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Cista Ficoroni – Roman container for toiletries

Cista Ficoroni is a Roman bronze container for toiletries. It is dated to the 4th century BCE.

An inscription describing the circumstances of the vessel’s creation is also engraved on the lid: it was made in workshop of Novios Plautios for a woman named Dindia Macolnia, who ordered it for her daughter.

The vessel has the shape of a cylinder, supported on three legs (including one made already in modern times) in the form of a lion’s paws, topped with a relief in the form of three figures probably representing Heracles, Eros and Jolaos. Its lid is crowned by a figural group showing Dionysus in the company of two satyrs.

On the surface of the vessel was engraved a scene depicting an episode from the myth of the Argonauts’ expedition to the golden fleece: after arriving in the land of Bebiar sailors want to draw water from the source, but they are challenged by the reigning king Amykos to a boxing duel. Castor and Pollux fight against the king, whom they defeat and attach the defeated ruler to the tree.

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