25 BC–AD 25
Overall: 12.2 x 7.8 cm (4 13/16 x 3 1/16 in.)
Weight: 15.649 g (0.55 oz.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1966.371
This silver cup was found north of Rome at Vicarello (ancient Aquae Apollinares), probably in 1862.
This masterpiece of the Roman silversmith’s art is exquisitely worked in relief. The multifigure scene centers on a rustic shrine of the ithyphallic fertility god Priapus, son of Dionysos. He takes the form of a stylized boundary marker atop a column, where a woman seems to have brought him to life by touching him. To the left sits a table with votive offerings to the god. Flanking the shrine are a satyr and maenad, dancing ecstatically.
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