Has anyone been to the National Museum in Naples?

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by rrdenarius, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I have been reading a bit about Roman scales. I want to know more about how the Romans paid their soldiers at Veii. The first time Roman soldiers was paid was about 400 BC, or about 100 years before they started producing coins. Romans used two types of scales: balances with mirror image sides and steelyard scales with sliding weights and uneven sides. Some interesting pictures of scales are shown on pottery and funeral carvings. (See https://funtofil.livejournal.com/18042.html and others.)
    Roman butcher shop scale.jpg
    This butcher shop has a steelyard scale.
    metalworker_shop scale.jpg
    This shop has a double pan balance.
    Roman bakery shop scale.jpg
    The baked loaves are checked for weight at top.

    I found the following picture on the Library of Congress web site. Note the picture was copyrighted by Underwood and Underwood in 1897.
    Steelyard scales Naples Museum.jpg
    Steelyards and scales found at Pompeii, National Museum, Naples, Italy, room of small bronzes

    Has anyone been to the museum in Naples and seen this display?
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  3. ycon

    ycon Well-Known Member

    The national archaeological museum in Naples has perhaps the greatest display of roman art in the world. It is also, unfortunately, woefully underfunded meaning that at any given time many galleries will be closed off. I have been on two occasions, and don't remember seeing a display anything like this. It could be that it's not there anymore, or the galleries were closed, or that I just walked past it in my rush to get to the mosaics and sculptures.
  4. I will very likely be going in about a month.
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  5. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    Hoping to get there later this year.
  6. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    I went back in....2004. Can't say I remember too much from memory. I will have to see if I can dig out my pictures.
  7. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    It's a great museum but as was mentioned many of the rooms are closed off for various undisclosed reasons. Italy is like that. Most people want to see the artifacrs from Pompeii and Herculanium and those are usually open. While in Naples take a walk up to see Virgil's tomb. Not many go but it's pretty cool.
  8. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I have picked up a few scales and / or scale weights recently. This week a double pan balance from the mid 1900's arrived. The scale came with weights that were less accurate than I expected. The pic below shows a one ounce Roman weight and two pieces of cut asses that weighed one ounce.

    My one ounce weight is 27.1 grams => 325 gram pound:
    one uncia Daniel Zufahl 1.26.18.jpg
    It is hard to see the lower case gamma and archaic capital A on my weight. They are visible on this weight:
    one ounce Roman.jpg
  9. alde

    alde Always Learning Supporter

    I had never given scales or scale weights much thought but it sure looks like an interesting sector of the ancient economy.
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  10. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    My favorite piece in the whole museum, the Aphrodite Kallipygos:

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  11. randygeki

    randygeki Coin Collector

    I'd love to go there
  12. akeady

    akeady Well-Known Member

    I was there in 2011, but don't recall the scales. As has been mentioned above, some galleries were closed, including the coin collection. I know of other people who have visited more than once and still haven't seen the coins.
    Here are a few photos - Three Graces mosaic:
    2011-05-14 14.48.45.jpg 2011-05-14 15.44.29.jpg 2011-05-14 14.50.00.jpg 2011-05-14 14.51.24.jpg 2011-05-14 14.45.57.jpg

    I had about a week before starting a new job and went in to Dublin in the cold and rain one morning and thought "Screw this!". Went home and found a 6AM flight to Rome, back from Naples a few days later. Much better :)

    I've rambled enough - I didn't see any coins and don't remember any weights, but the National Archaeological Museum in Naples is great :D

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  13. IdesOfMarch01

    IdesOfMarch01 Well-Known Member

    Kallipygos -- from which the English word callipygian derives (look it up!).
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  14. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Oh, I'm very aware.
  15. alde

    alde Always Learning Supporter

    I wonder if a tour group could make a "donation" to the museum to see some of the closed galleries. I understand that things like that are pretty common in some parts of Italy and especially Naples. I would love to go as my paternal grandparents are from there. Of course I would have to go to Sicily to fornthe other side of the family. It's my dream anyway.
  16. ycon

    ycon Well-Known Member

    Indeed it never hurts to ask. When I was in Florence I noticed my favorite Bernini bust wasn't on display at the Bargello. I asked a guard very nicely where it was and after some muttering back and forth with some other guards and on the telephone, she sent me upstairs where they unlocked the closed off gallery to show it to me! (no donation necessary)

  17. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    While in New York, my wife and I had a chance to see one of my favorites.
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  18. Jay GT4

    Jay GT4 Well-Known Member

    That's great and very typical except that a "tip" is usually required. If ever visiting Pompeii don't bother with a large tour group with a guide. Ask one of the security guards. For a small "donation" they'll give you a fantastic tour. The last time I was there it was only in Italian and I had to translate for the rest of our group but it was amazing. He really knew his stuff.
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  19. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Ooooh! Three Graces!

    Domna Marcianopolis Three Graces.jpg
  20. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    That's a lovely bust and an example of Bernini's skill, to be sure, but I've never thought Costanza Bonarelli to be anything more than plain-looking. Nonetheless, she must have had an irresistible personality because she attracted the attention of three men--the artist, the artist's brother, and her husband--who fought over her. It's quite a story!
  21. rrdenarius

    rrdenarius non omnibus dormio Supporter

    I e-mailed the Museum in Naples and asked if they had a link where I could see other scales or a publication on their pieces. I received a reply today:
    Dear Mr. ,
    I send you as attachement some photo of scales stored in our museum. Unfortunataly, it doesn't exit yet a monography on the our scales, we are working for that.
    You can find some news related to specific items in several catalogues of exhibitions about Pompeii and Herculaneum.
    We are at your disposal for any further information
    Department of Research and Conservation
    National Archaeological Museum of Naples

    The scale pics he sent are impressive.
    Steelyards and scales found at Pompeii 1.jpg
    Steelyards and scales found at Pompeii 2.jpg
    Steelyards and scales found at Pompeii 3.jpg
    Steelyards and scales found at Pompeii 4.jpg
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