Jan 28, 2010
Jan 9, 2009
Jan 9, 2009
Jan 28, 2010

Mirror with a Handle in the Form of a Herakles Knot

Mirror with a Handle in the Form of a Herakles Knot

c. AD 280-400

Silver

Diameter: 2.3 x 34.6 cm (7/8 x 13 5/8 in.)

Weight: 1.17 kg (2.58 lbs.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1956.31

Description

This type of mirror was introduced throughout the Roman Empire by the 2nd century and remained popular into the 3rd and 4th centuries. Similar examples have been found in Germany and Britain. The handle is made of two thick pieces of silver wire, intertwined to form a Herakles knot--a knot so complex that only someone as strong as Herakles could break it. In antiquity, knots of various kinds were believed to provide protection from harm.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Silver

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