Roman Marble Head of Attis
A small ancient Roman marble head of Attis, the companion of Cybele. The smiling youthful figure wears a pointed Phrygian cap with a lunar disk at the front.
Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
Attis was the youthful Phrygian shepherd companion of the mystery cult goddess Cybele. He is often depicted as a young man or child with a Phrygian cap, shepherd's crook, and Pan pipe. The myth of Attis includes his ritual castration. He was therefore associated with eunuchs, and specifically the Roman eunuch priests of Cybele called the Galli. Attis was also a Phrygian god of vegetation. In his castration, death and subsequent resurrection he represents the fruits of the Earth which die in autumn only to grow again in the spring.
Formerly in a Tucson, Arizona private collection, said to have been acquired in Rome in the 1950s.