A large Roman redware oil lamp with a right facing bust of Serapis wearing modius; the perimeter with decorative moulded patterns. The lamp has a pierced handle at the rear and stands on a low ring base.

Northern Africa: Circa 4th-5th AD.


Stand not included.


Very Fine condition.

Length 13.1 cms (5.2 ins).


The cult of Serapis was introduced during the thirdcentury BC on the orders of Pharaoh ruler Ptolemy I as a way of unifying theGreeks and Egyptians in his realm. Serapis was Graeco-Egyptian syncretisticdeity derived from the worship of the Egyptian Osiris and Apis. He signifiedboth abundance and resurrection. On top of Serapis' head is a basket or a tall,dry corn measure (called a modius in modern terminology). This symbolized theattributes of fertility and showed his association with Osiris.

Large Roman oil lamp with bust of Serapis

SKU: J209
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