Ancient Roman Ivory
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Ancient Roman Ivory
(Revelation 18.12b-13)
Page 259

"[No one buys their] articles of every kind of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble, cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and carriages, and human beings sold as slaves." (Revelation 18.12b-13)✞

Ivory Articles

IvoryAncient Roman Ivory that is to say "carved animal tooth or tusk articles" were used widely for decorative purposes, especially by those who wished to make an ostentatious display. Since prehistoric times, ivory has been used in sculpture, for statues, for sword hilts, for inlaying furniture, for ceremonial chairs and doors, and even for household furniture. Juvenal a poet active in the late first and early second century wrote, "Nowadays a rich man takes no pleasure in his dinner, his venison has no taste, his roses seem to smell rotten, unless the broad slabs of his dinner table rest upon a ramping, gaping leopard of solid ivory." As well as ivory articles, statuettes of Corinthian brass or bronze were world famous and fabulously expensive. Iron was equally in demand and came largely from the Black Sea and from Spain. For a long time, marble had been used in Babylon for building, but not in ancient Rome. Augustus, boasted that he had found Rome of brick and left it of marble. In the end, there was actually an office whose task was to search the world for fine marbles with which to decorate the buildings of ancient Rome. As a young trainee site engineer on a 20 storey building in Birmingham, I was personally amazed to discover that the atrium which was to be used as a bank was lined with no fewer than five different types of marble sourced from all around the world!✞

"Ancient Roman Ivory"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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