The Greek and Roman Collection

The classical antiquity collection of the museum, containing approximately 40,000 items of Greek and Roman provenience, is primarily represented by material from various sites located in Croatia, but also from several neighboring lands. The Greek monuments from Croatian sites include several exceptionally important inscriptions of a public character, unique historical sources about Grecian colonial activities along part of the present-day Croatian coast, primarily related to settlements on the islands of Hvar (at Pharos, today Stari Grad), Vis (at Issa, today Vis), and Korcula (at Lumbarda). The collection of Grecian painted vases, mostly of foreign origin (southern Italic and Attic), is the most complete and richest collection of its type in this region. It contains circa 1500 examples, most of them previously in the rich archaeological collection of Marshal Laval Nugent. The vases in the collections of the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb represent a broad cross-section of individual styles in the development of Greek vase painting.

The material from the later, Roman period is much more abundant and varied. Most of it comes from the Danubian-Pannonian areas, but monuments from the southern or Adriatic Croatian regions are also represented to a considerable extent, as are those of foreign origin. The latter include a luxurious group of stone monuments, marble sculpture, reliefs, inscriptions, and decorative elements that once belonged to the Nugent Collection, originally from various Italic regions, particularly the city of Minturno. Of the stone monuments from Croatian sites, particular attention is drawn by several portrait busts from Salona, including the famous head of a young woman from Salona (perhaps a portrait of the empress Plautilla), by many considered to be the most beautiful female portrait in Roman art, as well as numerous funerary monuments, sarcophagi, stelae, and so forth. The museum also possesses many varied metal artifacts from the Roman period, including numerous miniature bronze sculptures. One of the most valuable of these is the famous Siscia head (of somewhat larger dimensions), held by some to represent Mithra and according to others another Oriental deity, Attis. The collection also includes statuettes of Minerva, Hercules, and many other deities, as well as various examples of weapons, tools, and medical and pharmaceutical equipment (this last collection, with approximately 700 items, is ranked among the largest of this type in Europe). The jewellery of this period is also well represented in these collections, along with lead tessarae, and other items. Other interesting material includes glass, amber, bone, as well as pottery vessels of various purpose and form. One outstanding item is an early Christian marble altar mensa from Solin, decorated with reliefs of Christ and his disciples and Old Testament scenes from the life of Jonah.

THE LAPIDARIUMThe Lapidarium of the Archaeological Museum

Stone monuments from the Greek and Roman periods, of varied purpose and content, represent one of the more important segments of the rich classical collections of the Archaeological Museum. The wide selection of Roman stone monuments, organized into several thematic units, is exhibited partly in the ground level entrance to the museum, but primarily in the garden courtyard of the museum, both under modern arcades and in the open air. Various stone monuments of large dimensions and weight, such as milestones, inscriptions, monumental statues, altars, tombstones, sarcophagi, and others, are exhibited here.

Department stuff:

Dora Kusan, museum advisor (dkusan@amz.hr)
dr. sc. Ivan Radman-Livaja, senior curator (iradman@amz.hr)

Nikoleta Perok, curator (nperok@amz.hr)

Ozren Domiter, curator (odomiter@amz.hr )

 

  • The Greek and Roman Collection
  • The Greek and Roman Collection
  • The Greek and Roman Collection
  • The Greek and Roman Collection
  • The Greek and Roman Collection
  • The Greek and Roman Collection