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a short-handled spoon with fine detail marked in the bowl of the spoon of a cat-headed fish-tailed creature surrounded by fleur de lys
Silver-gilt cignus spoon with a bird-headed handle and bowl decorated with a mythical marine creature. 4th century CE from the Hoxne Hoard

Cignus (Latin: cygnus, meaning "swan"; plural: cigni) is a name used by archaeologists for a type of large Roman Empire metal spoon with a short, curved, handle often formed as the neck and head of a swan. Cigni have been found in a number of Roman sites from the 4th and 5th centuries CE, including the Thetford and Hoxne Hoards in England.[1] It is not known for certain what the Romans called these utensils, but there are references to cigni in Roman sources in appropriate contexts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ British Museum retrieved 27 June 2010

Further reading[edit]

  • Johns, Catherine (2010), The Hoxne Late Roman Treasure: Gold Jewellery and Silver Plate, British Museum Press, ISBN 978-0-7141-1817-8. , pp. 98–106
  • Harald Mielsch, 'Miszellen zur spätantiken Toreutik', in Archäologisches Anzeiger 1992, pp. 111–152.