Prior to the 1st century BC the production of glass was a relatively expensive, labor-intensive process in which a glassmaker created a clay mould of the vessel he wanted to produce and, once dried, covered the mould with molten glass. Once the glass had cooled, the artisan carefully scraped out the dried clay.1 However, with the 1st century BC invention of glassblowing, probably in ancient Syria, glassmakers were able to make vessels more cheaply and quickly. Glassblowing itself was a relatively simple process compared to the traditional methods. The glassmaker picked up a heated piece of glass at the end of a hallow tube through which he could force his breath. Through reheating in the furnace and the use of tools, the glassmaker was able to manipulate the inflated bubble of glass into various shapes.2
With its blue-green color, conical body, a short, slightly tapering cylindrical neck and an out-splayed rim, this vessel is a characteristic unguentarium. Although typically called “perfume bottles,” unguentaria could also have contained any number of oils or creams. Literally tens of thousands of unguentaria have been found in Palestine, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, Italy and the Rhineland.3
Donated by Mrs. Norton H. Morrison
 "Core Forming | Resource on Glass from The Corning Museum of Glass." Corning Museum of Glass - Kids and Teens Free! (19 and Under). Web. 30 Jan. 2011. <http://www.cmog.org/dynamic.aspx?id=5774>.
2 Kurt T. Luckner "Ancient Glass." Ancient Art at the Art Institute of Chicago 20 (1994): 78-91.
3 Axel Von Saldern. “Ancient and Byzantine Glass from Sardis.” Archaeological Exploration of Sardis-6. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1980), 23
P.Carolus P. Rauaeus interpreted Virgil’s works in 3 books. This is Book 1: Bucolica & Georgica. See Item 2 for more information about Fr. Ruaeus, S.J.
Translated by Jacques Delille. Latin and French on opposite pages