were metal ornaments, such as
masks, busts, medallions, figures of men and animals, wrought in relief and
artificially attached (illigare, includere, injicere,
) [p. 1.728]
by soldering or
rivetting to the interior or exterior of metal bowls, vases, cups,
&c. (Cic. in Verr.
, “Pocula cum emblematis;” ib. 4.17, “Scaphia
, “Argentum vetus et stantem extra
pocula caprum,” called by the scholiast “emblematicum opus;”
Plin. Nat. 33.55
, “Ulixes et
Diomedes erant in phialae emblemate Palladium subripientes,”
&c.) Such ornaments were sometimes made of gold and silver (Dig. 34
, § § 4, 6; Dig.
5.3, “Non habemus argentum in quod solidi
auri caelatura descenderit” ), and had an artistic and pecuniary
value even when detached from the objects to which they belonged. Thus, the
plunderer Verres took especial care to wrench off emblemata
from vases and cups. (Cic.
in Verr. 4.22
, “Apposuit patellam, in
qua sigilla erant egregia. Iste . . . sigillis avulsis reliquum argentum
sine ulla avaritia reddidit;” ib. 4.24, “Tantam
multitudinem collegerat emblematum.” ) Emblemata
must be distinguished from metal ornaments in
relief (such as those produced in repoussé), which formed an
integral part of the vase itself: the essence of the emblema
was that it could be detached, if necessary, from the
vase which it ornamented. Many of the metal masks, figures, dishes,
&c. in our museums are doubtless emblemata
which have been broken off from vases (e. g. in
Ant. di Ercol.,
1839, p. 78; Monum. d. Inst.,
iii. pl. 4;
Arneth, Gold und Silberornamente,
pl. 5.5; cp. Saglio,
Dict. des Ant.,
s. v. “Caelatura,” note
were metal vase-ornaments similar to
(e. g. Dig.
: “Cymbia argentea crustis aureis
illigata,” &c.). In some authors a distinction is made
between the two terms (Cic. in Verr.
, “lis crustae aut emblemata detrahebantur;” cf.
Saglio, Dict. des Ant.,
p. 801, note 229). Some modern
writers have thought that the distinction lay in emblemata
being ornaments in high relief, and crustae
ornaments in low relief. So far as the
natural signification of the words can help us, emblemata
would mean ornaments inserted
in a vase or bowl (as
a gem is in its setting), while crustae
s. v. “Crusta” ) would be
thin leaves or plates of metal applied to the surface of a vase.
Practically, however, the terms emblemata
seem to have been generally used as
synonymous (Saglio, Dict. des Ant.,
“Caelatura,” § vii.). The crustae
were made by artisans called crustarii.
, “habuit et Teucer crustarius famam;” Festus, s.v.
“Crustariae tabernae a vasis potoriis crustatio dictae.” )
2. The word emblema
is also used to signify inlaid work
(Varro, R. R.
Lucil. ap. Cic. de Or. 3.4.
, 44; Cic. Brut. 79
). This usage
is, however, rare; and as a general rule when the words emblema, emblemata
occur in the ancient authors and in modern
archaeological treatises, the metal ornaments described in § 1 are
[References to other authorities not cited above may be found in Saglio,
Dict. des Ant.
art. “Caelatura,” §
vii., and in Mommsen-Marquardt, vol. vii. [Privatl.
] p. 663.
Compare also CAELATURA