Over the festive period my Roman coin collection has increased quite considerably so here is one I identified earlier. It is a denarius of Septimius Severus, emperor of Rome from AD193-211 the founding father of the Severan dynasty and saviour … Continue reading
Since last week’s discussion of the hare mosaic I’ve been thinking again about the place of the ‘hare’ in ancient religion.
For all the talk of its potential significance in its namesake mosaic, the significance of the hare in ancient religion is a veritable mystery and uncovering the reason would add such great flavour to an already absorbing piece of art.
For the sake of a reason, my best guestimation would be that the hare, as well as the goose and cockerel, were all the zoomorphic representation of a native deity or at least the animal companion of. Such companions are widely known from ancient pagan religions such as the cockerel and ram being associated with Mercury. A parallel can also be drawn to a local belief, across the Cotswolds where a series of sculptures dedicated to a local deity all portray a figure associated with a bird, given the area possibly a wood pigeon.
This to my mind would suggest that, if the hare was taboo as food or a hunting item and looked after or revered by the native British, then being the associate to a deity would be a most plausible explanation for such behaviour and worship. Nevertheless this is just conjecture and should be treated as such, but it never hurts to enquire and it would certainly be plausible. Furthermore even if it is a valid assumption the next mystery is who was this deity, and what powers did it behold? It seems history loves nothing more than a mystery.
A picture can paint a thousand word however when the artist, or even the whole society that made it has disappeared, it can become rather difficult to decipher those words. Iconography, motifs and patterns in art can sometimes look rather … Continue reading
A good friend of mine recently reminded me that a section on where to source materials for making mosaics from might be a useful collection of information for those wishing to partake in such a craft. I could not agree … Continue reading
Although laying tesserae is the major work in creating a mosaic, they’re never truly finished until grouted and secured. This final stage of grouting can have a surprisingly profound impact on the overall design, depending on the colour of the … Continue reading
Once more into the breach my friends, once more! Yes that’s right it has been full steam ahead in the workshop this week and so I present to you another mosaic creation. This design strives to blend native British style … Continue reading
Whilst the inscriptions will be of huge assistance to identifying an ancient coin sometimes they are simply not legible, either through the steady wear of overuse or the ravages of spending nearly two thousand years in the soil: it’s a … Continue reading
If you happen to be passing through Gloucestershire on the 26th of October why not make a diversion and bring your kids to Tewkesbury Museum for a Roman Day. From 11-3 the Museum and myself will be hosting a day … Continue reading
Inscriptions on coins can contain a vast array of information, and although ancient coins may not have the year so kindly marked upon them as modern coins do, they do provide some excellent dating criteria. Roman inscriptions are very formulaic … Continue reading
Learning to identify Roman coins requires experience and lots of it, however when you get started it can sometimes feel like you can’t see the wood for the trees. Nevertheless there are some tips and sources that’ll make it significantly … Continue reading