Dish: David and
628—630; Early Byzantine
Silver; D. 1
(3.8 cm); Diam. 19 1/2 in. (49.4 cm)
Gift of J.
important plate belongs to a set of nine, three of which are in the
Museum in Nicosia. The group was discovered in 1902 in Karavas
Cyprus) sealed with a horde of jewelry and gold, much of which is also
now in the Museum's collection, a gift of J. Pierpont Morgan in 1917.
the medium-sized plates were arranged around the largest, which shows
combat with Goliath. On the backs are the control stamps of the Emperor
Heraclius, who may have commissioned them to celebrate his victory over
the Persians in 628—629, which resulted in the recapture of Jerusalem.
said that Heraclius fought the Persian general Razatis in single-handed
combat, an event which is perhaps evoked in the depiction of David's
of Goliath. Imperial imagery is present also on the middle-sized
where ceremonial scenes from the biblical king's life take place before
the arcade of a palace. Their style is a conscious reference to
Cyprus Treasure, Found at Karavás, Cyprus, 1902 ; Ex coll.: J.
Morgan, New York