino, Gallery 38), which shows the god with a nebris over his drapery, is based on a Hellenistic original; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 433, s.v. "Dionysos" 102. Another, the so-called Hope type, which also has a nebris over a chitoniskos, is exemplified in Copenhagen (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 2025) and is based on a fourth-century B.C. original; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 437, s.v. "Dionysos" 128b.

56. An eastern coin of Commodus, minted in Nysa-Scythopolis and dating to A.D. 181–182, depicts the god wearing a chitoniskos, holding a thyrsus and vessel, a panther on his feet; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 516, s.v. "Dionysos (in peripheria orientali)" 11.

57. None of the previous authors writing about the beakers in this group identifies this figure as Hymen. The various suggestions are Hermes, Sylvanus, and a Season; see Weinberg [note 1], pp. 42–43.

58. Ibid., p.42.

59. Cat. nos. II-8 and II-11.

60. Cat. no. II-8.

61. Cat. no. II-11.

62. Cat. no. II-15.

63. Weinberg [note 1], pp. 45–46. She is unable to ascertain the identity of the male figures, but she thinks that they might be athletes.

64. I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Erika Simon for her thoughtful comments and assistance in identifying these figures.

65. The first imperial coin to depict a standing Fortuna dates to the civil wars. It is a denarius minted in Gaul that depicts Fortuna holding a wreath and cornucopia; see Sutherland [note 47], p. 207 , no. 99. The first numismatic depiction of the deity with a rudder is an aureus of Galba minted in Lugdunum, dating to November 68–January 69; see ibid., p. 238, no. 127, pl. 25. Under Vespasian and, later, his sons, Fortuna appears with increasing frequency, primarily on aurei minted in Rome.

66. See Furtwängler [note 34], pl. XLIV, nos. 72 and 73.

67. The sister depicted as Fortuna is Julia; see Sutherland [note 47], p. 110, no. 33, pl. 13.

68. See P. Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, Ann Arbor, 1988, p. 49ff.

69. A later coin of Gordian III, dating to the mid-third century A.D., depicts the god nude, leaning on a pillar, and holding a phiale; see LIMC, v. 2, pp. 238–239, s.v. "Apollon" 426.

70. A Hellenistic gem depicts the god with bow and quiver slung across his back in much the same manner as depicted on the glass vessel. It is in Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum XIB 174, and it is dated to the third century B.C.; see LIMC, v. 2, p. 210, s.v. "Apollon" 203.

71. See note 70.

72. A marble statue in Rome, Museo Nazionale 662 from the villa of Hadrian, depicts the god wearing a nebris but lacking his thyrsus, and is dated to the Hadrianic period; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 543, s.v. "Dionysos/Bacchus" 5. A bronze statue of the god is similar, but without the nebris; Rome, Museo Nazionale 1060, early imperial; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 542, s.v. "Dionysos/Bacchus" 2. Another marble statue, in which Bacchus wears a nebris but has the addition of a panther at his feet, is in Madrid, Museo Archéologico 34069, and dates to the second century A.D.; see LIMC, v. 4, p. 912, s.v. "Bacchus (in per. occ.)" 83. In smaller scale, a bronze statuette in Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery 54.740, depicts the god wearing a nebris and holding a thyrsus, with a panther at his feet. It is dated to the beginning of the third century; see LIMC, v. 4, p. 913, s.v. "Bacchus (in per. occ.)" 99.

73. See Furtwängler [note 34], pl. LXV, no. 32, which he describes as after a statue from the fourth century B.C.

74. A marble relief that depicts the god in the company of Vulcan is in Rome, Museo Nuovo Cap. 2133, and is dated to the early imperial period; see LIMC, v. 3, pp. 548–549, s.v. "Dionysos/Bacchus" 100.

75. See note 73.

76. See note 74.

77. See note 72.

78. See Rohden and Winnefeld [note 13], pl. LXXXIII, Berlin 8814. Mercury stands atop a low pedestal in this composition.

79. Two good parallels are a bronze statuette in the Museum Carnuntinum, 11944, dated to the second century A.D. (see LIMC, v. 5, p. 370, s.v. "Hermes" 974a) and a small gold statuette in Athens, National Museum 282, dated to the end of the first century B.C.—beginning of the first century A.D. (see LIMC, v. 5, p. 371, s.v. "Hermes" 974d). Both are described as being Greco-Roman in the classical tradition.

80. See Rohden and Winnefeld [note 13] , pl. LXXXII, Berlin 8739; discovered in 1902 in the Horti Sallustiani.

81. See J. Déchelette, Vases céramiques ornés de Ia Gaule romaine, v. 2, Paris, 1904, p. 179ff. Interestingly, there are small figures standing next to the pedestals as sacrificers and priests. This indicates that the figures atop the pedestals are devotional statues. The appliqué vessels like this were made in Lezoux, primarily in the late second century and the first half of the third century A.D.; see Oswald and Pryce [note 22], p. 231.

