Silver service
fine dining in
Roman Britain

23 May – 4 August 2013

The Asahi Shimbun Displays
Objects in focus

Supported by

Recommend this exhibition

Experience the unique culture of fine dining in Roman Britain first-hand. Recline on a curved couch (stibadium) in an intimate recreation of a late Roman dining room.

Discover the iconic Mildenhall Great Dish and its central role at the very heart of the Roman meal. Made in AD 350, this glorious piece is exquisitely decorated with classical imagery that features a drinking contest between Bacchus (the god of wine) and the hero Hercules. Take your place around this glorious silver platter and get a real flavour of Roman dining at the British Museum.

Encounter a slice of late Roman life as video projections and the fragrance of cinnamon take you back in time. Immerse yourself in an era where music, poetry, acrobats and dancing girls entertained the richest Romans; an age where each Roman’s status was reflected in their position at dinner, from the standing slaves to the reclining elite. Seek repose on the stibadium by the Great Dish and prepare to be enchanted.

The curious drama of the discovery 70 years ago of the Mildenhall treasure in a Suffolk field inspired Roald Dahl to write his celebrated story and adds to its rich mythology. Be inspired by this legendary object in an extraordinary dining room setting.

The Great Dish from the Mildenhall treasure, found in Mildenhall, Suffolk. Roman Britain, 4th century AD.

Explore the Mildenhall treasure on the Google Cultural Institute

The Great Dish 
Two silver platters 
Silver spoons 
Silver ladles 
Silver dish with niello decoration 
Fluted silver bowl 
Flanged silver bowl 
Flanged silver bowl with cover