Four Furniture Ornaments Depicting the Tyches of Alexandria, Rome, Constantinople and Antioch. From the Esquiline Treasure, Late 4th Century CE
The Esquiline Treasure is a collection of over 57 different silver objects discovered in 1793 at the foot of the Esquiline Hill in Rome. All of the pieces date to 4th century CE, during the Late Roman Empire.
The Esquiline Treasure is important for the presence of silversmithing in the Late Roman Empire.
Although a number of large late Roman hoards have been discovered, most are from the fringes of the empire (such as Carthage or Roman Britain), and very few objects from the period can be presumed to have been made by silversmiths in Rome itself. The Esquiline treasure is also considered some of the finest examples of metalwork in the Late Antiquity.
The Esquiline Treasure is also important for the syncretism between Hellenistic religions and Christianity during Late Antiquity. The iconography of the figurative decoration of the treasure is purely pagan, depicting nereids, mythical creatures, and figures like Venus, Tyche and the muses. However, inscriptions on the Project Casket and other pieces in the treasure, suggest that some of the objects had Christian owners. The Esquiline Treasure reflects the survival of Hellenistic traditions, and that many Christians still embraced pagan images, despite the proscription of Hellenistic religion and establishment of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in the late 4th century CE.
The four Tyches, as well as the rest of the Esquiline Treasure, are on display at the British Museum