It’s a well known fact, especially for antiquists and classicists, that the Antikensammlungen in Berlin are astonishing.
However, I don’t mean to eulogize Berlin’s museums in this post, but I want instead to praise and draw my readers’ attention to a useful on line database of a particular category of objects: bronze artifacts.
As we can read on the project’s webpage, it has been compiled and published a database of images of ancient bronze artefacts preserved in Berlin, encompassing the objects published in the bronze collection of C. Friederichs (Antike Bronzen und Geräte im Alten Museum, 1871) and further acquisitions until 1945 (stocks and losses).
The project, advertised also on the AIEGL website by Dr. Manfred Schmidt, has been run by Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in 2004-2007 and 2008-2011 and has been carried out with the support of the DFG – German Research Foundation by Norbert Franken, led by Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer and Andreas Scholl.
As an epigrapher, the interesting and very useful section is the online searchable database, in which I suggest to select, as querying criteria in the Datenbank, “Inschrift” from the drop menu called “Gattung”.
In this way, you’ll retrieve 76 objects, Greek and Roman as well, that you can browse in different pages. Each item has a picture (at least the majority of instances does) and by clicking on every record the user is provided with a detailed information on the artefact as a bronze object (inventory, provenance, preservation status) and as an inscription, with a detailed list of publication regarding that text (Literatur).
A paradigmatic example that illustrates the information retrievable in this online catalogue on a single object is the
Inv. Nr.: Fr. 2502, i.e. Tessera paganica. Tafel mit lateinischer Inschrift, von einer Büste der Juno bekrönt .
also known as CIL, II 2633 = ILS 6101.
In this case not only can you find the aforementioned data, but there are also “Weitere Abbildungen“.
And now, your turn to explore the database!