Monday, December 29, 2003

Roman silver hoard to be featured exhibit in Basel, Switzerland

"Pieces of treasure hidden by the Romans 1,650 years ago as Germanic tribes stormed their northern Swiss fort at Augusta Raurica, have been reunited and put on display for the first time.

Some 270 precious items including silver platters, dishes, utensils and coins, are on show amid tight security at the Museum of the Roman town of Augusta Raurica, in Basel."

"The objects date back to the tumultuous era between 294 and 350 AD. The name Marcellianus appears on 13 items. It is possible that he and an unnamed owner buried their belongings together and only Marcellianus labelled what was his."

"Both men were undoubtedly army officers. An inscription on one of the dishes shows Marcellianus to have been a tribune – a unit commander or staff officer. His candelabrum, made to be packed together like a telescope, hints at a life of frequent travel. "

"Marcellianus apparently served with the imperial court as the emperor moved about the Balkans and westwards to Gaul."

"One of his bowls is from Thessalonica and is a typical gift of the emperor to loyal followers. Another dish celebrates the tenth jubilee of the reign of Emperor Constantine. "

"The maker’s marks on the Achilles dish and the “Euticus” dish also indicate that they are gifts from the emperor."

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