Bust of Serapis, 2nd century a.d.; Mid–Imperial
Roman; said to be from Egypt
Silver; H. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Gift of Jan Mitchell and Sons, 1991 (1991.127)
By the second century A.D., Serapis had become one of the most popular deities in the Roman empire. Many images of the god took the form of portable busts, suitable for dedication or for private worship. Silver busts of Serapis are mentioned in an inscription found in Rome, but this is apparently the only extant example. The modius (grain basket) always shown on the god’s head is now missing.