The roman oil lamp, a product almost unparalleled in its distribution throughout the 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. Chariot racing was one of the most popular form of entertainment in Ancient Rome, and has a history that stretches back to the mythical founder Romulus, who used it to distract the Sabine men whilst his soldiers carried off the women.
Roman Oil Lamp with Charioteer
This fine Ancient Roman terracotta oil lamp features a discus decorated with a chariot being driven by two horses, shown in profile view. The chariot is displayed in motion, moving from right to left, and the horse legs can be seen stretched apart in mid gallop. The shoulder is decorated and triangular indentations on the base the maker mark (H) can be observed inside two concentric circles. There is a short volute nozzle and a small filling hole under the belly of the horses.
Condition: Fine. There is a small hole in the base of the lamp.