Bronze sistrum (rattle)

Date: 1st–3rd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Length: 5 1/4 in., Weight: 1.6oz. (13.3 cm, 45g)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1897

Accession Number: 97.22.2


The sistrum was used during religious ceremonies to ward off evil spirits with its jingling noise. It was particularly necessary in the observance of mystery cults such as the worship of Isis, and statues of the goddess often depict her holding a sistrum.