The oil lamp, a product almost unparalleled in its distribution throughout the Roman Empire, developed towards the end of the Hellenistic period and was to keep its general shape longer than any other item of pottery throughout the Mediterranean. The vast trade networks set up with the expansion of the Roman empire allowed for this item to be spread across Europe, Eastern Asia and Northern Africa. Terracotta lamps, such as this fine example, were used in households and in temples, and appear often decorated with iconographies driven from literature, myths and theatre. This lamp has been decorated with the dipiction of a gladiator. Gladiatorial games were one of the most significant form of entertaining for the Roman populace, something which is represented in the popularity of gladiatorial depictions on oil lamps.
Roman Gladiator Oil Lamp
This very fine Roman oil lamp features a concaved discus displaying a heavily armoured gladiator, equipped with rectangular shield, carved in relief and with a small filling hole in-between his legs. The rounded nozzle features double volute and a small air hole.
Condition: Fine with signs og aging to the surface.