The Votive Deposit of Vicarello

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    The four silver cups come from the rich votive deposit of Vicarello. Each bears an itinerary from Cadiz (Gades) to Rome, engraved with slight variations in several columns.
    The cylindrical form, typical of drinking vessels, also recalls mile-markers placed at the sides of the consular roads; the objects thus have the twin function of indispensable element of a traveller's luggage, and at the same time a safe guide during the voyage, thanks to the indication of all the post-stations and the distance of each stage. The cups, dating to the 3rd century B.C., are amongst the earliest and most precise epigraphic testimonies of the Roman road system and show that the fame of the springs' health-giving properties had reached even the farthest parts of the empire.
    Also from Vicarello come other silver vases, some of which bear engraved dedications to the health-giving divinities of the place (Apollo, the Nymphs, Sylvanus).
    Some of the objects from the votive deposit of Vicarello went to the Vatican Museums, others to the Museo Nazionale Romano, while others again were dispersed over the years.

    (text from museum placard)

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