A Gift for Apollo

Object name: A Gift for Apollo

Materials and age: Copper alloy plaque, made over 1600 years ago 

Creation: Probably made in Britain

Locality: From a Romano-British temple site at Nettleton, Wiltshire

Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives, Bristol, UK

EMu user since 2008


january_small.gifThis plaque was a gift to the god Apollo from a man called Decianus (or possibly Decimius). The letters pricked out above the face read D.A.Pol a shortened version of Deo Apollini meaning To the God Apollo, and DECIANVS (or DECIMIVS), the name of the man who presented the plaque.

Decianus may have been praying to the god for good health, wealth or happiness, and in return promised to pay Apollo back for his help by offering this plaque to him.

The plaque shows Apollo between the columns and roof of a small temple. A cloud behind his head merges at the neck with a cloak that is fastened with a small brooch. His eyes were once filled with enamel or glass-paste.

Offerings to the gods during the Roman period took many forms and included mass-produced pottery figurines as well as hand-made objects.

Image provided courtesy of Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives