Relief with Leto, Apollo, and Python

Roman Provincial
Imperial Period
about 2nd century A.D.

Place of Manufacture: Egypt


Height: 8.1 cm (3 3/16 in.); width: 4.9 cm (1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



The relief is carved into the carving surface of the bone. Leto, wearing a peplos, rushes to her right and holds a nude baby with long hair against her belly with her right hand. She looks back to her left and raises her left arm as a giant snake rises up behind her. The snake’s body is covered with crosshatching and its tail appears at the lower proper right. The child raises his right arm toward the snake. At the proper left is an irregular, elongated lump covered with crosshatching could be either more of the snake’s coils or the omphalos at Delphi. The child is probably Apollo. His twin sister Artemis is omitted.
The panel has a flat frame articulated with two grooves. It is perforated with ten holes.


By December 1972: with Münzen und Medaillen A.G., Malzgasse 25, CH-4002 Basel (Sonderliste O, no. 61); May 3, 1973: purchased by Ariel Herrmann from Münzen und Medaillen, A.G.; gift of Ariel Herrmann to MFA, December 17, 2003

Credit Line

Gift of Ariel Herrmann in memory of Ellen Callmann