Roman Marble Hekate

Roman Marble Hekate

An ancient Roman marble statuette of the triple bodied deity Hekate (a Hekateion). She is depicted in triplicate with with backsa to a central column, wearing a long chiton under a short mantle, her arms bare. She holds a long torch in her left arm and a tambourine in her right hand.

Ca. 1st -2nd century AD.
Height: 16 in. (41 cm).

Hekate (Hecate) was a mysterious witch-like goddess descended from the Titans rather than a member of the Olympian gods. She inhabited the fringes of the Greek mythological world. In the mortal world also she was associated with the threshold between town and wilderness, life and death, mortal and immortal. She was the patron deity of magicians. Hekate presided over the three crossroads in the form of a triple facing monument or Hekateion. The first and most famous of these was placed at the entrance to the Athenian Akropolis. In the 2nd century AD, the Roman writer Pausanias relates that Alkamenes was the sculptor who was 'the first to have created three images of Hekate back to back' (II, 30, 2). Hekateia were placed at triple crossroads all over the Roman world and were given offerings to protect travelers.

Formerly in a private collection, Vienna, Austria 1998; previously in an another Austrian private collection since the 1970s.

Inv#: 6725


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