Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Statuette of Zeus Serapis, Mid-Imperial, 2nd century a.d.
    Roman
    Gold

    H. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
    Gift of Mrs. Frank Knox, 1953 (53.191.2)

    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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    On view: Gallery 169
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    Statuette of Zeus Serapis, Mid-Imperial, 2nd century a.d.
    Roman
    Gold

    H. 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
    Gift of Mrs. Frank Knox, 1953 (53.191.2)


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