previous next

HILDESHEIM (Niedersachsen) Germany.

A Late Hellenistic and Early Imperial silver treasure, found by chance in 1868 by soldiers setting up a rifle-range 0.5 km SE of Hildesheim at the foot of the Galgenberg. The treasure consists exclusively of silver tableware, mostly dishes and drinking vessels. These objects had been packed into a pit (ca. 1.2 x 0.9 m at the top and ca. 2.5 m deep), the smaller vessels hidden inside the larger ones. Later investigations have made almost certain that this was not a grave hoard but hidden treasure.

There is nothing now to be seen at this place, which lies ca. 250 km as the crow flies from the Roman Rhine border, in a district of Germania Libera which remained outside Roman domination except during the Roman offensive war E of the Rhine (11 B.C.-A.D. 16). Considering the geographical location of the find spot, it is tempting to connect the treasure with these offensive wars and to view it as originally the property either of P. Quinctilius Varus, killed in A.D. 9, or of Germanicus, who campaigned there in A.D. 14-16. More recent investigations have shown, however, that the latest pieces of the treasure were produced ca. mid 1st c. A.D. Concerning the assembling of the various pieces of the treasure and the occasion for their burial, nothing is known. The treasure is now in the Staatliche Museen, Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, in West Berlin.


E. Pernice & F. Winter, Der Hildesheimer Silberfund (1901)MI; W. John, “P. Quinctilius Varus, VI: Der Hildesheimer Silberfund,” RE XXIV (1963) 965ff; D. E. Strong, Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate (1966); U. Gehrig, Hildesheimer Silberfund (1967) (= Bilderhefte der Staatlichen Museen Berlin, 4)I; K. Lindemann, Der Hildesheimer Silberfund—Varus und Germanicus (1967); R. Nierhaus, “Der Silberschatz von Hildesheim. Seine Zusammensetzung und der Zeitpunkt seiner Vergrabung,” Die Kunde NF 20 (1969).


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: