In Antiquity, a lamp was originally called a lychnus, from the Greek λυχνος, with the oldest Roman lamps dating back to the third century BC. It is thought that the Romans took the idea for lamps from the Greek colonies of Southern Italy. During the Roman Empire, it became commonplace to use lamps in funeral ceremonies and for public purposes. Over time, the manufacture of lamps increased, and so did the variation in decoration, which depended mainly on the shape and size of the lamp. Common decorative themes depicted on the discus were entertainment scenes, such as gladiators in combat, common myths, and animals.
To the Romans, the stork was an animal associated with Pietas, and in particular, filial piety. The returning bird to its nest each year demonstrated family loyalty, caring for its older family members. Perhaps such a lamp was a gift to an older family member, showing their child’s devotion.