- Museum number
Fragment of a sardonyx cameo engraved with Seilenos and a maenad reclining together on rocks covered with skins; the maenad is seen in back view; Seilenos gives a drink to a panther from a kantharos, and places his right hand on his head, looking up at a young satyr who plays the double flutes (only his head and arms remain); in the background is a tree.
- Production date
Width: 2.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Payne Knight's Latin manuscript catalogue
90) Silenus, corpore inguine tenus nudo obverso, in […] pellibus strato sub arbore recumbens, vertice calvo, auribus equinis, oc[c]ulis retro spectantibus ad faunum auribus caprinis pone stantem et binas tibias inflantem, cui dextra coronam porrigit, capiti detractam nymphae, quae corpore inguine tenus praeter cingulum nudo, dorso obverso, brachio dextro innixa, eam renidente vultu et sinistra porrecta, ludibunda repetit. Infra est pardus succumbens et odorem vini e diota epota de sinistra Sileni dependente naribus inhians; quae omnia e strato opaco candidissimo onychis Indicae pulcherrimae, pellucido rubescenti inhaerente, summa artificio exsculpta sunt; atque omnia integerrima conservata praeter faunum tibicinum, cuius caput, brachia et tibiae tantum e perrupto lapide restant.* Fuit olim Musei Strozzii Romae, et deinde Ducis Surrentini Siculi.
* ... nudae vestigia nymphae.
Ovid: Met: VIII. 570.
De calvitia vide Aristot: de generat: anim: L.V.C.III. ad fin: et problem: I.I. Ve[c]
Silenus, with his body, nude as far as the groin, turned towards the viewer, lying down on a [text unclear], with a bald crown, the ears of a horse, his eyes looking back at a faun with the ears of a goat standing behind him and blowing into two pipes, for whom he grasps a crown in his right hand, which has been removed from the head of a nymph, who, with her body nude as far as the groin except for a girdle, her back turned towards the viewer, leant on her right arm, demands it back playfully with her smiling face and left hand outstretched. Lying underneath is a panther, gaping with his nostrils at the smell of wine from a drained wine-jar hanging down from the left hand of Silenus; and all of these things have been carved out with the greatest skill from an opaque, very bright layer of the most beautiful Indian onyx, adhering to a translucent, reddening one; and everything has been preserved very much unharmed except for the faun piper, whose head, arms and pipes only remain from the broken stone.* It once belonged to the Museo Strozzi in Rome, and then to the Duke of Sorrento from Sicily.
*... the footprints of a nude nymph.
Ovid: Met: VIII. 570.
On baldness, see Aristot: de generat: anim: I.V.C.III. ad fin: et Problem: I. I. Vec
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- Greek and Roman
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