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Ivory Frieze Two Soldiers

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Ivory Frieze Two Soldiers
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Photo Comments

A fragment from an ivory frieze that was found in one of the Terrace Houses at Ephesus.

Note the garb and military equipment of the two Roman soldiers.  The one on our right carries a spear in his left hand and a round shield, resting on the ground, in his right.  He probably has a short sword (gladius) suspended from his belt.  Note too, the helmets of both soldiers.

Compare the armor that a believer in Jesus is supposed to "put on" — Ephesians 6:14-17.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


The frieze dates to the second century AD.  It could have belonged to a lintel or some furniture.   The frieze shows the Emperor Trajan and the Roman army in a victorious campaign against the Dacians (like the Column of Trajan in Rome) or the Parthians.