Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2012.1.152
Title
Intaglio: Hanging Figure Attacked by a Lion and Eagle, with Eros
Classification
Gems
Work Type
gem
Date
1st-4th Century
Period
Roman Imperial period
Culture
Roman
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/72425
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Stone
Technique
Intaglio
Dimensions
1.7 cm (11/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Greek inscription in seven lines on the reverse,
    BΛAPΘA / P EIMI APAX/EIΘA / THN CVN / ΓEINOMEN / HN ΠVPI ΦAE / ΞA TE WC AP / BAΘAIPAC

    [Transcription:
    Βλαρθαρ ειμι Αραχθα τὴν συνγεινομένην πυρὶ φλέξατε ὡς Αρβαθαιρας.]

    [Translation, published in Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 53 (2013) by C. A. Faraone. "I am Blarthar Araxtha. Burn with fire the woman who is associating [i.e. with me] as would four-fold Iaô!]"
Provenance
Eleftherios Sossidi, Hamburg, (between 1955-65 - 1990's), sold; [through Sotheby's sale 7742, New York, December 7, 2001, lot 314]; to The Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University (2001-2012), transfer; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.

Note: E. Sossidi (1913-1992) worked in Cairo from 1958-1968.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
Accession Year
2012
Object Number
2012.1.152
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Intaglio on an unidentified green-black stone. One side shows a nude, long-haired figure, hanging by the arms from a ring with horizontal bars on either side. An eagle attacks the figure on the left, and a lion with a torch approaches it on the right. In the field next ot the figure's left arm is a Greek inscription "ICH". In the field below, Eros stands on a short groundline, with bow and arrow pointed at the central figure's feet. Another symbol, like a mace, is in the lower right. On the other side is a Greek inscription in seven lines surrounded by a beveled edge.
Publication History

Simone Michel, Die magischen Gemmen: Zu Bildern und Zauberformeln auf geschnittenen Steinen der Antike und Neuzeit, Akademie Verlag (Berlin, Germany, 2004), 266, no. 15.4 (as Sossidi 14), pl. 88.2.

Christopher A. Faraone, "Notes on Some Greek Magical Gems in New England", Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies (2013), Vol. 53, 326-49, pp. 338-41, no. 5.

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu