Ancient Ivory
Next Previous Index Tellout Home

Ancient Ivory
(Revelation 18.12b-13)
Page 259

"The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn her cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and 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)

Roman Articles

IvoryAncient Ivory that is to say "carved animal tooth or tusk articles" in Rome were used widely for decorative purposes, especially by those who wished to make an ostentatious display. Since prehistoric times, ivory had been used in sculpture, for statues, for sword hilts, for inlaying furniture, for ceremonial chairs and doors, and even for household furniture. Juvenal (50-? AD) a Roman poet active in the late first and early second centuries 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 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. I my own personal experience 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 Ivory"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

^Top Page Next Previous