Roman

Replica Ancient Roman Oil Lamps

The replica ancient oil lamps in this section represent clay lamps used during height of the Roman Empire, from the 1st to about the 3rd centuries AD.  Many of these lamps are molded directly from original Roman lamps. Others are made by carving Roman style motifs into the Roman-style gypsum molds, while still using a lamp body copied from an original Roman lamp.  These reproduction Roman lamps can be used with olive oil like the originals.


 

 

 

 

 

All lamps on this page are 9.95€ each.

 

LONDINIUM
Circa AD 50 to 150
This undecorated Roman lamp is named after a nearly identical found in Roman London in the vicinity of the Thames. The original lamp this was molded from, as well as the one from the Thames, were both probably made in northern Italy and imported. This lamp would date to the mid or late 1st century AD through the 2nd century AD.
Molded directly from the original.
(about 2.75" x 3.75")

Original Londinium
GAUL
Circa 1st to 2nd Century AD
This type of oil lamp is called a firmalampen, which essentially means "factory lamp." These lamps were made in large quantities in lamp workshops all over the Roman empire, but most especially in northern Italy. Many feature a maker's mark on the base. As an interesting sidelight, a firmalampen of this exact style found in Jerusalem has the inscription HEROD in Greek letters on its base. Modeled after the original in the link.
(3.5" x 2.5")

Original Gaul
LUNA
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
The crescent moon and star suggest this may have been a lamp symbolizing the goddess Selenus or Luna.
Molded directly from the original
(about 3.75" by 3")

Original Luna
AQUILA
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
The crescent moon and star suggest this may have been a lamp symbolizing the goddess Selenus or Luna.
Molded directly from the original
(about 3.75" by 3")
CORINTH
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
The discus of this reproduction Roman lamp features Eros or Cupid, carrying a torch. This cupid is very similar to one on an original lamp excavated from Roman period ruins at Corinth, Greece. The lamp body is cast from the same original lamp that produced the Luna above.
(about 3.75" by 3")
LEPTIS MAGNA
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
The lion was not only popular as a figure on its own in Roman art, but also frequently appeared in conjunction with other Roman figures such as Hercules and Cybele. Lions are also often found in scenes with other animals, usually attacking. This replica Roman lamp has a body cast directly from the same original used to create the Luna.
(about 3.75" by 3")
OSTIA
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
Ostia was the primary port for the city of Rome, and many amphorae of wine passed through its gates over the centuries. Grapes were a symbol of plenty for peoples all over the Roman Empire and the ancient classical world. They were also closely tied to the Roman god Bacchus, who was patron of wine. The body of this replica Roman lamps is cast from the same original lamp used to make the Luna. (3.75" by 3")
FORTIS
Circa late 1st century to 3rd century AD
A plain firmalampen, this style came into fashion about AD 70. An original Roman lamp mold was used to form the base of this lamp. It is utilitarian in nature, and has no decoration, but was a very common lamp style for about two centuries. The most prolific maker's mark on these lamps is "FORTIS", a north Italian maker which apparently sent out molds to branch lamp makers, but was also widely copied, maker's mark and all. This lamp carries my own marker's mark, FIGVLI (Literally, "of Figulus"). (about 2.5" x 3.75")

Original Fortis
VOLTERRA
Circa late 1st century to 3rd century AD
The city of Volterra, in the present province of Pisa, is home to a well preserved Roman theater. This firmalampen features a theater mask molded directly from an original lamp (the Plautus, below). The mask is then placed on a lamp body formed from an impression taken from an original Roman lamp mold. A northern Italian lamp type.
(about 2.5" x 3.75")

Original Volterra
PLAUTUS
Mid 1st century to 2nd century AD
This theater mask lamp dates from about AD 50 to sometime in the 2nd century. Plautus was a popular Roman playwrite, who penned such comedies as Miles Gloriosus and Pseudolus (both of which were adapted into the 1960's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).
Molded directly from the original.
(about 4" x 3")

Original Platus
BATH
Mid 1st century to 2nd century AD
Named for the Roman baths at Bath, England, this lamp features Aphrodite Accroupie (Venus at the Bath), and uses a body molded directly from the original above. The image was well known in the ancient world, and sculpted in marble by such artists as Praxiteles.
(about 4" x 3")
MUTINA
Mid 1st century to 2nd century AD
The body molded directly from an original, this lamp dates to about AD 50 to the 2nd century. A plain utilitarian style. Mutina is the ancient Roman name for Modena, a major lamp production center in north-central Italy.
(about 4" x 3")
FISHBOURNE
Circa mid 1st Century AD
The Fishbourne is molded directly from an original Roman lamp. It features a winged Cupid playing the flute while riding a dolphin. This image was widespread throughout the Roman world and is found in many forms including sculpture, paintings, and mosaics. One such mosaic was found in excavations of the Roman levels of the city of Fishbourne, England.
The original Roman lamp this reproduction was cast from was acquired by the classical archaeologist F.O. Waage, perhaps in the 1930's. (about 3.5" by 2.5")

Original Fishbourne
GLADIATOR
Circa mid 1st Century AD
The Fishbourne is molded directly from an original Roman lamp. It features a winged The same lamp body as the Fishbourne, the discus features a standing Roman gladiator, a popular theme on clay lamps.
(about 3.5" by 2.5")

