S I I A S @ C S I Study Collection for Ancient and Medieval Civilizations
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THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

FISH

The terracotta statuette of Eros seated on a DOLPHIN shown here at left is one of the more popular decorative images in later Greek and Roman art. DOLPHINS are known from very early Greek mythology in the story of Arion who was saved by a dolphin.


The small bronze DOLPHIN shown below was originally an applique, perhaps for furniture, popular in the Greco-Roman world. The tiny bronze image of a FISH, a popular Christian symbol, is shown below right.



 


 


 


HEROIC ACTIVITY

Bulls are known in early Egypt, where one appears on the Palette of Narmer, first king of the unified Egypt, around 3000 BCE. The hump-backed bull is sacred in Egyptian religion.

In Greek mythology, both Herakles and Theseus wrestled and overcame a bull, symbol of power, Herakles with the Cretan Bull, Theseus with the Marathon Bull.


 


  Boar Hunts, like Lion Hunts, were popular heroic events in Greek mythology, such as Meleager in the Calydonian Boar Hunt.


  Dear Hunts too were a heroic event, and the deer head rhyton shown here reflects those deeds.


 


 


 


RIDERS

Real people and mythical persons are often portrayed riding an endless variety of creatures, both real as in the horse or donkeys shown here, as well as mythical beasts.


  Dionysos riding a panther is one of the more popular images in the Greco-Roman world.