Antiquities > Oil Lamps

mvntripi mark on a roman oil lamp

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I am quite proud to start this category but I wonder If it will give me some information.... I have a roman oil lamp with "MVNTRIPI" written on the back side. I have found on internet this mark reported on very old books but without any information on the date or geographical data. Can I get these data on FORVM ?



Hi Sledge,

Your name "MVNTRIPI" is a known potter's stamp. You will find it noted in the appendix on page 407 of "The History of Ancient Pottery" by Samuel Birch (1858).

This book can be found on google books at the following link:,M1

I suspect though, from your post, that you already know of this book. The link, however, might be of interest to some of the other members of this board.


Indeed, I was mentioning this book in which I did not found any details on the date and the place where it has been manufactured. I will post a picture tomorrow to let you see it.  Is there any other sources to get more data on the oil lamp ?

Guy de la Bedoyere is a well known expert on Roman pottery here in Britain but whether that extends to oil lamps or not I do not know. Particularly, as is probable, if the lamp was manufactured in another part of the Roman Empire.
I am afraid that, so far, I been unable to out find anything else about your stamp.


The signature MVNTRIPI is not familiar to me but it is likely to be an abbreviation of a two- or three-part name. This form is typical of lampmakers' signatures on Italian and North African lamps.

I did not find anything from a cursory glance at Balil or Bailey but I have not searched Deneauve or other references. Are you sure your reading is correct (it might not be the same potter as that in Birch)?

If MVN is correct it is likely that your lampmaker was a member of Munatii family of lampmakers, formerly thought to be Italian but possibly working in North Africa (Africa Proconsularis), during the 1st and early 2nd centuries AD. Members included Lucius Munatius Successus and the prolific Lucius Munatius Adiectus.

Just the form of the signature suggests your lamp is from the Central Mediterranean area and of the 1st to 3rd centiries AD but an image or two might pin it down a bit more.

There are a few North African lamps at the bottom of this page (click the images to see more detail) that might compare?




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