roman relief

Detail of an ancient Egyptian wooden chest, showing a king making an offering to the crocodile-god Sobek, with a demotic inscription above.  Artist unknown; 1st cent. BCE (end of the Ptolemaic or beginning of the Roman period).  Now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.  Photo credit: Walters Art Museum.




Including Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus and Domitian, surmounted by a carved ivory bust of an ancient general, possibly Alexander the Great.

Sotheby’s April 2010. photo collage by Hadrian6.

Interior of the Arch of Titus by Robert Macpherson. Scottish, 1850s. Albumen silver print. Getty Museum. 

Antonine relief depicting the Praetorian Guard. This troop of imperial bodyguards was founded by Augustus and stationed in the castra praetoria on the Viminal Hill. During the imperial era this unit was often actively involved in the issue of succession, and received large payments to force through the election of a particular candidate. Increasingly a political force in the Roman Empire in its own right, the Guard was abandoned by Constantine at the beginning of the fourth century. Louvre, Paris.

Relief frieze from the so-called “Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus,” depicting sea-creatures and deities gathering for the wedding of Poseidon/Neptune and Amphitrite.  Artist unknown; 2nd half of 2nd cent. BCE.  Found on the Campus Martius, Rome; now in the Glyptothek, Munich.


Today I visited the Little Metropolis a very small byzantine church in central athens. It was built in the 14th century using only spolia! Every stone used is either of antique or byzantine origins.
It is absolutely fascinating to look at every small detail and wonder about it’s where it came from.
This church has so much history combined in it’s architecture alone it is wonderful to have seen it for it is an absolute beauty!

The triglyphic frieze in pic two probably belonged to the Eleusinion on the northern slope of the Acropolis. The crosses torches with the pomegranates, the Kernos jar and the Bullshead are familiar motivs of the eleusinian mysteries. And a similar architectural element can be seen on the small Propylon in Eleusis.

The two people in pic 7 are from a roman funerary relief. The cross between their heads was added during the construction of the church in the 14th century. Most of the spolia were altered during construction to add iconographic motivs of christianity.

The frieze above the round bow above the door in pic 8/9 from a classic temple if I remember correctly.

Silver, partially gilt mirror with repoussé decoration, depicting Leda and Zeus disguised as a swan.  Part of the Boscoreale Treasure.  Artist unknown; late 1st cent. BCE- early 1st cent. CE.  Found at Boscoreale, Italy; now in the Louvre.

View of detail of bronze doors for the Main Library, Detroit Public Library, depicting Roman playwrights Terence and Caecilius.

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

What did the Romans ever do for us? by Tony
Via Flickr:
Pedastal for an Egyptian Obelisk re-erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople . The marble pedestal had bas-reliefs dating to the time of the obelisk’s re-erection in Constantinople. On one face Theodosius I is shown offering the crown of victory to the winner in the chariot races, framed between arches and Corinthian columns, with happy spectators, musicians and dancers assisting in the ceremony. In the bottom right of this scene is the water organ of Ctesibius and on the left another instrument.

prognostiq  asked:

Do you include Protogonos/Phanes in the Headless family with Bes and the agathos daimon? They share the snake, heart, and rulership motifs.

(Phanes. Greco-Roman bas relief C2nd A.D., Modena Museum.)

My opinion is that the Protogonos / Phanes / Eros the Elder is more similar, at least in the PGM, to other Primordial Gods: Aion (who he shares visual similarities with, and some of the images of are literally modeled on Phanes):

(Image of Aion from the Mithraeum. And just for fun, here’s a link to a paper on the Mithras Liturgy of the PGM, which features our friend Aion.)

Horus-Harpocrates is another, particularly when seated upon the Lotus at the Primordial Dawn of Creation, like in the amulets and apotropaic gems he appears on:

(Horus-Harpocrates seated upon the Lotus on an amulet.)

(Here’s another, and this is one of my favorites.)

(And here’s one with vegetation arising alongside him.)

And even if I wouldn’t class these deities together with the Headless God, Besa, and the Agathos Daimon, their treatment in the Greek Magical Papyri is very similar, and for very similar purposes. More over, in at least one of the Magic Lamp spells (PGM IV. 1105 – 1115, Betz, P. 59 – 60.), Horus-Harpocrates is called a ‘Good Daimon.’ (And also the light of the world, etc, etc., etc.)

But, in the spells to call on Besas (PGM VII. 222 - 49, Betz P. 215 - 216) for the same purpose, the colors red (linked to Typhon-Set) and black are used as ink on the lamp, whereas on the lamps for Horus-Harpocrates and Helios red becomes a taboo color.

These differences give me a bit of pause. You also offer bat blood to Besas / Headless Daimon, whereas Horus-Harpocrates gets the fat of a black ram!