- Museum number
Head and torso of a small limestone statue of a male figure wearing a lion-skin and holding a lion in his left hand (and originally holding a club in his right hand in a smiting gesture); probably an image of a divinity such as Herakles-Melkart ('Cypriot Herakles') or the Cypriot 'Master of the Animals'; the figure faces forwards, with the now missing right leg slightly higher than the left; he wears a knee-length tunic, belted at the waist, with elbow-length sleeves; the animal skin hangs over the shoulders and is knotted at chest level; the animal head sits on his head in typical Herakles fashion, below which is a line of schematic curls; the missing right arm was raised; the surviving fragment is restored from pieces.
- Production date
- 450 BC-400 BC
Height: 37 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- This very common and distinctive votive image on Cyprus is often identified as a representation of Herakles-Melkart, though it may simply reflect the adaptation of the iconography of these deities (and of Reshef, the Canaanite smiting god) to depict a local male deity, often referred to as simply the Master of the Animals.
A bibliography for Herakles-Melkart imagery can be found in Counts 2001 and at the same author's website Styppax. An academic resource for the study of Cypriot sculpture (https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/dbc/www/#I. BIBLIOGRAPHY)
Counts D. 2001, 'Prolegomena to the study of Cypriote sculpture', CCEC 31, 129-81.
Counts D. 2004, 'Art and religion in the Cypriote Mesaoria', CCEC 34, 173-90.
Counts D. 2008, 'Master of the Lion: Representation and hybridity in Cypriote sanctuaries', AJA 112.1, 3-27.
Counts D. 2010, 'Divine symbols and royal aspirations: The Master of Animals in Iron Age Cypriote religion', in eds D. Counts and B. Arnold, The Master of Animals in Old World iconography (Budapest), 135-50.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2014-2015, 27 Nov-10 May, Leiden, Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Carthage
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1917,0701.275