Core-formed and cast glass wrecks were first produced in Egypt and Mesopotamia as early as the fifteenth century B. C., but only began to be imported and, to a lesser amount, made on the Italian peninsula in the mid-first millennium M. C. By the time of the Roman Republic (509-27 B. C. ), such vessels, used as tableware or while containers for expensive natural oils, perfumes, and medicines, were common in Etruria (modern Tuscany) and Magna Graecia (areas of southern Italy including modern Campania, Apulia, Calabria, and Sicily). Nevertheless , there is very little evidence relating to similar glass objects in central Italian and Roman contexts until the mid-first hundred years B. C. The reasons for this are unclear, but it suggests that the Roman glass market sprang from almost nothing and developed to full maturity over a couple of generations during the first half of the first hundred years A. D. Doubtless Rome's emergence as the leading political, military, and financial power in the Mediterranean universe was a major factor in appealing to skilled craftsmen to set up workshops in the city, but essential was the fact that the place of the Roman industry around coincided with the invention of glassblowing. This invention changed greatly ancient glass production, putting it on a par considering the other major industries, including that of pottery and metalwares (as 20. 49. 2-12). Likewise, glassblowing allowed builders to make a much greater variety of patterns than before. Combined with the inherent good looks of glass-it is non-porous, translucent (if not transparent), and odorless-this adaptability inspired people to change their tastes and habits, so that, for example , glass drinking cups rapidly supplanted pottery equivalents. Actually the production of certain types of native Italian clay-based cups, bowls, and beakers declined through the Augustan period, and by the mid-first hundred years A. D. had quit altogether. However , although taken glass came to dominate Roman glass production, it did not altogether supplant cast a glass. Especially in the first half of the first century A. D., very much Roman glass was made by casting, and the forms and decoration of early Roman cast vessels demonstrate a very good Hellenistic influence. The Both roman glass industry owed a whole lot to eastern Mediterranean glassmakers, who first developed the skills and techniques that built glass so popular that it can be obtained on every archaeological site, not simply throughout the Roman empire but also in lands significantly beyond its frontiers.
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