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Pilgrim Flask with Scenes of St. Menas
Former Title: Pilgrim Flask
Byzantine period, Early
8.5 x 6.8 x 2.3 cm (3 3/8 x 2 11/16 x 7/8 in.)
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art & Numismatics,
This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. Please contact the curatorial department listed above for more information.
Flasks bearing images of Saint Menas are not uncommon in Egypt. Menas was a Roman soldier who was martyred; veneration of him as a saint centered on an oasis near Alexandria. On better-preserved ampullae bearing the same scene, the details of Menas' clothing (tunic, boots, and cloak, perhaps in the style of the later Roman military) are much clearer; the border type varies between the dot/stud motif and chevrons. Some examples bear inscriptions or depictions of crosses above the saint's arms.
Transfer from the Peabody Museum, Jan. 10, 1978.