A Roman Beaker for Merueifa

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 07 November 2017

A dedication is incised on the rim of this Roman beaker made of glass: "MERVEIFA VIVAS TVIS." (Translation from Latin: "Merueifa, may you live among your own.") Beneath the inscription are naked, winged boys harvesting grapes, watched by owls and vineyard birds. This beaker was found in 1882 in a Germanic burial ground in Leverkusen-Rheindorf, Germany, and it dates from the 3rd century CE. It was probably made on commission by a Cologne workshop. However, it is unusual in its shape and with regard to the personal dedication. So far, Merueifa is the only woman and the only Germanic woman to have such a vessel dedicated to her in the Cologne area that archaeologists know of at this time. Since the elite on the right bank of the Rhine River cremated their dead, very few grave goods like this beaker have survived. (Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Cologne)



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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