Exhibitions/ Art Object

Relief of a Stylite Saint

Date:
5th–6th century
Geography:
Made in Syria
Medium:
Basalt
Dimensions:
Overall: 33 1/4 x 29 15/16 x 7 5/16 in. (84.5 x 76 x 18.5 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin—Skulpturensammlung und Museum für Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin (9/63)
Not on view
The bearded stylite saint in monk’s garb sits atop his column as a dove, a messenger of God, places a wreath over his hood. One of his followers climbs a ladder, swinging a censer to help evoke his aid. Found near Qal‘at Sem‘an, the saint may be Saint Symeon the Elder whose pilgrimage site there drew the devout from across the ancient world, including Ghassanid Arab Christians who protected the Byzantine borders in the region.