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LOCRI EPIZEPHYRII



Salvatore La Rosa
WWW.LOCRIANTICA.IT Welcome to Magna Graecia ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS

 
BRONZE MIRRORS

  

 
The bronze mirrors of Locri Epizephyrii, discovered during the exploration of the Necropolis of Contrada Lucifero, are doubtless amongst the most interesting archaeological finds brought to light during the excavations in the ancient polis. 

It is impressive and surprising (as a matter of fact this is the only known example in the Greek west) the frequency with which these objects, usually considered as simple bath utensils, appears in the grave goods between the second half of the VI century b.C. and the first half of the IV century b.C.

Probably they were considered some sort of prestige goods and it's not difficult to figure it out judging their refined beauty (a clear example of the high level reached by the handicraft of Magna Graecia).

Especially their handles are important since they record many interesting information regarding the artistic expressions of their age and, moreover, regarding how the bronze was worked during that age helping us to understand the techniques that were used to build the bronze statues which didn't ever reach our age and, of which, those mirrors are a representation at a smaller scale.

Mirror with palmette and volute handle
MIRROR WITH PALMETTE AND VOLUTE HANDLE
(END OF THE V - FIRST HALF OF THE IV CENTURY B.C.)

(Image source: L. Costamagna e C. Sabbione - Una cittÓ in Magna Grecia Locri Epizefiri, Laruffa Editore, Reggio Calabria 1990 - fig. n. 97)

Almost certainly their production is local, Locrian; but their style is obviously influenced by the Ionic style from the Cyclades islands and the Aegean coasts of the modern Turkey.
 

Mirror with ephebe handle Mirror with siren handle
MIRROR WITH EPHEBE HANDLE (END OF THE VI CENTURY B.C.)
(Image source: da L. Costamagna e C. Sabbione - Una cittÓ in Magna Grecia Locri Epizefiri, Laruffa Editore, Reggio Calabria 1990 - fig. n. 98)
MIRROR WITH SIREN HANDLE (SECOND HALF OF THE V CENTURY B.C.)
(Image source: Prof. G. Incorpora's private archive)

The mirrors can be divided into three categories according to the age to which they date back: ARCHAIC (from the  550 b.C. to the 490 b.C.); CLASSIC (V century b.C.) and HELLENISTIC (IV century b.C.).
  

Particular of the handle
PARTICULAR OF THE HANDLE
(Image source: G. Incorpora - Locri Antica e Gerace, Ponte Nuovo Editrice, Bologna 1980 - II Edizione - pag. 37)

Nowadays the mirrors are preserved at the National Museum of Reggio Calabria and, in a small part, at the National Archaeological Museum of Locri Epizephyrii.

     
     

 

 

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