Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gladiators and charioteers in Noviomagus

Today, I visited museum Het Valkhof, at Oppidum Batavorum or Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum. Het Valkhof is a remarkable museum with an extraordinary fine collection of Roman finds, both from the vicus and the military settlements. Among it, these two beautiful objects, a green glazed bowl and a terra sigillata jar. One shows fighting gladiators and on the other one a racing chariot.


This well preserved bowl shows fighting gladiators in an amphitheater. A heavy armoured gladiator attacks his opponent, armed with trident and dagger.

At the opposite side you can see a referee, carrying a stick,  intervening. The bowl was made in Cologne (Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium) and capital city of Germania Inferior, probably at the end of the 2nd century AD. It was found at the cemetry of Noviomagus.


The other object I want to present, is this terra sigillata jar, decorated by three medaillions. One with a deer, one with a dog, and the one shown here, with a quadriga. The driver shows his victory branch and a coronet of beads. It says CALOS VENETE or "Bravo Blues!", refering to the blue party (factio veneta). It dates from the 2nd century AD, was found in Noviomagus, but the exact location is unknown. Originally, it was part of the collection of the famous collector G.M. Kam. Years ago, I visited this collection, on display, stuffed and pilled in a small museum at the outskirts of Nijmegen, now it is fortunatelly part of a well disclosed permanent exhibition.

If you like to see more of my pictures of this excellent collection on display, please click here.

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