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They were probably initially made to be hung for display, or set in jewellery in smaller examples like that of Gennadios, but were also used for funerary purposes, and often use a base of blue glass. When Constantinople was sacked by the Fourth Crusade in , some fleeing artisans came to Venice.

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Gold glass or gold sandwich glass is a luxury form of glass where a decorative design in gold leaf is fused between two layers of glass. First found in Hellenistic Greece, it is especially characteristic of the Roman glass of the Late Empire in the 3rd and 4th century AD.
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It mostly comes from Germany and Bohemia from the 18th and 19th centuries. Verre églomisé properly covers a single layer of glass which is gilded or coated with other types of metal leaf on the back, as used in 19th century shop signs and the like. One process was revived by Jean-Baptise Glomy — , hence the name. Both of these processes were also used in ancient times, and the German and French languages often use their native terms for what is called "gold glass" in English.

Gold ruby glass or "cranberry glass" is actually red, coloured by the addition of gold oxide. The manufacturing process for gold glass was difficult and required great skill. For a Late Roman glass, first a small round flat disc, typically about three to five inches across, was cut away from a blown sphere with a flattened bottom, either made of coloured or plain glass.

A piece of gold leaf was then glued to this with gum arabic. The design was created by scraping away gold leaf. The main vessel, a cup or bowl, was formed by blowing and cutting, with a flat bottom the same size as the first disc.

This was then heated again and carefully lowered onto the disc with the design, superimposing the flat bottom with the disc with the design so that they fused together. The complete vessel was then heated a final time to complete the fusing. Different accounts of different periods vary somewhat as to the precise sequence of stages and other details, but the process is essentially the same. The larger Hellenistic glass bowls are thought to have been formed using moulds rather than blown, as the whole bowl is doubled and the inner and outer vessels must fit together exactly.

They were probably initially made to be hung for display, or set in jewellery in smaller examples like that of Gennadios, but were also used for funerary purposes, and often use a base of blue glass. Apart from roundels with figurative images the fused sandwich technique was used to create the tesserae for gold in mosaics , and for beads and the like. Gold glass tesserae, at least by Byzantine times, had a very thin top layer of glass, which was probably poured onto the lower glass with the gold leaf glued to it.

Tesserae were made in blocks or "cakes" and then cut into cubes, which are relatively large in the case of gold backgrounds. Gold backgrounds were laid over earth red or yellow ochre backgrounds which enhanced their visual effect.

Most colours of tesserae seem to have been made locally to the mosaic, but there is some discussion as to whether this was true for gold glass ones.

In the 11th century the relatively new Christian centre of Kiev seems to have used gold tesserae made in Constantinople. Roman gold glass beads were made by using an inner tube or rod to which the gold leaf was stuck. A larger tube was slid over that and the beads crimped off.

Easily transported and very attractive, Roman gold glass beads have been found as far outside the Empire as the Wari-Bateshwar ruins in Bangladesh , and sites in China, Korea , Thailand and Malaysia. Gold-band glass is a related Hellenistic and Roman technique, where strips of gold leaf, sandwiched between colourless glass, are used as part of the marbling effect in onyx glass. It is mostly found in small perfume bottles and the like.

The most common form of vessel in late Roman examples was a bowl or drinking cup, which are thought to have been originally family gifts for weddings, anniversaries, New Year, the various religious festivals and the like, in some cases perhaps presented at birth or Christian baptism. However Roman drinking cups and glasses were often very wide and shallow, though tall straight-sided or slightly flared shapes like modern tumblers are also found. A mosaic in the North African ruins of Dougga shows two hefty slaves pouring wine from amphorae into two shallow bowls held by slaves waiting on the banquet.

At what was probably a much later date, perhaps after decades of use, on the death of the owner the main vessel of undecorated glass was cut away and trimmed to leave only the gold glass roundel, which was then used in the catacombs as a grave marker.

Presumably in many cases the cup had already broken in the normal course of use, and the thick bottom with the decoration had been preserved for later use in this way. Bodies were buried in the catacombs in small recesses called loculi, stacked one above another mostly along narrow corridors hollowed out from the soft rock, and no doubt some form of marker was necessary for visitors to locate the right spot. They may also have functioned as a seal on the grave, as they were pressed into the mortar or stucco forming the final surface of the wall of the loculus; other classes of small decorative objects were also used in the same way.

