Danube Virtual Museum

Roman Lamp

Title: Roman Lamp
Site: Belgrade Fortress
Location/Region: Belgrade
Chrolonology: 1 AD - 500
Museum: Belgrade City Museum
Country: Serbia
Epoch: Ancient era
Culture: Roman
Closer Dating: End of the 2rd and the beginning of the 3th century AD
Material: Ceramics
Dimensions: 105 x 67 x 27 cm
Bibliography: Krunić Slаvicа, Аntičkе svеtilјkе iz Мuzеја grаdа Bеоgrаdа, Bеоgrаd: Мuzеј grаdа Bеоgrаdа, 2011, 75.


Orange-red ceramic lamp decorated with a deer placed on the central discus and floral ornaments around it.

Ceramic, bronze and glass lamps (floating wick, lucernae), were used along with torches and cresset for lighting private and public buildings. Small opening on the upper surface of the discus was used for oil filling. The bigger opening placed across the small opening was used for placing of the wick.

Lamps were brought to Roman Belgrade from Italian, Gallia, Germania and East Mediterranean workshops. Domestic craftsman made them in their workshops according to these models. Supposedly, Singidunum also had these types of workshops.

In addition to its primary purpose, these lamps indirectly continue to confirm the presence of the cult of fire, respecting of the Penates, keepers of the hearth, which were invoked daily by giving sacrifice.