Diameter: 60.400 mm
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
Late Roman / Early Christian, 4th century
Probably from the catacombs in Rome
A married couple with Christ
The inscription reads: DULCIS ANIMA VIVAS ('Sweetheart, may you live [long]'). The medallion would have originally decorated the base of bowl made as a wedding present.
We know that the small figure represents Christ as similar images on other bowls are actually inscribed with His name. The man and woman, then, although they are clearly as aristocratic as the couple on the gold-glass medallion showing Herakles also in The British Museum, were Christians rather than pagans. In the Late Antique period, old and new religions were often practised side by side.
D. Buckton (ed.), Byzantium: treasures of Byzant (London, The British Museum Press, 1994)