Pilgrim Flask With Scenes Of St. Menas
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
1978.495.200
Title
Pilgrim Flask with Scenes of St. Menas
Other Titles
Former Title: Pilgrim Flask
Classification
Vessels
Work Type
vessel
Date
4th-7th century
Period
Byzantine period, Early
Culture
Byzantine
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Terracotta
Technique
Mold-made
Dimensions
8.5 x 6.8 x 2.3 cm (3 3/8 x 2 11/16 x 7/8 in.)
Provenance
Transfer from the Peabody Museum, Jan. 10, 1978.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University
Accession Year
1978
Object Number
1978.495.200
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
Descriptions
Commentary
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.
Related Works

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. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu