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Roman Cornelian Intaglio with a Panoply of Amuletic Objects

An unusual variation of the type. A decorated altar in the sheaves of wheat or corn. At left: a scorpion. At right, a Corinthian helmet above a shield. Ground line. The rare allegorical iconography here refers directly to the military sphere. The martial implements of Athena, goddess of war, wisdom and justice, along with her sacred animal have been placed as votives on an altar. The scorpion was the zodiacal symbol associated with the Praetorian Guard.

1st Century AD

Height: 9 mm. (0 3/8 in.)

Width: 10 mm (0 3/8 in.)

Depth: 2 mm. (0 1/16 in.)


ex: a private British collection, 1980s

Weiss, C (ed.); Antike Gemmen in deutschen Sammlungen : die antiken Gemmen der Sammlung Friedrich Julius Rudolf Bergau im Germanischen Nationalmuseum, Nurenberg (Nurenberg, 1996) pp.150-151, nos. 417-418;

Brandt, E; Antike Gemmen in deutschen Sammlungen. Band 1. München. Teil 2, Italische Gemmen etruschkisch bis
roemisch-republikanisch (Munich, 1970) p.45, no.805, pl.92 (this gem directly references the Dioscuri)

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