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Roman Republic, Lead Glandes Sling-Bullet, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.
According to the contemporary report of Vegatius, Republican slingers had an accurate range of up to six hundred feet. The best sling ammunition was cast from lead. For a given mass, lead, being very dense, offered the minimum size and therefore minimum air resistance. Also, lead sling-bullets were small and difficult to see in flight. In some cases, the lead would be cast in a simple open mold made by pushing a finger, thumb, or sharpened stick into sand and pouring molten metal into the hole. The flat top end was carved to a matching point after the lead cooled. More frequently, they were cast in two-part molds. Sling-bullets were made in a variety of shapes including an ellipsoidal form closely resembling an acorn; possibly the origin of the Latin word for lead sling-bullet: glandes plumbeae (literally leaden acorns) or simply glandes (meaning acorns, singular glans). The most common shape by far was biconical, resembling the shape of an almond or an American football. Why the almond shape was favored is unknown. Possibly there was some aerodynamic advantage, but it seems equally likely that there was a more prosaic reason, such as the shape being easy to extract from a mold, or that it will rest in a sling cradle with little danger of rolling out. Almond-shaped lead sling-bullets were typically about 35 millimeters (1.4 in) long and about 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wide. Sometimes symbols or writings were molded on the side. A thunderbolt, a snake, a scorpion, or others symbols indicating how it might strike without warning were popular. Writing might include the name of the military unit or commander, or was sometimes more imaginative, such as, "Take this," "Ouch," "Catch," or even "For Pompey's backside."AW66458. Lead glandes sling-bullet; cf. Petrie XLIV 15-23; roughly biconical, without symbols or inscriptions, c. 40 - 90 grams, c. 3 - 5 cm long, one sling-bullet randomly selected from the same group as those in the photo, ONE BULLET, BARGAIN PRICED!; $20.00 (€17.60)
Roman, Syro-Palestinian (Samaria?), Snake-Thread Flask, Late 2nd - Early 4th Century A.D.
Snake-thread ornamentation originated in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire in the second half of the second century and its popularity peaked in the first half of the third century. Snake-thread decoration was revived in the second half of the fourth century in the east and in the west near Cologne in modern Germany. Serpentine form trails may vary in thickness, may be the same color as the vessel (usually colorless) or brightly colored (common in the West). Ontario Museum 309, with similar subtle snake-thread ornamentation, is attributed to Samaria, 3rd to early 4th century A.D.AG63814. Snake thread flask, cf. Ontario Museum 309 (for similar ornamentation), 12.4 mm (4 7/8"), Complete and intact, funnel mouth with rolled rim, cylindrical neck, bulbous body, snake-thread ornamentation on the body, flat bottom; from a Florida dealer; $870.00 (€765.60)
Roman, Bronze Repousse Plaque with Centaur Holding a Bow, Lorica Sqaumata Armor Plate(?), c. 1st - 3rd Century B.C.
Likely used in some legionary application; perhaps as a lorica squamata legionary armor plate segment. AA59779. Roman, bronze repousse, 1.75 x 1.75 inches, c. 1st - 3rd century A.D.; sheet bronze hammered from behind in repousse technique to raise the figure of a centaur holding a bow, remains of two rivet holes where it was attached, tear on body, rare and interesting; from a New Jersey collection; $450.00 (€396.00)
Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Sprinkler Jug, c. 3rd A.D.
This form is missing from the major references but we know of other examples from the market.AG63811. Sprinkler jug, 10.5 mm (4 1/8"), complete, tiny chip in handle (visible in photo), possibly a small rim repair or just flaked weathering, thick yellowish brown enamel-like weathering, free-blow, yellow-green glass, piriform body, tubular neck, slight funnel mouth, washer-like constriction at the base of neck, handle attached below rim and below neck, kicked bottom with pontil mark; from a Florida dealer; $410.00 (€360.80)
Roman Bronze Vessel Handle, Ornamented With Bacchus and a Panther, c. 1st Century A.D.
The Panther was the companion of Bacchus. The grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, were both sacred to him. This handle was once attached to vessel used for serving or drinking wine.AI30971. height 8.0 cm (3"), excellent condition with a nice green patina, bronze vessel handle ornamented with a facing young head of Bacchus wearing an ivy wreath in his long flowing hair, panther skin tied at neck, the curving handle ends with a panther head; $390.00 (€343.20)
Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Fusiform Unguentarium with Iridescence, c. 3rd - 5th Century A.D.
Hayes' Ontario Museum catalog references many similar specimens, noting some are from Beirut. Our example is finer than most examples of similar form, many of which appear to be carelessly made. Hayes' dates the type 5th century or later. Perhaps the finer form indicates ours is earlier.AG63806. Fusiform unguentarium, cf. Ontario Museum 461, complete, intact, much iridescence; 16.5 cm, spindle-shaped long tubular body, upper half is a neck narrowing slightly to folded and flattened rim, small shoulder at center, lower half is a narrow tubular body narrowing to a rounded point; from a Florida dealer; $370.00 (€325.60)
Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Bottle, c. 3rd Century A.D.
AG63812. Glass bottle, cf. Ontario Museum 150; 8.3 cm (3 1/4") tall, complete, crack down from rim, toes chipped (will not stand), free-blown, pale green glass, fire rounded rim with projecting roll below, long neck narrowing slightly to bulbous body, base ring of pinched toes, stand not included; from a Florida dealer; $250.00 (€220.00)
Theodosius I, 19 January 379 - 17 January 395 A.D.
This type of lead conical bulla seal is commonly attributed to Theodosius I with his sons, Arcadius and Honorius. While the attribution is not certain, there is reason behind it. The form is correct for the period and the type is very common for a seal. Forum has handled a few examples and there are at least four on Coin Archives. The large number of specimens supports attribution to the emperor, in whose name there was a lot of correspondence. Theodosius and his two sons are the best imperial fit for these three facing busts.AS89555. Lead bulla (tag seal), conical type, commonly attributed to Theodosius I and his sons Arcadius and Honorius, VF, gray and buff surfaces, weight 9.316 g, maximum diameter 18.0 mm, obverse three bare-headed and draped busts facing, center bust larger, two flanking busts smaller; reverse domed back, pierced for the cord; ex CNG e-auction 233 (26 May 2010), lot 504; $150.00 (€132.00)
Roman, Bronze Bird Fibula, c. 3rd - 5th Century A.D.
AS61829. Roman fibula; cf. Hattatt BOA 1156 - 1159; 1.25 inches, pin missing; from a New Jersey collection, c. 3rd - 5th century A.D.; $125.00 (€110.00)
Roman, Large Iron Borer or File, 1st - 3rd Century A.D.
Another piece from the same group as this borer was dated by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to 120 A.D. with a probable range of 80 A.D. - 160 A.D. Testing was done using an innovative technique which measures the carbon isotope ratio of the trace carbon in the iron. This carbon comes from the wood used in the production of the iron which must be of essentially the same age as the tool itself. Results were published in the journal, Radiocarbon, Summer 2001. AE61804. Roman borer, cf. Petrie, 'Tools and Weapons', pl. LXV, 40; 7 inches, indent at one end for attaching handle, $120.00 (€105.60)