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Published onSep 09, 2020


Rome was another formidable force in the ancient world. The civilization of Rome lasted from the 8th cent BCE to the 5th century CE and at their height controlled most of the Mediterranean. Rome is remembered by its many monuments but they are not the only things that the Ancient Romans looked behind; they were also known for their glass. While we do not know the date of the creation of glass making, they do know that the invention of glass blowing occurred around the year 50 BCE in the Roman Empire. Once the invention was made this form of glass making became much more popular than the earlier core-forming technique.

Many of the pieces in this case are examples of early glassmaking in Rome. These are a sample of objects that one might find in a roman home. Some of them for holding liquids such as perfumes or other cosmetics—the unguentariums--, others for serving or drinking. Glass objects were integrated into the lives of the Ancient Romans as they got easier and cheaper to create. At this point, the wealthy rejected glass and insisted on only drinking from gold cups in order to keep the separation between them and the lower classes.

Many of the glass objects here have an iridescence to them. This was not a design choice on the part of their makers. This iridescence is the effect on the glass and its glaze for being buried for hundreds of years.

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