Bronze Lamp

Bronze lamp, 1667.  National Archaeological Museum in Florence, Italy.

This bronze lamp was discovered in 1667 and subsumed into the Medici collection in Florence. It takes the form of a boat and is manned by two bearded male figures: Paul rides at the helm and Peter stands in the prow. Above the mast, there is an inscribed plaque that reads, "The Lord presents the law to Valerius Severus. Eutropius, may you live!" It is likely that this lamp belonged to Valerius Severus, a member of a powerful Roman family, the House of Valerii, and celebrated his conversion to Christianity. The lamp is an allegory of the early church, represented by the ship, led by Peter with the help of Paul.

Bronze lamp found in the House of the Valerii on Rome’s Celian Hill, now in the National Archaeological Museum in Florence, Italy.

A mode of writing, reading, or interpreting that operates on a symbolic, rather than literal, level.

Changing one's beliefs and self-identity from one religion to another.

 NEH Logo
Bible Odyssey has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.