The Lycurgus Cup


Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 01 April 2016
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This magnificent glass cage cup is is decorated with scenes from the myth of Lycurgus, a king from Thrace. Lycurgus attacked Dionysos, the Greek god of wine, as well as the maenads (Dionysos' female followers) and Ambrosia the nymph. Ambrosia prayed for help to Mother Earth, who transformed her into a vine so that she could coil around the king. The cup shows Lycurgus trapped by the vine, while Dionysos, Pan, and a satyr (male follower of Dionysus) torment him for his evil behaviour. The cup was probably made in Alexandria or Rome in about 290-325 CE. Late Roman, 4th century CE. The British Museum, London. Formerly in the Collection of Rothschild; acquired by the British Museum in 1958.

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2016, April 01). The Lycurgus Cup. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "The Lycurgus Cup." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 01, 2016.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama S. M. "The Lycurgus Cup." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 01 Apr 2016. Web. 18 Jan 2021.

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