Tatius of the Sabines


There is clearly a strong connection between these gems and the republican coins series as Tassie himself acknowledges.


The coins are RRC 344/1-3 and RRC 404/1.

But I just don’t feel the execution is ancient.  I wish I could articulate this sense better.  Something about it is too perfect.  Especially the lettering.  The cameo might be late antique (cf. the Constantine-esque bulging eyes with upward glance), but the other three seem really geared toward the tastes of grand tourists and renaissance audiences…

HiveMind Success


I first posted about this gem when getting acquainted with Gori this past summer.

It’s been worrying me ever since.  Yesterday, Social Media solved my confusion about the male head its Oceanus.  Today with a little prompting it helped me find the impression James Tassie made in the  Beazley archive.  So thrilled.

And much to my horror I now know how to match Tassie catalogue and Tassie plates.  I could get lost for weeks, must resist.

Birth of Fulfens (Dionysus)

I do love a mirror (I think its the round intimate composition form I love really, coins, gems, lamps, I’ll take’m all).  Anyway.  In one of my classes yesterday the birth of Dionysus came up and then I stumbled on this lovely Etruscan mirror today.  So I’m posting.  To drawings of the same object .  Top is from Millin 1811.




Sorta, kinda, like Caput Oli


This is just a quick drop for future ref.  I was browsing this book looking for a reference to a gem I’m using my current article project.  The image reminded me so much of a paper I heard on the Etruscan for runners to the Caput Oli  myth as the AIA/SCS a month ago!  Can’t remember who presented it but it will come to me.

Remembering though the Coinage

Look familiar?  Of course it does!  RRC 509/5 is a perfect example of the way in which coin images a huge staying power and can be resurrected after centuries to evoke connections between events/places/people.  The inspiration is one of the many representations of same goddess (likely Tanit, but perhaps seen by some as Demeter, or other name for the mother/fertility/argiculture goddess) on the coinage of Carthage.

Rhinos, Elephants what’s the difference!?


I’m not sure if the wrong descriptor got linked to the the wrong image or if someone was just very tired and confused about their large ‘exotic animals’ ….  File under odd database search results.  (image links to original database entry)

What the heck is going on on the right hand side of the image.  Some other smaller animal(s), but what?  Maybe a beast fight?