What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Limestone statue of Herakles sitting on a rock. His arms are outstretched, the right wrist covered with a cloth or skin. Both hands are missing. The god has a full beard and a wreath in his hair tied with a ribbon, the ends of which fall onto his shoulders. He has a powerful muscualture and strong features. The base is inscibed at the front, ΣΑΡΑΠΙΔΟΡΟΣ ΑΡΤΕΜΙΔΩΡΟΥ ΚΑΤ’ ΕΥΚΗΝ and at the proper right side on top of the base ΔΙΟΓΕΝΗΣ ΕΠΟΙΕΙ. Sometimes known as the Herakles Epitrapezios, on the table, the original associated with a small bronze sculpture by Lysippos.


  • Producer name

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1-50
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 52.9 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Translation

        Diogenes made (this). Sarapiodorus son of Artemidorus (dedicated this) in fulfilment of a vow.
  • Curator's comments

    Discussed and illustrated in Reade, J.E., Greco-Parthian Nineveh, in Iraq, Vol. 60 (1998), pg.70.
    Mentioned in relation to the Greek name 'Diogenes' carved onto one of the panels in the BM 124895 Reade, J.E., 'More about Adiabene', in Iraq, Vol. 63 (2001), pg.190, fig.5.

  • Bibliography

    • Invernizzi A 1989a (argues for 2ndC date) bibliographic details
    • Inscription 1048B bibliographic details
    • Sculpture 1726 bibliographic details
    • LIMC IV,n.974 bibliographic details
    • Bartman E 1992a p.181 bibliographic details
    • Messina V 2007a pp.173-74, cat.85 (entry by Ariela Bollati) bibliographic details
    • Murray A S 1882a pp.240-43 bibliographic details
    • Reade 1998a pp.69-70, fig.4 bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    "Sulla via di Alessandro da Seleucia al Gandhara", Torino, 13 Feb-27 May 2007
    2010-2011 3 Dec - 3 May, Madrid, Canal de Isabel II," Alejandro Magno: Encuentro con Oriente"
    2010 21 Mar - 1 Nov, Leobon, Kunsthalle Museumcenter, "Alexander der Grosse und die offnung der Welt"
    2009-2010 2 Oct - 21 Feb, Mannheim, Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, "Alexander der Grosse und die offnung der Welt"

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    13 November 2006

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    The sculpture requires the following: light clean; improve the discoloured old repairs; fill small crack to nose and retouch; mount on card.


    The sculpture had an unevenly dirty surface. The surface around the nose, beard and cheek (proper left) was friable and there was a series of fine cracks and fissures in this area. Other areas on the torso suffered from small blisters. The old repairs that were applied to various parts of the object had become discoloured.

    Treatment details

    The surface of the object was cleaned to obtain a more uniformed finish. This was achieved by using Wishab sponge (vulcanized latex,filler), Groomstick (modified natural rubber) and saliva. The old repairs were improved (using Flugger where necessary) and retouched with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic). All the small cracks and fissures where filled using Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) at 20% solution in 1:1 Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone) and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) mixed with Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin). These were then touched in to match the surrounding stone as above. The uneven underside of the base was built up using the same Paraloid B72 and Microballoon mix. The object was then mounted on card.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Discovered January 1880. Transferred from the old Department of Oriental Antiquities (later Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities).

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


Limestone statue of Hercules resting on a rock. The base is inscribed.

Limestone statue of Hercules resting on a rock. The base is inscribed.

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: GAA1393

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help