Matter of ambivalence: aspects of glass in ancient Rome and the Middle Ages

WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER, 18.00–19.30

Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk (Glass Museum Hentrich)

The problem with glass seems obvious: On the one hand it is a shining, beautiful and precious material, and on the other hand, it can break very easily. It is a material that triggers opposing feelings of admiration and fear. In presenting a small number of Roman and Medieval written sources, further aspects of the ambivalence of glass will be shown that offer a richer image of the meaning of this material in the respective periods. The sources that will be discussed are by Pliny the Elder (on the forming of glass), Seneca (on glass blowing and philosophy), Ekkehard of the Saint Gall monastery (on “friends of glass”), William Sedacer (on glass and alchemy) and a few others.

BSR–Corning Museum of Glass David Whitehouse Memorial Lecture