Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on March 1, 2021

68R ROMAN GLASS ARYBALLOS of Allaire Collection

Roman Aryballos 68R                                                                                Date: First or possibly Second Century AD Size: H: 9.5 cm, D: rim 4 cm, D: max 8.7 cm

This free-blown bottle is decorated with four wheel-cut horizontal bands and two heavy handles are attached just under the rim.

Remarks:  These thick-walled bulbous glass flasks, used for oil, are frequently referred to by their Greek name Aryballos. They were commonly used for carrying oil to the public baths and many examples show the metal chains and hooks still attached. The aryballos was during Roman times an inseparable accoutrement for the visitors to the baths. She or he carried the aryballos from home with a small attached handle or with e.g. a bronze chain and stopper. Entering the baths one would at first go to the apodyteria, the respective changerooms for female and male visitors. The smaller baths usually had only one apodyterium and used different opening hours for females and males. The clothes were nicely stored away and the visitor went to the a caldarium. A space with a temperature of approx. 40º C. and a humidity of around 80%. Just like our nowadays sauna’s. The plunge pool was called the alveus. From there one went to the sudatorium, the sweat room. Just like our modern sauna’s. From there one could go to the tepidarium, a room with a moderate temperature. One could also see the masseur handing him the aryballos with the fragrant oils brought from home which could be applied. The masseur would disperse some sand over the oily body followed by cleansing using a strigilis, a scraper made of bronze, steel or glass to finish the cleansing process. The body got a nice smell from the applied oils. To finish off one visited the frigidarium, the cold room. There was enough time in the whole process to socialize. One would get dressed again and go her or his way. This cleansing ritual was followed for quite some centuries and ended somewhere in the 4th century CE, probably due to the influence of Christianity.  These remarks where taken from a post on this blog.  GLASS ARYBALLOI and the bath rituals in Roman times (active link)

Ex collection: Paul E Cuperus

Ref: Roman Glass, Corning Vol. I #351, Glasses of antiquity, Fortune Fine Arts, #57

Published: Glass from the Roman Empire, Paul E Cuperus, June 2000 page 20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: