The light of antiquity with symbolic meaning
Today, we take for granted the free availability of light at any time of day or night. Not so in the ancient world, where life was almost exclusively based on the hours of sunlight. In order to prolong these hours artificially, people at that time had to resort to the small luminous bodies made of clay. But their light had not only a practical use, but it also had a symbolic meaning. Among other things, the light of the oil lamps was also used as an ominous repellent.
Our replica represents a so-called picture lamp, as they were widely used in the western provinces until the 1st century and in the east until the 4th century. The outstanding features of these lamps were, on the one hand, the mostly round shape and, on the other hand, the slightly recessed mirror. This was particularly suitable for the reproduction of pictorial representations of daily life or religious worship.
- Material: ceramic
- Color: terracotta/black
- Dimensions: length: about 11.5 cm x width ca.6.4 cm
- in the center an image of the scorpion
The role of astrology in the Roman Empire
As our scorpion picture lamp shows, celestial observation also played a major role in the Roman Empire. Almost in every advanced civilization, a special form of astrology developed at the same time.
Whereby astrology in the Roman Empire, in contrast to those in the eastern Mediterranean region or in Greece, was no longer reserved for a small select class of priests or state leaders. For here it opened up, and in the course of time a kind of ""indivisualized"" Astrology for well-to-do citizens. However, this also led to a certain flattening and banalization, whose spiritual depth as well as the knowledge about the cosmic connections was only conveyed in the esoteric cults (e.g. in the cult of Mithras or the cult of Isis). With the emergence and spread of Christianity, the influence of astrology disappeared.
The mythology of the constellation Scorpio in antiquity
The mythology of the constellation Scorpio has its origin in Greek-Roman mythology. Here the Greek goddess Artemis had once sent the scorpion to kill the giant and warrior Orion, who boasted that he could kill any animal on earth. The scorpion stung Orion in the calf in such a way that he sank down mortally wounded. A little later, however, Orion was revived by the god of healing Asclepius and placed in the starry firmament by the gods.
The oil lamp of the zodiac sign Scorpio
Made of ceramic, this replica represents a particularly beautifully crafted specimen, which, in addition to the clearly carved out scorpion on the mirror surface, also stands out for its intricately designed handle. The fine arch decoration, on the edge of the mirror, completes the whole harmoniously. The approx. 11.5 cm long and 6.5 cm wide oil lamp can, like its original models, be fitted with an appropriate wick and operated with olive oil.
Forum Traiani ® registered trademark