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Bronze mirror with traces of gilding
mid-2nd century A.D.
Diam.: 5 13/16 in. (14.7 cm)
Purchase, The Abraham Foundation Inc. Gift, 1978
The mirror is decorated with a scene from Greek mythology—Europa and the Bull (who represents Zeus/Jupiter in disguise). Such classicizing subjects were popular on Roman mirrors made principally during the Antonine period, and examples have been found in many distant parts of the Empire. With its mythological scene and gilded surface, this work is therefore a good example of the material wealth and comfort enjoyed by many ordinary people under the pax romana, the peace, stability, and prosperity provided by Rome.
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