Roman Empire, Thracia or Dacia, ca. 3rd century CE. A lead plaque showing a complex iconography relating to the pre-Christian religions of the Lower Danube region. At the top is Sol Invictus, the sun god, in a quadriga, a chariot driven by four horses (two clearly visible on each side). His cult came from the Near East but spread into the Roman Empire with imperial patronage; symbolism like this is part of the cult of Mithras that was found throughout the most expansive periods of the Empire from Roman Britain (a temple to Mithras can still be seen in the modern City of London) to its eastern coasts in the ancient-places-turned-colonies of Thracia and Dacia. The rest of the plaque shows worshippers; there is a meal, with fit young men attending it, and an amphora at the base, while riders on horseback and what looks like a priestess standing at an altar exult Sol. See a very similar example with slightly different iconography at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Size: 2.95" W x 3.1" H (7.5 cm x 7.9 cm)
Provenance: Ex - Prominent LA County collector who acquired these prior to 2000
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