They may also have been regarded as capable of warding off evil spirits, especially in the later part of the period, when portraits of saints become most common. Rough edges would mostly have been hidden by the mortar and also provided a firmer key for the mortar to hold the glass in place as it happens the edges of the New York piece are unusually neatly trimmed.

Many pieces of gold glass had portraits of private individuals, mostly married couples, who may have included the deceased, while others had portraits of religious figures such as saints, or religious symbols. This custom was followed by Christian, Jewish 13 identifiably Jewish examples are known and pagan Romans.

The different sets of imagery, apart from the increased number of private portraits, are typical of the paintings also found in the catacombs and other Early Christian art and its Jewish equivalent from the period. The technique was used in Hellenistic times, and Hellenistic examples are generally both more technically ambitious than Roman ones, with wide bowls or drinking cups decorated all round their curved sides in gold glass, and executed with more artistry.

It has most of the interior very finely decorated with lotus and acanthus motifs, which are more typical of gold glass in this period than designs with human figures.

There are a handful of other near complete examples, and rather more fragments. These pieces are usually assigned to Alexandria in Egypt, which is often seen as the originating centre for luxury Hellenistic glass, and is mentioned as the source of over-elaborate glass by the 1st century satirist Martial and other sources; one seems to show a Nilotic landscape, though this was a popular subject elsewhere.

However fragments have been found when excavating a glass factory on Rhodes. Gold glass mosaic tesserae begin to be used in domestic mosaics in the 1st century AD, with Rome apparently the first location. They continued to be used throughout the ancient and medieval periods into the modern day. By around gold began to be used as the background colour for Christian religious mosaics, as it was throughout the Byzantine period.

The decorated late Roman pieces are usually assumed to have been made in and around Rome, especially in the case of portraits of residents there, but also in the Rhineland around Cologne and Augusta Treverorum , modern Trier , which was a centre for other luxury glass products like cage cups.

Alexandria is still thought to have been a major centre, and from linguistic analysis of the inscriptions it has been suggested that the technique, and perhaps the actual artists and craftsmen, reached Rome and Germany from there. Yet it may just be a coincidence of survival that the other large body of "middle-class" portraiture from the period is the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt.

The Gennadios medallion in New York, illustrated above, is a fine example of an Alexandrian portrait on blue glass, using a rather more complex technique and naturalistic style than most Roman examples, including painting onto the gold to create shading, and with the Greek inscription showing local dialect features.

He had perhaps been given or commissioned the piece to celebrate victory in a musical competition. It is thought that the tiny detail of pieces such as these can only have been achieved using lenses. An "Alexander plate with hunting scene" in the Cleveland Museum of Art is, if genuine, [34] a very rare example of a complete vessel decorated with gold glass, and comes from the upper elite of Roman society.

It is a shallow bowl or plate The decorated flat roundel in the centre takes about two thirds of the whole diameter. It shows a mounted huntsman with a spear pursuing two elk , while beneath his horse a huntsman on foot with a hound on a leash confronts a wild boar.

The identity of "Alexander" has been the subject of discussion, but he is on the whole though to be an unknown aristocrat rather than Alexander the Great or the Emperor Alexander Severus reigned — The dish is perhaps slightly later than his reign and at least during his reign he could never be addressed as merely a "man". Such secular "blessings" are typical, and on roundels made from cups they often urge the owner to drink, even when the iconography is religious.

One Jewish example has the usual array of symbols and the inscription "Drink, [so] you may live, Elares". The Wedding at Cana is a popular Christian subject, with one example inscribed "Worthy of your friends, may you live in the peace of God, drink". One round bottom from a larger bowl found in the catacombs is It has five abbreviated scenes from the Old and New Testaments surrounding a married couple in a roundel, with the feet of the outer figures to the centre.

The portraits of the sons of Constantine I allow an unusually precise probable dating to , his vicennalia, or the 25th anniversary of his reign. Severin, Cologne , founded in the 4th century. This is decorated with roundels containing Old Testament scenes and floral motifs.

According to the Liber Pontificalis , Pope Zephyrinus , in office from —, had approved the use of glass patens, and ones in other glass techniques survive. Almost all the Roman vessel bottoms have imagery of some sort, and around have legible inscriptions as well.

