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Ennion was among one of the most prominent glassworkers of Ancient Rome, active from about 1 to 50 CE.[1] He is famous for being the first known maker of decorated mold-blown glass, and for the exquisite quality of his work.[2]

Ennion branded his work by signing them.[2]


Ennion probably lived and worked in the city of Sidon, in Roman Phoenicia and today's Lebanon.[2] Although his name was Semitic in origin, he signed his work in Greek, the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean in his time.[1] He is thought to have been a Phoenician, and some scholars believe that later in life, with growing fame and demand, he moved to the north Italian city of Aquileia, closer to Rome and its markets.[2]

Mold-blown glass[edit]

Ennion is the first known maker (and/or workshop owner[3]) of decorated mold-blown glass, a technique based on blowing bubbles of molten glass into molds.[2] He was renowned for producing multi-panelled mold-blown glass vessels that were complex in their shapes, arrangement and decorative motifs.[4][5] The complexity of designs of these mold-blown glass vessels illustrated the sophistication of the glassworkers in the eastern regions of the Roman Empire. Mold-blown glass vessels manufactured by the workshops of Ennion and other contemporary glassworkers such as Jason, Nikon, Aristeas, and Meges, constitutes some of the earliest evidence of glassblowing found in the eastern territories.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Ennion". The J. Paul Getty Getty Museum website. The J. Paul Getty Trust. Retrieved 2018-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Johnson, Ken (5 March 2015). "Review: 'Ennion,' at the Met, Profiles an Ancient Glassmaker". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Wall Street Journal, July 18-19, 2015, page C13, A Wine Jug That's Fit for a Roman Feast or a Brooklyn Banquet
  4. ^ Price, J. (1991). "Decorated Mould-Blown Glass Tablewares in the First Century AD". In M. Newby & K. Painter (eds.) Roman Glass: Two Centuries of Art and Invention. pp. 56–75. The Society of Antiquaries of London: London ISBN 0-85431-255-2
  5. ^ a b Tatton-Brown, V. (1991). "The Roman Empire". In H. Tait (ed.) Five Thousand Years of Glass. pp. 62–97. British Museum Press: London ISBN 0-8122-1888-4
  6. ^ Höricht, L.A.S. (1991). "Syrian Elements among the Glass from Pompeii". In M. Newby & K. Painter (eds.) Roman Glass: two centuries of art and invention. pp. 76–85. The Society of Antiquaries of London: London ISBN 0-85431-255-2