Votive relief inscribed "to the Carian god"

Roman Provincial
Imperial Period
2nd–3rd century A.D.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 289.

Dimensions

Height x width: 35.6 x 41.3 cm (14 x 16 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1970.234

Medium or Technique

Marble, possibly from southwest Asia Minor

Not On View

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

The forms of the letters, as well as the carving, suggest a date early in the third century A.D. A young horseman, with his hair done up in Apollo’s topknot, carries a double axe over his left shoulder and proceeds toward a polos-crowned goddess. This form of the mother goddess Cybele is seated on a throne with elaborate legs. She feeds a snake with a phiale in her right hand, while her left arm rests on a typmpanon or tambourine. The inscription on the frame below this stiffly posed pair reads (add Greek) “Glykonianos the son of Lysanios dedicated this to the Carian god.” This is followed by an incised decorative scroll to fill out the second line. The “Carian god,” a rider with a double axe, must be a form of Apollo Sozon. The goddess, probably Cybele, feeds a snake from a libation bowl.
Save for minor chips and dents, mostly in antiquity or the Dark Ages, the surfaces are in very good condition, overlaid with a rich yellow-gold patina.

Inscription

ΓΛΥΚΩΝΙΑΝΟC ΛΥCΑΝΙΟΥ
ΘΕW ΚΑΡΙW ΕΥΧΗΝ

Provenance

By 1969: with Sotheby & Co., 34 & 35 New Bond Street, London, W1 (Sotheby and Co. auction, July 1, 1969, lot 113); by 1970: Robert E. Hecht, Jr. Collection; gift to MFA from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., March 11, 1970

Credit Line

Gift of Robert E. Hecht, Jr.