Of these, about half of the total number of gold glasses known, [46] portraits are most common, but there are small narrative scenes, mainly Christian but a few pagan. Portraits of Christian sacred figures are on about half the full corpus. No Imperial portraits are recorded, nor military scenes; unlike so much Roman public art the glasses concentrate on the private interests of individuals. Apart from a single near-naked Venus and some figures of erotes , [48] sexual themes are another notable absence compared to much Roman art.

Most glasses feature a single image occupying most of the round space within the border, but some have a number of small scenes, usually arranged in small circular frames around a central image. Most portraits are between bust and half-length. Either portraits or inscriptions naming private individuals are very common, though other examples have no personalizing aspect and were perhaps just bought from a dealer's stock.

Damasus, exceptionally for a contemporary cleric, appears on at least four glasses, or at least it is thought he is who "DAMAS" refers to. Saints Peter and Paul together are very common, usually facing each other in profile, but sometimes with other figures. Both were martyred in Rome, and especially popular there; [53] other local martyrs such as Agnes are depicted several times, [54] and according to Lucy Grig "the Roman-ness of the saints portrayed on the Roman glasses is striking", and five popes from the 3rd and 4th centuries are probably depicted.

A small Christ may stand between the heads of a married couple, blessing them. Narrative scenes from the Old Testament are more common than miracles of Christ, as in the catacomb paintings, and the same "abbreviated representations" of scenes of deliverance feature: There are really only two non-Christian narrative scenes: There are a small number of "agonistic" or sporting scenes, with wrestlers, boxers, one gladiator, and several racing chariot teams.

Several of these, like others seeming to represent victory in a musical or dramatic context, feature palms and crowns and may well have been presented to celebrate victory in these fields in some amateur or professional setting, like the Alexandrian Gennadios portrait.

Two identical glasses featuring two boxers with a trainer, all named, suggest that the glasses may sometimes have been ordered in sets; one may speculate that this may have been common.

A number have animals that may carry symbolic meaning, or objects such as scrolls or wreaths. The short inscriptions tend to be similar regardless of the content of the image, with names and the "convivial formulae" described above together or separately predominating. A religious implication as may be intended in vivas or zeses for example is relatively rarely explicitly stated. This may well represent Memmius Vitruvius Orfitus, prefect of Rome, and his wife.

Acerentia in southern Italy had a local cult of Hercules. Only 13 of the more than known Late Roman vessel bottoms are identifiably Jewish, but these have still been said to represent "the most appealing group of Jewish realia that have come down from antiquity". Rather surprisingly, the only two of the 13 with full histories were found in Christian catacombs, whereas the only gold glass remains found in Jewish catacombs have no Jewish iconography, [69] and show that "some Jews felt no qualm in using gold glasses with pagan iconographical motifs".

Identifiably Jewish roundels do not feature portraits but with one exception have a fairly standard array of religious symbols. The most common arrangement is on two levels, with two Lions of Judah flanking a Torah ark above, and below two menarot , a shofar rams horn , etrog , lulav and perhaps others of the four Species , scrolls and vases.

Not all the tiny symbols can be confidently identified. Most scholars are confident that Jewish customers used the same workshops as those of the other religions, who presumably kept patterns for designs for all religions, or were provided with sketches.

Some of the attempts to group glasses by workshop attribute Jewish glasses and those of other religions to the same workshop. Apart from the use of symbols rather than human figures, the Jewish glasses seem to have been used in very much the same way as those from other religious groups, which is also characteristic of other classes of Jewish artefacts from Rome at this time, where the Jewish community adopted many aspects of the general Roman way of life.

Of the 13 known, five have inscriptions including the phrase "pie zeses" see above and two "anima dulcis" literally "sweet soul", equating to "sweetheart" , both very common phrases in Christian and pagan inscriptions.

The rarer phrase "vivas cum They would seem to have been given as gifts on the same sort of occasions, and there is evidence that Roman Jews shared the general Roman custom of New Year present-giving.

The technique continued to be used for mosaic tesserae, and at times for pieces that remained relatively large, for example in a small tile in New York with a pattern forming a cross, perhaps from a Syrian church of the 9th to 12th centuries.

