Yellow-Green Hexagonal Glass Bottle with a Stylite Saint

Date: mid-5th–7th century

Geography: Made in Syria (?)

Culture: Byzantine

Medium: Moulded glass

Dimensions: Overall: 8 9/16 x 2 1/2 x 2 9/16 in. (21.7 x 6.4 x 6.5 cm)

Classification: Glass-Vessels

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Carleton S. Coon, 1961

Accession Number: 61.247


The stylite saints depicted on tall glass vessels made in Syria were men who renounced the world and lived atop pillars (styloi). Most renowned was Saint Symeon the Stylite the Elder (389–459), whose pillar on the mountain of Qal‘at Sem‘an, near Antioch, became the center of a large pilgrimage complex. Pilgrims collected dirt from the base of his column.