An Ancient Roman bronze stylus, used in Antiquity for writing on wax tablets. The stylus features a tapered, trapezoidal end, which was used for erasing the written words by smoothing the waxed surface. This example also features a sharp, pointed end, used for writing, by incising the text into the wax tablets.
Bronze styli were first employed as writing tools by the Mesopotamians, who used them to incise surfaces with their cuneiform writing. This stylus would have been used for writing on wax tablets, tabulae ceratae, the most common writing medium in the Roman world. The tablets could be reused by warming and melting the wax and letting it set again. Their use persisted in Europe until the Late Middle Ages, when they started to be replaced by other writing tools.
Measurements: 11.6cm length
Provenance: Ex London Auction, previously acquired on the London Art Market.
- Ancient Roman
- Century/ Timeframe
- Circa 3rd Century AD
- Good Condition, See Photo