Mirror with decorated back

Early Hadrianic Period
A.D. 119–125

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Metal; bronze with gilding on relief

Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

Circular mirror with relief decoration on back side. In center, the crowned goddess Roma stands holding spear and shield with her left arm and bearing a small winged Victory on her outstretched right hand. To the left is garlanded altar with a cuirass on top. To the right of this altar crouches a small draped female with an elephant-skin cap, a personification of Africa. To the right of Roma is a second garlanded altar with a crested helmet on top and a sheathed sword in front. By this altar, in front of Roma’s shield crouches another female figure, probably the personification of Britain. Scrollwork in exergue.


By date unknown: on the Swiss art market (thought to come from Asia Minor) and acquired by Mrs. Suzette Morton Davidson; late 1960s: gift of Mrs. Suzette Morton Davidson to Ariel Hamill Herrmann; by 1976: on deposit with Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McAlpine and on loan to MFA for Romans & Barbarians exhibition as S.E. 5787.1; March 2, 1977: on loan to MFA from Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McAlpine as 87.1977; June 11, 1997: transfer of ownership from Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McAlpine to Ariel Hamill Herrmann (loaned by Ariel Hamill Herrmann to MFA as 117.1997); gift of Ariel Hamill Herrmann to MFA, December 1997

Credit Line

Gift of Ariel Hamill Herrmann