Bronze statuette of Cybele on a cart drawn by lions

Date: 2nd half of 2nd century A.D.

Culture: Roman

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Overall: 12 x 54 3/4in. (30.5 x 139.1cm)

Classification: Bronzes

Credit Line: Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1897

Accession Number: 97.22.24

Description

The cult of the Anatolian mother goddess Kybele was introduced into Rome during the Second Punic War in the late third century B.C. and remained popular until early Christian times. The goddess is shown with her usual attributes, a phiale (libation bowl) in her right hand and a large tympanum (drum) in her left. But instead of flanking her throne as they normally do, here the two oversized lions pull a chariot. This elaborate group comes from a fountain, in which spouts projected from the open mouths of the lions. The original cart, harness, and throne no longer survive; the rear left wheel is a nineteenth-century restoration.

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