Date: 4th century Culture: Byzantine Medium: Copper alloy Dimensions: Overall: 4 1/2 x 3 13/16 x 1 in. (11.4 x 9.7 x 2.5 cm) Classification: Metalwork-Copper alloy Credit Line: Gift of Lawrence J. Majewski, 1963 Accession Number: 63.185.2
Roman and, later, Byzantine officials carried large swords that terminated in eagle-headed hilts. On this small sword, the hilt has a guard displaying a bust of the goddess Athena. The combination of motifs identifies the work as belonging to someone loyal to the classical heritage.