In both respects these are closer to the Hellenistic vessels than most Roman ones. From at least the 17th century the Roman glasses attracted antiquarian interest and they began to be removed from the catacombs, in a largely disorganized and unrecorded fashion; now only a "handful" remain in their original position in the catacomb walls.

A number of museums around the world have examples of Roman vessel bottoms. A research project on their collection was due to finish in see further reading below. The most recent of many catalogues since the 18th century are by C. Morey in , with Roman vessel bases, against in S. Smith's thesis of The corpus continues to be expanded by occasional new finds. Gold glass medallion of a youth named Gennadios, who was "most accomplished in the musical arts".

Probably from Hellenized Alexandria, Egypt, c. First found in Hellenistic Greece, it is especially characteristic of the Roman glass of the Late Empire in the 3rd and 4th century AD, where the gold decorated roundels of cups and other vessels were often cut out of the piece they had originally decorated and cemented to the walls of the catacombs of Rome as grave markers for the small recesses where bodies were buried.

Vintage cranberry glass bowl The beaker with lid made from Gold Ruby is attributed to Johann Kunckel. Cranberry glass or 'Gold Ruby' glass is a red glass made by adding gold salts or colloidal gold to molten glass. Tin, in the form of stannous chloride, is sometimes added in tiny amounts as a reducing agent. The glass is used primarily in expensive decorations. Production Cranberry glass is made in craft production rather than in large quantities, due to the high cost of the gold.

The glass is typically hand blown or molded. The finished, hardened glass is a type of colloid, a solid phase gold dispersed inside another solid phase glass. History The 4th-century Lycurgus Cup, a 4th-century Roman glass cage cup made of a dichroic glass The origins of cranberry glass making are unknown, but many historians believe a form of this glass was first made in the late Roman Empire. Glass coloring and color marking may be obtained by 1 addition of coloring ions,[1][2] by 2 precipitation of nanometer sized colloides so-called striking glasses[1] such as "gold ruby"[3] or red "selenium ruby" ,[2] 3 by colored inclusions as in milk glass and smoked glass , 4 by light scattering as in phase separated glass ,[2] 5 by dichroic coatings see dichroic glass , or 6 by colored coatings.

Coloring ions Iron II oxide glass Ordinary soda-lime glass appears colorless to the naked eye when it is thin, although iron oxide impurities produce a green tint which can be viewed in thick pieces or with the aid of scientific instruments. Further metals and metal oxides can be added to glass during its manufacture to change its color which can enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Examples of these additives are listed below: Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au from Latin: In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal. Chemically, gold is a transition metal and a group 11 element. It is one of the least reactive chemical elements and is solid under standard conditions. Gold often occurs in free elemental native form, as nuggets or grains, in rocks, in veins, and in alluvial deposits.

It occurs in a solid solution series with the native element silver as electrum and also naturally alloyed with copper and palladium. Less commonly, it occurs in minerals as gold compounds, often with tellurium gold tellurides. Gold is resistant to most acids, though it does dissolve in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid, which forms a soluble tetrachloroaurate anion. Gold is insoluble in nitric acid, which dissolves silver and base metals, a property that h A jar made of soda-lime glass.

Although transparent in thin sections, the glass is greenish-blue in thick sections from impurities. Bubbles remained trapped in the glass as it cooled from a liquid, through the glass transition, becoming a non-crystalline solid. The joining of two tubes made of lead glass during glass welding Glass is a non-crystalline amorphous solid that is often transparent and has widespread practical, technological, and decorative usage in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optoelectronics.

The most familiar, and historically the oldest, types of glass are "silicate glasses" based on the chemical compound silica silicon dioxide, or quartz , the primary constituent of sand. The term glass, in popular usage, is often used to refer only to this type of material, which is familiar from use as window glass and in glass bottles.

Of the many silica-based glasses that exist, ordinary glazing and container glass is formed from a specific type called soda-lime glass, composed of appro This is a list of surviving ancient Roman gold glass portraits of the finer painted sort.

The majority of surviving Roman gold glass pieces are the cut-off bottoms of drinking glasses made with unpainted gold leaf. These sometimes bear the names of individuals and were probably commemorative gifts on a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary or winning a contest. Achieving a good likeness was probably not an aim, and certainly not an achievement of this class of object, and they are not included here.

The objects here belong to a smaller class of finely painted portrait miniatures, although a few seem also to have been originally placed in cups. Following a table summarizing the basic information, individual portraits are discussed in separate sections.

