It's very rare for a Roman phalera to come onto the market at an affordable price.
Cast in bronze sometime between the first-century B.C.E and the first-century A.D., the phalera would have been worn on the chest in a grid pattern with nine other phalarae, and represented the Roman equivalent of a military medal.
In fact, the Romans had quite a complicated system of decorating their military heroes, including phalerae, crowns, silver-headed spears, torques and armbands (check out this page on our blog to read about Roman military decorations).
Measuring almost 5cm in diameter, this particular phalera displays a stylised version of Bacchus, the Roman god of agriculture, wine, and fertility - although we mostly remember him as the god of wine. The son of Jupiter, Bacchus often carried a pinecone-topped staff, and his followers were goat-footed Satyrs and Maenads, wild women who danced energetically during his festivals.
An enigmatic artefact, now available in the Timeless Galleries
ROMAN PHALERA WITH GOD BACCHUS
Acquired by Timeless Galleries on the UK Antiquities Market, 2020. Formerly part of a European collection formed in the 1990s