This interesting ancient Roman artefact was intended to be attached to furniture or a bier. The Egyptian corkscrew hairstyle of the youth suggests that the object was used to decorate an item pertaining to the cult of Isis. The worship of Isis and the other Egyptian gods formed one of the most popular mystery cults, and spread across the Empire accordingly. Membership of the cult involved the initiation of, and revelation of secrets to, the devotee, along with the promise of salvation and a blissful existence in the afterlife. Temples to the Egyptian gods in the provinces were often a hybrid of styles, mixing Classical and Egyptian motifs. One of the important features of the cult of Isis was the public processions (as vividly described by Apuleius in his novel, The Golden Ass), which involved the cult statue of the goddess being carried by priests on an elaborate bier, accompanied by hymns and prayers.
Roman Head of a Greek-Egyptian Male
An ancient Roman bronze bust of a youthful male. He wears a beaded necklace with central pendant, and has rows of curled hair falling to the shoulders. There are holes at the chest and shoulders for attachment.
Provenance: From the John Aiello collection, New Jersey, USA; an important collector of Romano-Egyptian coins and antiquities for over 50 years.
Condition: Very fine condition, two piercings to the back of the head.