A full bibliography (including an expansion of references in the catalogue entries) is in preparation. The following short booklist accompanied the original website in 2006.

A Short List of Recommended Books on Ancient Lamps
General | Western Europe | Balkans | Aegean | Cyprus | Middle (Near) East | North Africa

D.M. Bailey, A Catalogue of Lamps in the British Museum, British Museum, 1975-96.

(ISBN 0714112437, 0714112593, 071411278X, 0714122068)
Huge catalogue in four quarto volumes, THE lamp bible but extremely expensive even second-hand. Referred to as BMC.

H.B. Walters, Catalogue of the Greek and Roman Lamps in the British Museum, British Museum, 1914.

Superceded by Bailey but still worthwhile and much cheaper if you can find an old copy.

J.W. Hayes, Ancient Lamps in the Royal Ontario Museum - I: Greek and Roman Clay Lamps, ROM, 1980.
(ISBN 0888542534)

Another superb catalogue and excellent reference, perhaps second only to Bailey.

Srdjan Djuric, The Anawati Collection Catalog I - Ancient Lamps from the Mediterranean, Eika, 1995.
(ISBN 1896463029)

Less academic than the museum catalogues and short on dating but comprehensive (within its specified area, i.e. not Northern Europe) and extensively illustrated.

Lyon-Caen & Hoff, Catalogue des Lampes en terre cuite Grecques et Chretiennes, Louvre, 1986.

(ISBN 2711820149)
In French, good coverage of earlier and later lamps in the Louvre, well illustrated.

Alexander Mlasowsky, Die antiken Tonlampen im Kestner-Museum Hannover, Kestner-Museum, 1993.

(ISBN 392402913X)
In German, superb catalogue, profusely illustrated and captioned.

Heinz Menzel, Antike Lampen im Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum zu Mainz, Mainz, 1969 (enlarged reprint of 1954 edition).

(ISBN 380530174X)
In German, classic catalogue, profusely illustrated by line drawings (this edition adds fifty more lamps with photographs).

S. Schäfer (with L. Marczoch), Lampen der Antikensammlung, Frankfurt am Main, 1990.

(ISBN 3882703156)
Softback, in German, selection of lamps in the museum at Frankfurt.

F.W. Robins, The Story of the Lamp, Kingsmead, 1970 (reprint of 1939 edition).

(ISBN 901571334)
Useful introduction but illustrations are very poor and beware as several of the items shown have since been exposed as fakes.

(booklet) D.M. Bailey, Greek and Roman Pottery Lamps, British Museum, 1972.
(ISBN 714112372)

Classic introductory booklet with thorough coverage, well illustrated.

(booklet) Henning Wetzel, Antike Tonlampen, Leipzig University, 1997.

(ISBN 3931922650)
In German, small booklet but excellent illustrations in colour.

(booklet) Claire Skinkel-Taupin, Lampes en Terre Cuite de la Méditerranée Grecque et Romaine, Brussels, 1980.

In French, brief guide to a few lamps in the Brussels Museum.

(booklet) R. Coltman Clephan, On Terra-cotta Lamps, Edinburgh, 1907.

Edwardian illustrated article for the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, interesting insight into the general knowledge of that time.

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Western Europe:

Karin Goethert, Römische Lampen und Leuchter, Auswahlkatalog des Rheinischen Landesmuseums Trier, Trier, 1997.

(ISBN 392331938X)
In German, emphasis on local lamps found in Trier but excellent coverage of all Roman types of the Rhineland.

Hella Eckardt, Illuminating Roman Britain, Editions Monique Mergoil, Montagnac, 2002.
(ISBN 2907303708)

Softback, frustratingly unindexed but a refreshing approach and well worth ploughing through.

Siegfried Loeschcke, Lampen aus Vindonissa, Zurich, 1919.

In German, long out-of-print classic but a superb reference if you can find a copy.

Annette Kirsch, Antike Lampen im Landesmuseum Mainz, Mainz, 2002.

(ISBN 3805328648)
In German, catalogue of lamps.

Laurent Chrzanovski, Lumieres Antiques: Les lampes à huile du musée romain de Nyon, Edizioni ET, 2000.
(ISBN 8886752156)

Softback. In French with short summaries in English, Italian and German. Excellent general survey of lamps, detailed catalogue of the small collection of Roman oil lamps at Nyon.

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T. Szentléleky, Ancient Lamps, Amsterdam, 1969.
General collection with emphasis on lamps from the region of Hungary.

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R.H. Howland, The Athenian Agora, Volume IV: Greek Lamps and their Survivals, American School at Athens, 1958.

Classic study of lamps excavated at Athens.

Oscar Broneer, Corinth, Volume IV, Part II: Terracotta Lamps, American School at Athens, 1930.
Catalogue of lamps excavated at Corinth.

Oscar Broneer, Isthmia, Volume III: Terracotta Lamps, American School at Athens, 1977.
Good coverage of local lamps.

(booklet) Judith Perlzweig, Lamps from the Athenian Agora, American School at Athens, 1963.
Excellent booklet, profusely illustrated and a recommended reference, very cheap used copies.

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Oziol & Pouilloux, Salamine de Chypre - I: Les Lampes, Paris, 1969.
In French, catalogue of lamps excavated at Salamis in Cyprus.

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Middle (Near) East:

R. Rosenthal & R. Sivan, Qedem 8, Monographs of the Institute of Archaeology: Ancient Lamps in the Schloessinger Collection, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1978.
Standard reference, the collection includes a good general selection of lamps in addition to those specifically from the Levant.

Y. Israeli & U. Avida, Oil-Lamps from Eretz Israel: The Louis and Carmen Warschaw Collection at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel Museum, 1988.
(ISBN 9652780693)

Catalogue of lamps found in this region.

Noam Adler, Oil Lamps of the Holy Land from the Adler Collection, Israel, 2004.
(ISBN 9655551660)

Comprehensive coverage of lamps from Palestine region.

(journal) C.A. Kennedy, 'The Development of the Lamp in Palestine', Berytus 14, Beirut, 1963. (pp. 67-115)
Classic typology of regional lamps.

Stanislao Loffreda, Light and Life, Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 2001.
(ISBN 9655160041)
Softback, an interpretation of Christian inscribed lamps.

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North Africa:

Jean Deneauve, Lampes de Carthage, C.N.R.S., Paris, 1969.

In French, catalogue of lamps in the Carthage Museum to the end of the Roman period.

J.L. Herrman & A. van der Hoek, Light from the Age of Augustine, Harvard, 2002.

Softback, lavishly colour-illustrated guide to North African red slip ware including many lamps.

D.M. Bailey, Excavations at Sidi Khrebish, Benghazi, Volume III, Part 2: The Lamps, Tripoli, 1985.

Detailed catalogue of lamps excavated at Sidi Khrebish in Libya.

E. Fabbricotti, Catalogo delle lucerne di Tolemaide (Cirenaica), BAR International Series 962, Oxford, 2001.
(ISBN 1841711829)
In Italian, detailed catalogue of locally found lamps.

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Many of the books are of course out of print but used copies are often available in bookshops. Try:



Or for bookshops direct try:


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Copyright © 2006 RomQ. All rights reserved.

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