patera.For those you doesn’t know what it is exactly, it was a round shallow dish or vase used at religious ceremonies. Patera is from latin, but it derives from the greek word ‘patane’, which also mean a flattened dish. It seems that the Etruscans were using it at first. It was employ to make libations of wine to the gods or for receiving the blood of sacrificial victims. On coinage, a figure is often depicted beside an altar, where he is pouring the contents of the patera. In ancient period, these ustensils were made of baked earth ; later of brass, silver or even gold. In a frieze detail of the ‘Ara Pacis Augustae’, Rome’s altar of Augustan peace, notice the procession of sacrificial animals along with an attendant carrying a patera aloft. Many museums have in their collections very nice examples of ancient patera. Let’s examine some of the nicest specimen I found. We will begin with the British Museum : this silver one is decorated with gods and legendary figures linked with the foundation and growth of Rome. It has a diameter of 13.7 cm and was excavated in Syria , dated 2nd Century AD. On the top of the handle is a bust of Juno or Diana. Below is a scene depicting Mars and Rhea Silvia, the parents of Romulus and Remus, with two cupids. A second specimen from the same museum : a romano-british one from the 1st century , 24 cm of diameter, discovered in Kent England. It’s made in a copper alloy, but originally inlaid in silver, copper and niello. The central roundel depict the head of Medusa surrounded by a wreath of leave and birds. The handle terminates in a mask of Pan. Now let’s travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New- York. We have a very nice example made in bronze. Early 1st century, 37.5. cm of diameter. Such high-quality bronze patera often have a wolf or ram’s finial to the handle. Now we have to go in Paris, at the ‘Cabinet des médailles de la bibliothèque nationale de France’ to find an extraordinary sample of a gold patera. It has been elaborated by Roman artists in the 3rd century AD. 16 aurei, all very rare, have been used for his design. The sixteen coins set around were carefully selected, alternately an emperor and a personality of the imperial household. The emperors of the Severe Dynasty are related to the theme of the emblem showing Bachus and Hercules, tutelary gods of Lepcis Magna, birthplace of Septimius Severus. In order of their circular display, they are : Caracalla Marcus Aurelius Faustina the young (wife of Marcus Aurelius) Antoninus Pius Geta Commodus Faustina the older (wife of Antoninus Pius) Septimius Severus Caracalla Antoninus Pius Faustina the older Antoninus Pius Commodus Septimius Severus Julia Domna (wife of Septimius Severus) Hadrian I now present you the Rennes Patera, 25 cm and 1.32 kg of pure gold... If we go back to coins now, almost all deities are shown holding a patera. The next picture demonstrate some examples. Could you recognized them ? The title of this thread is “The Roman patera challenge”. I will need hour help to achieve it. I am wondering how many different god/goddess or emperor holding or showing a patera we can find. Twenty? Thirty? Or maybe more ? Please show us your coins !