Ivory pyxis with St Menas


British Museum

British Museum
London, United Kingdom

The scene narrates the moment of the saint’s martyrdom. To the left is the prefect ordering the execution and a soldier holding a diptych. The executioner stands with his sword raised, grasping the hair of Menas, while an angel sweeps in on the right with hands covered to receive his soul.


  • Title: Ivory pyxis with St Menas
  • Date Created: 500/600
  • Location: Alexandria, Egypt
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 7.9 cm
  • Subject Keywords: mammal; devotee/worshipper; saint/martyr; arms/armour; angel
  • Place: Found/Acquired San Paolo fuori le Mura
  • Period/culture: Early Byzantine
  • Material: elephant ivory
  • Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum
  • British Museum website: 1879,1220.1

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