Roman Art


The Antiquity Department of the Museum contains more than 5,000 exhibits divided into several collections illustrating the Thracian-Roman Arts.

Bronze Plastic Art Collection

The Bronze Plastic Art collection includes more than 200 bronze statuettes of idols worshipped by the Thracians in the period of I – IV c. The most numerous ones are the statuettes of the Thracian Rider, Hermes, Heracles, Telesphorus, Silenus, Fortunae, etc.

The Museum is in possession of over 100 bronze ornaments of chariots, pieces of furniture, as well as bronze vessels found in burial mounds all over Thrace. Those which provoke the greatest interest include the funeral bronze vessels from the site near "Kamenitza" in Plovdiv, dating from I c., also from the village of Voivodinovo in the region of Plovdiv, dating from II c., as well as the collections of Roman military diplomas and surgical instruments, dating from I – III c.

  "Drunken Silenus" - a statuette from Stara Zagora region, II c.
  "Lares Compitales" - a statuette from Philipopolis region, II c.
  "Sitting Black Boy" - balsamarium from a burial mound, the village of Voivodinovo in the region of Plovdiv, II c.
  Roman military diploma belonging to a Thracian named Dolesus, doing military service on the territory of Syria during Emperor Vespasian’s reign (69 – 79), the village of Suhozem, Karlovo region
  Surgical instruments from various funerals in Philipopolis region, II c.


Ancient Sculptures Collection

The Ancient Sculptures Collection includes 50 marble portrait-heads from Philipopolis, some of which are statues of real-life people, found in the theatre and the big buildings, as well as torsos of idols worshipped in the various regions of Thrace.

The Museum also houses a part of the impressive marble plastic art objects used to decorate religious and civil buildings from I - IV c. - the theatre, the stadium and the town forum, as well as the main street with its rich colonnade near the eastern gate of Philippopolis - all elaborately decorated. The fund treasures a great part of the frieze-architrave, columns and capitals of the Ancient Stadium, as well as its entrance wall-piers decorated with objects related to Hermes and Heracles.

The most attractive among the town decorations is the frieze-architrave ornamented with the health-giving idols of Philippopolis, dating from III c.

The Museum keeps more than 1,000 exhibits from various sanctuaries in Thrace. The most valuable among them are those from the sanctuary of Asclepius Zemidrenetius near the village of Batkun, the Pazardzhik district, the sanctuary of Apollo Seulamenos near the village of Trud, Plovdiv region, as well as the unique tracery consecrated tombstone of Mithra Taurokton near the village of Kurtovo Konare in the region of Plovdiv.

Another museum collection includes tombstones, sarcophagi and epitaphs from the Philippopolis necropolises. The most valuable among those monuments are the tombstones from the Eastern necropolis, as well as the numerous sarcophagi from the Western necropolis.

  Marble portrait-head of a young man, Roman villa in the village of Pastusha, Plovdiv region, from the beginning of II c.
  Pillaster from the entrance of the Ancient Stadium with the attributes of Heracles depicted on: a quiver of shafts, a lion’s hide and a mace, while on the other side it has Hermes’s symbols: Herma, Hydria and a palm-branch, II - III c.
  Frieze of the health-giving idols of Philippopolis, from left to right: Luna, Iaso, Panacea, Telesphorus, Epione, Machaion, Padaleirios, Sol – III c.
  Relief of the sitting Asclepius, Hygeia and Telesphorus, with dedication from Claudius Spartokos; the sanctuary of Asclepius Zemidrenetius near the village of Batkun, the Pazardzhik district, III c.
  Votive plaque of Mithra Taurokton, the village of Kurtovo Konare, Plovdiv district, III c.
  Stela of the gladiator Feropsus, Eastern necropolis of Philipopolis, II c.
  Stela of the veteran Caius Iulius Gratus, Eastern necropolis of Philippopolis, mid. I c.

Terracotta and Lamp Collection

Contains more than 500 Roman clay lamps made in the town, imitating the models of the famous Athenian lamp-makers Elpidephoros, Eutuches, Pireitos. An interesting cult utensil bearing the images of Zeus-Serapis and Dionysos also originates from the town.

  Ritual crater with serpent-shaped handles and images of Zeus-Serapis and Dionysos – Philippopolis, III c.

Antique Mosaics Collection

The Collection contains predominantly mosaic panels from civil and religious buildings, with total surface area of 750 sq. m.

Mosaics in civil buildings

  • Polychromatic mosaic bearing the emblem of "Eyrene" from a residential peristyled building built after the Gothic Invasion in 251.
  • Polychromatic flooring bearing the emblem of "Narcissus", with dolphins in the corners, from a residential peristyled building, II c.
  • Mosaic bearing the emblem of "Blue birds" from a residential building, II c.
  • Polychromatic mosaic found in the apoditerium of a residential building with a bath, V - VI c.
  • Two-layered polychromatic mosaic in OPVS VERMICVLATUM, found in nine rooms of the Termi Aqui, situated right under today’s "Kniaz Alexander" street, II - IV c. A. D.
  • Wall mosaics and floorings of theTermi situated right under today’s "Yoachim Gruev" school, of an area of 2,5 decares (from the middle of III c. until the end of IV c.)

Mosaics in religious buildings

  • Monochromatic mosaic, bearing the emblem of Menora and donors’ inscriptions from a synagogue, III - V c.
  • Polychromatic two-layered mosaic with geometrical figured pictures of birds and Christian symbols from an episcopal 3-nave basilica, with atrium portici, partially revealed, V - VI c.
  • Monochromatic mosaic from a residential complex, IV c.
  • Marble mosaic tiling, featuring pictures of a deer and birds from a baptistery, V - VI c.
  • Polychromatic mosaic from a martyrium - an early Christian building outside the fortified town, V - VI c.
  Replica of the central panel of the "Eyrene" mosaic, middle of III c.