Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 3rd to 4th century CE. A finely cast bronze statue of a bearded deity wearing a chiton and himation, with ram’s horns on his head surmounted by a headdress (possibly of Osiris), and holding a club of Herakles. Given this iconography, the identity of this god remains up to debate. His bearded proud state suggests Zeus or possibly Serapis; the club he holds in his hand suggests that this could be the ultimate hero Herakles; and the headdress with ram’s horns is associated with Ammon. Size: 1.4″ W x 3.5″ H (3.6 cm x 8.9 cm); 4.5″ H (11.4 cm) on included custom stand.
Serapis was a Graeco-Egyptian god who first appeared around the time of Alexander the Great. Serapis was a god created by the fusion of Egyptian and Greek culture and later adopted into Roman religion. He possesses a combination of the attributes of the Egyptian god Osorapis (himself a composite of Osiris and Apis) with the attributes of a number of Greek gods including Zeus, Hades, Helios, and Dionysus. The god Ammon is usually shown with the horns of a ram, and was first worshipped by Libyan desert tribes. Scholars belive that he was possibly related to Ba’al Hammon, a god of Semitic peoples such as the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. However, this has not been proven. The cult was eventually taken over by the Egyptians, who associated Ammon with their supreme god Amun.
Published: J. Eisnenberg. Art of the Ancient World, volume IV (1985), no. 289. Also, on loan to Ball State University Art Museum; George Mason University; Fitchburg Art Museum, 1997-2016.
Provenance: ex-G.T. Collection, Pontiac, Michigan, USA, acquired from Royal Athena in 1985; K.D. Collection, Michigan, USA, Royal Athena, June 1997; On loan to Ball State University Art Museum; George Mason University; Fitchburg Art Museum, 1997-2016.
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Upraised hand is missing. Otherwise in fine condition with slight smoothing to features and rich green patina.