Furniture fittings depicting city Tychai
Silver and gold
Shown here as female personifications or goddesses, known as Tychai, are the four most important cities of the Roman world in the 4th century. These cities also became, by the end of the 4th century, the most important seats of Christian bishops, with Constantinople supplanting Jerusalem by virtue of the former’s imperial status as the New Rome. Alexandria (on the far right) wears a crown depicting the city walls complete with turrets and gates; she carries fruit and sheaves of wheat symbolizing the bounty shipped up the Nile and exported through the city’s great harbour (represented by the ship’s prow upon which she rests her foot).