Category:Sidon leontocephaline (CIMRM 78-79)

Object type sculpture
object_type QS:P31,Q860861

CIMRM 78-79: lion-headed figure (=leontocephaline) of the Mithraic Mysteries, from the late 4th-century Mithraeum at Sidon (Colonia Aurelia Pia, Syria), discovered by the journalist Edmond Durighello in 1887. The figure had probably stood in a niche. Sculpture is part of the 'Collection Péretié', brought to Paris in 1892 [typo in Vermaseren: '1882'] by de Clerque and placed in the home of Comte Louis de Boisgelin (5 Rue Masseran, Paris VII), and then donated to the Louvre in 1967. The figure has Louvre accession number AO22258.

Extract from CIMRM 78-79 follows:
78. Status of Parian marble (H. 1.08)
de Ridder, 61ff No. 40 and Pl. XXII-XXIII (see [CIMRM, vol. I] fig. 29); Legge in Proc. Soc. bibl. arch., 1912, Pl. XIX, 18; 1915, 154 and Pl. XXIII, 1; DS col. 1951 fig. 5090; RRS II 266, 4; Gressmann, Or. Rel., 146 fig. 54; Cumont in CRAI 1928, 277 and Pl. I, 3; Leipolt, XV and figs. 35-36; MM, Pl. I, 6; Lavedan, Dict. Myth., 654 fig 617; Pettazzoni in AntC. XVIII, 1949 Pl. VII.
On a round pedestal with inscription (No. 79) stands an entirely naked figure with a lion's head (Aion*). Beneath his wide-open mouth the head of a snake, entwining him in three large coils. In his hands, which he holds stiffly by his side the figure carries two keys. A double pair of wings attached to his back; Behind his legs a tree stump. The function of a round hole in the back of his head is doubtful.
79. [Inscription on pedestal:] Φλ. Γερόντιος, πατὴρ νόμιμος, ἀνεϑέμην τῷ φ̕ ἔτι.
    [transl.: [I,] Fl[avius] Gerontios, pater nominos, have consecrated [this statue] in the year 500.]
Source: Vermaseren, M.J. (1956). Corpus Inscriptionum et Monumentorum Religionis Mithriacae, vol. I. Den Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, p. 74-75.
Note: Vermaseren's identification of the head as that of Aion is an approximation. There is general agreement that the figure has something to do with time, and that it has many of the iconographic characteristics of Aion. However, the figure's name and function are not actually known.
Date 389
Medium white marble
Dimensions height: 1.08m
institution QS:P195,Q19675
Current location
Orient méditerranéen dans l'empire romain, room 3a: Statues et mobilier du culte. Denon, Entresol.
This work is part of the collections of the Louvre (Department of Near Eastern Antiquities).
Accession number
AO 22258 Info non-talk.svg
Object history
  • : discovered by Edmond Durighello (Sidon)
  • : given by Henri de Boisgelin
Inscriptions Φλ. Γερόντιος, πατὴρ νόμιμος, ἀνεϑέμην τῷ φ̕ ἔτι.
[[I,] Fl[avius] Gerontios, pater nominos, have consecrated [this statue] in the year 500.]
English: described as mithraic Kronos by the Louvre Museum.
Français: Décrit comme Kronos mithriaque par le musée du Louvre.
References CIMRM 78-79 & Musée du Louvre, Atlas database: entry 37409