The Sword of Tiberius
- The Sword of Tiberius
Iron sword and tinned and gilded bronze scabbard (sheath). This object illustrates the ceding of military victory to Augustus by Tiberius after a successful Alpine campaign. Augustus is shown semi-nude, and sits in the pose of Jupiter, flanked by Victory and Mars Ultor ('the Avenger'), while Tiberius, in military dress, presents Augustus with a statuette of Victory. The shield on which the seated figure rests his left arm is inscribed in Latin, Felicitas Tiberi, while the shield held by Victory nears the legend, Vic[toria] Aug[usti].
- 15 (circa)
- Excavated/Findspot: Mainz
- (Europe,Germany,Rhineland Palatinate,Mainz)
- Length: 57.5 centimetres (blade)
- Width: 7 centimetres (blade)
- Length: 8.5 centimetres (hilt (remaining))
- Thickness: 0.4 centimetres (blade)
- Length: 58.5 centimetres (scabbard)
- Width: 8.7 centimetres (scabbard)
Inscription ScriptLatin alphabet
Inscription TransliterationFelicitas Tiberi [on shield of Augustus]
Vic[toria] Aug[usti] [on shield held by Victory]
The iron sword and its decorated bronze scabbard was almost certainly commissioned for a senior officer to commemorate a victory in the lengthy and bloody military campaigns in Germany. Victory in these campaigns was essential for the extension and protection of Rome's empire, and the symbolic act of presenting it to the emperor avoided the destructive competition between generals, which had brought down the Roman Republic.
On display: G70/dc15
Exhibited: 2015, 19 Jun-1 Nov, Kalkriese, Museum und Park Kalkriese, I, Germanicus! 2009 15 May-25 Oct, Haltern am See, LWL Romermuseum, Imperium, Conflict, Myth August - December 2012, Germany, Magdeburg, Kulturhistorisches Museum, ' Otto the Great and the Roman Empire'
Greek & Roman Antiquities
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: GAA1072
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.