- Museum number
Marble capital originally carved on each side with a caryatid-like female figure between the foreparts of winged bulls (most of the bull's head on the left side of the best preserved face (designated here as Side A) is now missing, along with most of the caryatid on the opposite one side (designated here as Side B); the bulls' heads tilt downwards, the curls on the head and face are indicated with additional chiselling; the surviving caryatid is female in the upper part, wearing a tunic (chiton) with crinkled edges belted at the waist; below this her body turns into a spray of acanthus leaves and tendrils; on her head is a tall polos-style headdress (upper part broken away along with much of the face) which supports the plinth on top of the capital; her arms are held in the air to the level of the plinth like a caryatid.
- Production date
- 300 BC-250 BC
Height: 0.91 metres
- Curator's comments
- For description and discussion of the capital see Karageorghis and Vermeule 1966, 24-5 no. 90 and pl. XIX and Roux 1980, esp. 258-60 (with earlier references). The style of this capital originates in Achaemenid art which later became popular in the Greek world, such as on Delos. Roux 1980 provides a detailed analysis of the antecedants and parallels, where he stresses the likely votive, rather than architectural, function of the object. Previously, Karageorghis and Vermeule suggested that it may have formed part of a monument celebrating a naval victory (1966), while Yon connected it with the later Roman cult of Zeus Salaminios whose origins she traces to a much earlier phase of the city (2009, 305 and fig. 10).
The date of the capital remains uncertain, with views ranging from the mid-4th to mid-3rd century BC to Roman imperial times (see Karageorghis and Vermeule 1966, 24; Vermeule 1976, 46 and pl. II.2; Yon 2009, 305 favours the first half of the 3rd century BC).
See Smith in Murray and Smith 1891, 342-3 for early comments on the object.
Karageorghis V. and Vermeule C. 1966, Sculptures from Salamis II. Salamis Vol. 2 (Nicosia: Department of Antiquities).
Roux G. 1980, 'Le chapiteau à protomés de taureaux découvert a Salamine de Chypre', in M. Yon (ed.), Salamine de Chypre. Histoire et archéologie (Paris: Éditions du CNRS), 257-74.
Murray, A.S. and Smith, C. 1891, 'Acquisitions of British Museum', The Classical Review, July 1891, 341-3.
Yon M. 2009, 'Le cult impériale à Salamine', CCEC 39, 289-308
Vermeule C. 1976, Greek and Roman Cyprus: Art from Classical through Late Antique times (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number