Original Gladiator
THRAEX
Circa mid 1st Century AD
The same lamp body as the Fishbourne, the discus features a standing Roman gladiator dressed in the manner of the Thraex, or Thracian gladiator.
(about 3.5" by 2.5")
ANNVS NOVUS
Circa mid 1st Century AD
The Latin inscription on this clay lamp is seen on a Roman lamp in the British Museum. The translation is about the equivalent of our own "Happy New Year". The words are abbreviated and broken up just as they are on the original (Romans weren't concerned with punctuation). Giving clay lamps to friends and family was a Roman tradition for the New Year. The body used for this lamp is cast from the original Fishbourne body.
(about 3.5 by 2.5")
CUNETIO
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
Cunetio was a Roman settlement in England. The design on this lamp was a common motif on Roman lamps, depicting bathing Aphrodite, called the Venus Accroopie. She holds in her hand a large sea shell (a symbol of Venus) and has a towel knotted about her head. The body used for this replica lamp is taken from a cast of an original Roman lamp dating to about AD 50.
(about 3.75 by 2.5")

Original Cunetio
VINTIUM
Circa mid 1st Century AD
Grapes were a popular decoration on Roman lamps, just as wine was popular at Roman banquets. The Vintium, named for a Roman colony in France, has a grape bunch on the discus of the original Fishbourne body.
(3.5" by 2.5")
TRIDENT
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
This lamp has a dolphin carrying a trident. Many examples of this motif are known from Roman lamps, and is probably related to Neptune. The body for this lamp was cast from an original Roman lamp in England, and the design carved into the gypsum mold using originals as models.
(about 3.75" by 2.5")

Original trident
EROS
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
Eros, or Cupid, appears with great frequency on Roman and Greek lamps. This winged Eros holds a torch. The body for this lamp was made using the original "Fishbourne" lamp above.
(about 3.75" by 2.5")
CIRCESIUM
Circa mid 1st Century AD
Romans loved the excitement of the games, as well as exotic animals. This lamp has a running lion on the discus, a favourite wild beast in Roman art. Circesium was a Roman settlement in Syria, plus we get our word for circus from these Roman games. The body for this lamp uses the original at the top of the page.
(about 3.5" by 2.5")
SALARIA
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
A plain utility lamp of the mid 1st Century AD using the body of the original Fishbourne lamp, but having no other decoration.
(about 3.5" by 2.5")

Original Salaria
APOLLONIA
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
To the Greeks and Romans, among other things Apollo oversaw the arts, learning, and healing. Here he with a laurel branch in his hand, and a lyre by his feet, symbols of his place in education and music.
(about 3.5" by 2.5")

Original Apollonia
KNOSSOS
Circa mid 1st to early 2nd Century AD
Knossos was a city on Crete. Among the many symbols found there is the double axe, which looks somewhat similar to the time-worn elements on this lamp. This replica was molded directly from an original Roman lamp.
(about 2.75" in diameter)

Original Knossos
NOVUM VINTUM
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
A lamp body typical of the late 1st through late 2nd Century AD, and also into the 3rd century. The central discus features a grape bunch, and the shoulders have repeating arc.
(about 3" in diameter)
TIVOLI
Circa 1st to 3rd Century AD
This style of clay lamp was common from about AD 25 to AD 150, but could be found well into the 3rd century. The earlier versions, however, tended to lack handles as the lamps on the Roman Empire page have.
(diameter 3.5")
CYRENE
Circa 5th Century AD
The Cyrene is a Late Roman-Early Christian lamp. The original this lamp is modeled after was made in North Africa in the late 5th century AD. It features a Latin fourchee style cross on the nozzle area, and three triangular shapes with dots/circles in the center around the filling hole. These may form a second cross with the first cross making the lower part of it. They may also be symbolic of the Holy Trinity.
(4" by 2.25")

Original Cyrene
BYZANTINE
Circa 4th to 5th Century AD
A Roman North African lamp, this copy is molded directly from the original. A geometric motif ornaments the filling area and it has a decorated shoulder.
Molded directly from an original.
(4.75" by 3")

Original Byzantine
MARIAMME
Circa 5th Century AD
Large numbers of lamps with the typical "North African" style were made in workshops along the Mediterranean coast of Africa in the 5th Century AD. Tunisia and Carthage were probably the center of the trade, although some evidence now suggests Alexandria, Egypt may also have been a major production center in North Africa.
Molded directly from an original.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Maryamme
ALEXANDRIA
Circa 5th Century AD
This example features the monogram "XPI", which is a Greek monogram of "Christ", and was probably at least as common as the symbol of the cross itself for many centuries. The body was molded directly from an original, the discus design is a reconstruction.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Alexandria
CARTHAGE
Circa 5th Century AD
Another North African style, this features a running lion on the discus. Animals were popular subjects on the lamps, and many employed very similar decorative motifs as had the earlier Roman lamps. The body was molded directly from an original, the discus design is a reconstruction.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Carthage
POMARIA
Circa 5th Century AD
A palm stands as the central decoration on this Roman North African styled lamp.
The body was molded directly from an original, the discus design is a reconstruction.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Pomaria
TACAPE
Circa 5th Century AD
A common Christian symbol, a fish, ornaments this Roman North African style lamp. The body was molded directly from an original, the discus design is a reconstruction.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Tacape
MAURETANIA
Circa 5th Century AD
A variant of the XPI above, this lamp has a Christian cross with a hint of the Chi-Rho monogram still apparent. The body was molded directly from an original, the discus design is a reconstruction.
(4.5" by 3")

Original Mauretania

Original Selinus