The north transept rose of Chartres Cathedral donated by Blanche of Castile. Below is St Anne, mother of the Virgin, with four righteous leaders. The window includes the arms of France and Castile. The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works created from it.

Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings.

Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic leadlight and objets d'art created from came glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany. As a material stained glass is glass that has been coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture.

Fresco from the Villa of the Mysteries. Roman art includes architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work. Luxury objects in metal-work, gem engraving, ivory carvings, and glass are sometimes considered in modern terms to be minor forms of Roman art,[1] although this would not necessarily have been the case for contemporaries.

Sculpture was perhaps considered as the highest form of art by Romans, but figure painting was also very highly regarded. The two forms have had very contrasting rates of survival, with a very large body of sculpture surviving from about the 1st century BC onward, though very little from before, but very little painting at all remains, and probably nothing that a contemporary would have considered to be of the highest quality.

Ancient Roman pottery was not a luxury product, A pendant made from modern dichroic glass Dichroic glass is glass which displays two different colors by undergoing a color change in certain lighting conditions. One dichroic material is a modern composite non-translucent glass that is produced by stacking layers of glass and micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass shifting colors depending on the angle of view, causing an array of colors to be displayed as an example of thin-film optics.

The resulting glass is used for decorative purposes such as stained glass, jewelry and other forms of glass art. The commercial title of "dichroic" can also display three or more colors trichroic or pleochroic and even iridescence in some cases. The term dichroic is used more precisely when labelling interference filters for laboratory use. Another dichroic glass material first appeared in a few pieces of Roman glass from the 4th century and consists of a translucent glass containing colloidal gold and silver particles dispersed in the glass matrix in cer Cage cup from Cologne, dated to the mid-4th century.

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore Roman glass objects have been recovered across the Roman Empire in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Glass was used primarily for the production of vessels, although mosaic tiles and window glass were also produced.

Roman glass production developed from Hellenistic technical traditions, initially concentrating on the production of intensely coloured cast glass vessels. However, during the 1st century AD the industry underwent rapid technical growth that saw the introduction of glass blowing and the dominance of colourless or 'aqua' glasses. Production of raw glass was undertaken in geographically separate locations to the working of glass into finished vessels,[1][2] and by the end of the 1st century AD large scale manufacturing resulted in the establishment of glass as a commonly available ma Goldstone Goldstone is a type of glittering glass made in a low-oxygen reducing atmosphere.

The finished product can take a smooth polish and be carved into beads, figurines, or other artifacts suitable for semiprecious stone, and in fact goldstone is often mistaken for or misrepresented as a natural material.

Nomenclature Another common name for the material is aventurine glass, based on the original Italian name avventurina from avventura, "adventure" or "chance". It is also sometimes called "stellaria", "sang-e setareh" or "sang-e khorshid" sang means 'stone', 'khorshid' means 'sun' and setareh means 'star' in Persian for its starry internal reflections, or "monk's gold" or "monkstone" from folkloric associations with an unnamed monastic order.

The material is sometimes called sandstone when used in watch dials, despite its lack of resemblance to the porous, matte texture of the natural stone. Curiously, "aventurine" glass is one of the few synthetic simulants to provide the eponym for the similar Jesus healing the bleeding woman, Roman catacombs, — Early Christian art and architecture or Paleochristian art is the art produced by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity to, depending on the definition used, sometime between and There are a handful of other near complete examples, and rather more fragments.

These pieces are usually assigned to Alexandria in Egypt, which is often seen as the originating centre for luxury Hellenistic glass, and is mentioned as the source of over-elaborate glass by the 1st century satirist Martial and other sources; one seems to show a Nilotic landscape, though this was a popular subject elsewhere. However fragments have been found when excavating a glass factory on Rhodes.

Gold glass mosaic tesserae begin to be used in domestic mosaics in the 1st century AD, with Rome apparently the first location. They continued to be used throughout the ancient and medieval periods into the modern day. By around gold began to be used as the background colour for Christian religious mosaics, as it was throughout the Byzantine period.

