Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Gold statuette of Zeus Serapis

2nd century A.D.
H.: 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Gold and Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Frank Knox, 1953
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 169
Serapis was essentially a construct of the Ptolemaic Greek rulers of Egypt, a conflation of the local gods Osiris and Apis. Although gradually subsumed into the all-pervading cult of Isis, Serapis was worshipped throughout the Roman world in the guise of Zeus, ruler of the heavens, or that of Hades, god of the Underworld. This small figure wears the Egyptian modius (grain measure) headdress and carries a cornucopia (horn of plenty) to symbolize a plentiful food supply.
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