Black Gloss drinking cup (poculum) with a painted inscription

Roman, around 280 BC
From Latium, western Italy

An early example of mass-produced Roman pottery

From the third to the first centuries BC workshops in western Italy produced black-glazed vessels derived from similar vases made in the formerly independent Greek cities of the south. The black gloss pocula (drinking cups) of Rome and southern Etruria are a typically hybrid product of third century Italy, combining a traditional local shape with painted decoration influenced by the Greek cities of southern Italy and stamped decoration of a type very common in Rome and the surrounding area. This cup has both a painted leafy band on the interior and four small stamped rosettes, incompletely impressed. The painted inscription, also on the interior, reads 'Aecetiai pocolom', or 'Aecetia's cup'. The name is not otherwise known, but may be either the name of the cup's owner, or of a deity to whom it was dedicated.

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More information


S. Walker, Roman art (London, 1991)

P. Roberts, 'Mass-production of Roman fine wares' in Pottery in the making: world-5 (London. The British Museum Press, 1997), pp. 188-93


Height: 6.400 cm
Diameter: 14.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1847.8-6.41 (Vases F 604)


Millingen Collection


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