Phrygian Funeral Altar, 4th Century CE

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3D Image

Geoffrey Marchal
published on 01 February 2020

Marble funeral altar (Bômos) from Roman-era Phrygia, 313-314 CE.

The decoration of the four faces is composed of the following elements, which are made difficult to read due to vandalism by Christians.

a) A medallion representing a rider hero (Manes?) surmounted by the bust of the Sun.

b) Below niche with a bust of a goddess, possibly Hecate. A crown once containing a portrait which was replaced by a cross.

c) An eagle, a crown in its beak and indistinct figures (a rider and two felines).

d) Finally, a representation of Hermés holding the purse and the caduceus.

In the inscription spread over three faces (a-c), the high priest Athanatos Epitynchanos boasts of having received, thanks to his initiation by the high priestess Ispatalé, the gift “to make oracles real”.

From Otourak (near Acmonia, Phrygia). Museum of Art History (Musée du Cinquantenaire) Brussels, Belgium). Made with CapturingReality.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Marchal, G. (2020, February 01). Phrygian Funeral Altar, 4th Century CE. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Marchal, Geoffrey. "Phrygian Funeral Altar, 4th Century CE." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified February 01, 2020.

MLA Style

Marchal, Geoffrey. "Phrygian Funeral Altar, 4th Century CE." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 01 Feb 2020. Web. 13 Jul 2024.