82. Vulcan is discussed as a figural type more fully in the section on Group IV.

83. Trier, Rheinisches Landesmuseum 39.82; see LIMC, v. 3, p. 656, s.v. "Dodekatheoi" 63, dated to the third-fourth century A.D. A similar relief strip in bronze can be seen in the Landesmuseum Mainz, inv. no. 0,3641; it depicts the same figures of Bacchus, Fortuna, and Mercury. For a recent discussion of the group and a catalog of existing artistic renditions, both Greek and Roman, see C. Long, The Twelve Gods of Greece and Rome, Leiden, 1987.

84. Within the pediments are wreaths, and atop alternating capitals are floral elements that recall somewhat the flamelike tendrils found on the capitals in Group I.

85. See Haug, "Die Viergöttersteine," Westdeutsche Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Kunst, v. 10, 1891, pp. 9–62.

86. In the case of Viergöttersteine showing Vulcan, the figures of Hercules, Mercury, Apollo, and Fortuna may be shown with him. See F. Brommer, Der Gott Vulkan auf Provinzialrömischen Reliefs, Köln, 1973. pp. 28–30.

87. Weinberg [note 1], p. 44.

88. See Ibid., p. 45–46.

89. The piece in Lausanne, which is unpublished, has been mislaid in the Musée Romain. When information about the fragment becomes available, it may well be transferred to one of the other groups. The fragment in Turkey was recently excavated at Arykanda and remains unpublished.

90. Berger [cat. no. II-1], p. 51.

91. Besides the one mentioned above, which also depicts Bacchus [note 74), there is marble relief in Athens, Agora Museum S2180, which depicts the god in the same guise and is dated to the imperial period; see LIMC, v. 4, p. 635, s. v. "Hephaistos" 75.

92. A fragmentary example survives in Athens, National Museum 18011. It is dated to the Hadrianic period; see LIMC, v. 4, p. 635, s.v. "Hephaistos" 76.

93. See, for example, a statuette in London, BM 1914. 11–17; see LIMC, v. 4, p. 635, s.v. "Hephaistos" 73.

94. See Déchelette [note 81] , v. 2, p. 12, no. 39.

95. Matheson [cat. no II-7] , pp. 54–56, no. 136.

96. See Berger [cat. no. II-1] , pp. 51–52.

97. See Weinberg [note 1], pp. 46–47.

98. D. Barag, "The Contribution of Masada to the History of Early Roman Glass," in Roman Glass: Two Centuries of Art and Invention, eds. Newby and K. Painter, London, 1991, p. 139; coins found in the loci that housed the glass fragments correspond to the occupation of the site by the second Roman garrison from A.D. 74 to 115.

99. These include the Cyzicus, Črnelo, and Nuits-SaintGeorge burials.

100. The Cyzicus and Črnelo burials.

101. See Carabella [note 33), pp. 202–208; and Bailey [cat. no. I-3].

102. See R. Ložar, "Ein Glasbecher mit Götterfiguren aus Črnelo," Glasnik, v. 16, 1935, pp. 103–105, for a German summary of the article, and esp. p. 104 for a listing of the tomb's contents.

103. One might conclude that, because no feminine goods were found, this burial, too, is a male one.

104. A fresco from the tomb of Vestorius Priscus at Pompeii, for example, depicts a calyx krater, two large bowls, two oinochoai, two rhyta, four kantharoi, two kylikes, and six ladles. When glass vessels are represented in frescoes, they usually appear as single objects in still lifes. See F. Naumann-Steckner, "Depictions of Glass in Roman Wall Paintings," Roman Glass: Two Centuries of Art and Invention, eds. M. Newby and K. Painter, London, 1991, pp. 86–98, and citations there.

105. The large number of lotus bud beakers found throughout the empire, including Pompeii and Herculaneum, attest to the popularity of the type.

106. See Wight [note 3], chap. 8.

>107. Ibid., chap. 1.

108. Such as lotus bud beakers, sports cups, and the products of Ennion's workshops.

109. Almost all of the multi-paneled mold-blown wares that I have examined have similar characteristics (i.e., a varying number of concentric rings to help the glassblower center his gob within the mold as he inflated it).

Published on July 19, 2013

Karol Wight
President and Executive Director
Dr. Karol Wight became executive director at The Corning Museum of Glass in August 2011 and served as curator of ancient and Islamic glass from August 2011 through July 2017. In January of 2015, she was promoted to the position of President and...