The Colchester Vase

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Carole Raddato
published on 26 June 2024
The Colchester Vase Download Full Size Image

The "Colchester Vase" is a cremation vessel decorated with a continuous frieze depicting scenes relating to arena spectacles, including the combat between two gladiators named Memnon and Valentinus. Memnon is a well-armoured secutor gladiator who fights with a sword and shield and wears a distinctive, encasing helmet. His opponent, Valentinus, is a retiarius gladiator, identifiable by the trident that he has dropped to the ground, although he has lost his net. The vessel was found buried alongside other ceramic grave goods and dates to the late 2nd century CE. It is one of the finest examples of ceramic art known from Roman Britain.

Colchester Castle Museum, UK.

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About the Author

Carole Raddato
Carole maintains the popular ancient history photo-blog Following Hadrian, where she travels the world in the footsteps of emperor Hadrian.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Raddato, C. (2024, June 26). The Colchester Vase. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Raddato, Carole. "The Colchester Vase." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified June 26, 2024.

MLA Style

Raddato, Carole. "The Colchester Vase." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 26 Jun 2024. Web. 17 Jul 2024.