MAIASP. 2022. No. S1

Mikhail Treister (Bonn, Germany)

Some Reflections concerning the Phiale

with the images of Heracles and Auge from the Rogozen Treasure

DOI: 10.53737/2713-2021.2022.30.80.003

Access this article (PDF File)

<< Previous page

Pages: 9—37

One of the most important finds from the richest of the Thracian hoards, the Rogozen Treasure, is the so-called Auge Phiale. Its chronological position is crucial for the dating of the Hoard and had already been a point of debates. Its decoration, which consists of a mythological scene in high relief occupying the interior of the flat bottom and a relief pattern of alternating palmettes and lotus flowers grouped around the central rosette on the outside is discussed, thus allow us not only to determine the position of the vessel among the masterpieces of the Late Classical/Early Hellenistic metalware, but also to dwell on the genesis of the main subject of the composition. Clarifying the chronological position of the phiale is also extremely important for the establishment of the date, when the Treasure was hidden.

Both the analysis of the general shape, the construction and composition of the elements of the vessel, the ornamental patterns decorating its bottom and the parallels of the figural composition on the inner medallion do not allow dating earlier than 350/340 BCE. Moreover, there is strong evidence that the phiale should be dated in the chronological frames of the last quarter of the 4th — first decades of the 3rd century BCE. The shape of the vessel and the decoration of its bottom may suggest a somewhat earlier dating, whereas that of the medallion — somewhat later, within the frames of the chronological period mentioned above. Thus, it may be a further confirmation of the history of the vessel, reconstructed on the grounds of its technological examination.

This is not the only vessel from the Rogozen Treasure for which a dating after 340 BCE and as late as the last quarter of the 4th/early 3rd century BCE, first decades or even the second quarter of the 3rd century BCE has been already proposed. Consequently, it provides another argument that the Treasure was buried much later than it was usually suggested before (330s BCE).

Key words: Thrace, Rogozen Treasure, Scythia, Greek toreutics, phialai, palmettes, vessel medallions, Heracles, Auge, iconography.

Received November 27, 2022

Accepted for publication December 12, 2022

About the author:

Treister Mikhail (Bonn, Germany). Dr. phil. habil. (RUS), Independent researcher