Lead-glazed vessels were a Roman invention developed between the second-half of the 1st century BC. They continued to be produced until the 1st century AD. The terracotta vessels have a layer of thick glaze covering the exterior surface. Made from a mixture of silica and other minerals, predominantly lead, this discovery allowed potters to create a range of different colours. Vibrant turquoise greens, mustard yellows and rich browns could be added to the existing palette of red and black. This technique expanded the artistic repertoire, creating unique terracotta pieces. The process of creating lead-glazed vessels were costly and involved twice-firing the ceramic. Space was needed around each piece, to give the glaze room to drip freely. The inability to stack pieces into a kiln also increased the cost of production. Lead-glazed pieces originated in Syria and spread West, with inferior productions made in the Gaul. The practise died out largely due to the expensiveness of the production and the newly invention of blown glass.
The Roman god Bacchus, or Dionysus in the Greek world, was the god of wine, fertility, and theatre. In these, Bacchus represented both the ecstasy and danger of complete liberation. The worship of Dionysus was transported to Italy by Greek colonisation of Southern Italy and Sicily, and in Roman culture continued through the festival of Bacchanalia. Symbolically, Dionysus is usually represented with grapevines and a Thyrsos (pine-cone tipped staff), and he is often accompanied by a Panther or Leopard.
To find out more about Roman gods, please visit our relevant blogs: Roman Gods in Mythology.