Ennion made me. Those were the words molded on glass vases and jars that survived centuries of dust, change, and trauma all over the classical world. But who was Ennion? And how, in the early years of the world, did his glassware become so famous? We don’t know much about him: He was a craftsman in modern-day Lebanon, and a revolutionary one at that. Ennion was the first (known) glassmaker to blow glass into a mold, forming the molten glass into fine decorative details and unusual shapes. This was unheard of, and it made Ennion into a commercial phenomenon in the Roman world.
But Ennion wasn’t just prolific. He was also proud, and smart, and knew the value of what 21st century consumers think of as a “brand name.” So unlike many craftsmen and women, Ennion didn’t just sign his pieces or put his name on the bottom: He made his name part of the work. You’ll see the Greek letters for “Ennion epoiese,” or “Ennion made me,” framed by a jug (meta!), as though the words and jug were the whole point of the design: