Two steelyard weights

Roman Britain, 1st-4th century AD
From Nursling, Southampton, Hampshire, and Great Chesterford, Essex

These weights (2361 g and 2347 g), for a statera or steelyard, are in the form of frenzied maenads, female devotees of the god Bacchus. They took part in his ecstatic rituals, which involved music, dancing and much drinking of wine. Vine or ivy leaves are woven into their hair, and one (on the right) has eyes inlaid with silver, and lips plated with copper.

The worship of Bacchus was popular and widespread, and Bacchic imagery was frequently chosen to decorate objects in a wide variety of media

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Height: 125.000 mm
Weight: 2347.000 g
Weight: 2347.000 g

Museum number

P&EE 1856.7-1.5090;P&EE 1865.4-8.12



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