The decorated late Roman pieces are usually assumed to have been made in and around Rome, especially in the case of portraits of residents there, but also in the Rhineland around Cologne and Augusta Treverorum , modern Trier , which was a centre for other luxury glass products like cage cups. Alexandria is still thought to have been a major centre, and from linguistic analysis of the inscriptions it has been suggested that the technique, and perhaps the actual artists and craftsmen, reached Rome and Germany from there.

Yet it may just be a coincidence of survival that the other large body of "middle-class" portraiture from the period is the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt. The Gennadios medallion in New York, illustrated above, is a fine example of an Alexandrian portrait on blue glass, using a rather more complex technique and naturalistic style than most Roman examples, including painting onto the gold to create shading, and with the Greek inscription showing local dialect features.

He had perhaps been given or commissioned the piece to celebrate victory in a musical competition. It is thought that the tiny detail of pieces such as these can only have been achieved using lenses. An "Alexander plate with hunting scene" in the Cleveland Museum of Art is, if genuine, [34] a very rare example of a complete vessel decorated with gold glass, and comes from the upper elite of Roman society. It is a shallow bowl or plate The decorated flat roundel in the centre takes about two thirds of the whole diameter.

It shows a mounted huntsman with a spear pursuing two elk , while beneath his horse a huntsman on foot with a hound on a leash confronts a wild boar. The identity of "Alexander" has been the subject of discussion, but he is on the whole though to be an unknown aristocrat rather than Alexander the Great or the Emperor Alexander Severus reigned — The dish is perhaps slightly later than his reign and at least during his reign he could never be addressed as merely a "man".

Such secular "blessings" are typical, and on roundels made from cups they often urge the owner to drink, even when the iconography is religious. One Jewish example has the usual array of symbols and the inscription "Drink, [so] you may live, Elares".

The Wedding at Cana is a popular Christian subject, with one example inscribed "Worthy of your friends, may you live in the peace of God, drink". One round bottom from a larger bowl found in the catacombs is It has five abbreviated scenes from the Old and New Testaments surrounding a married couple in a roundel, with the feet of the outer figures to the centre. The portraits of the sons of Constantine I allow an unusually precise probable dating to , his vicennalia , or the 25th anniversary of his reign.

Severin, Cologne , founded in the 4th century. This is decorated with roundels containing Old Testament scenes and floral motifs. According to the Liber Pontificalis , Pope Zephyrinus , in office from —, had approved the use of glass patens, and ones in other glass techniques survive.

Almost all the Roman vessel bottoms have imagery of some sort, and around have legible inscriptions as well. Of these, about half of the total number of gold glasses known, [46] portraits are most common, but there are small narrative scenes, mainly Christian but a few pagan.

Portraits of Christian sacred figures are on about half the full corpus. No Imperial portraits are recorded, nor military scenes; unlike so much Roman public art the glasses concentrate on the private interests of individuals. Apart from a single near-naked Venus and some figures of erotes , [48] sexual themes are another notable absence compared to much Roman art. Most glasses feature a single image occupying most of the round space within the border, but some have a number of small scenes, usually arranged in small circular frames around a central image.

Most portraits are between bust and half-length. Either portraits or inscriptions naming private individuals are very common, though other examples have no personalizing aspect and were perhaps just bought from a dealer's stock. Damasus, exceptionally for a contemporary cleric, appears on at least four glasses, or at least it is thought he is who "DAMAS" refers to. Saints Peter and Paul together are very common, usually facing each other in profile, but sometimes with other figures.

Both were martyred in Rome, and especially popular there; [53] other local martyrs such as Agnes are depicted several times, [54] and according to Lucy Grig "the Roman-ness of the saints portrayed on the Roman glasses is striking", and five popes from the 3rd and 4th centuries are probably depicted.

A small Christ may stand between the heads of a married couple, blessing them. Narrative scenes from the Old Testament are more common than miracles of Christ, as in the catacomb paintings, and the same "abbreviated representations" of scenes of deliverance feature: There are really only two non-Christian narrative scenes: There are a small number of "agonistic" or sporting scenes, with wrestlers, boxers, one gladiator, and several racing chariot teams.

Several of these, like others seeming to represent victory in a musical or dramatic context, feature palms and crowns and may well have been presented to celebrate victory in these fields in some amateur or professional setting, like the Alexandrian Gennadios portrait. Two identical glasses featuring two boxers with a trainer, all named, suggest that the glasses may sometimes have been ordered in sets; one may speculate that this may have been common.

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