Historical knowledge

The silver cups from Hoby

The drinking set from the Hoby grave is best known for the two unique silver cups. They are examples of Greek-inspired Roman silversmith’s art from the beginning of our era. Each cup weighs around a kilo and on the outside one sees pictures from Homer’s Iliad. 

Both cups are signed by the craftsman Cheirisophos, who made them. The name ‘Silius’ has also been engraved. This may be the name of the Roman who owned the cups before they ended up in the Hoby grave. From written sources we know that a Roman commandant of the Rhine army named Silius was posted to Mainz in the years 14-21 AD. Perhaps it was he who gave the valuable drinking set to the man in Hoby?

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