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Mythlogy Identification


#1

I purchased some antique plaster intaglios that depict scenes from
ancient myths. I am making castings of these pieces to create
jewelry.I need help identifying the mythological figures depicted.
Some of these are easier such as Mars who wears a winged helmet,
others I have no idea about. Does anyone have any ideas to help? I
would be happy to pay a knowledgable person for their time. Thanks.


#2

Dawn, Been collecting and dealing in ancient seal stones for a number
of years. The iconography can be difficult. I use a series of
reference books an d a fair knowledge of Greek and Roman mythology.
Every warrior isn’t Mar s! Sometimes the smaller icons surrounding
the main figure can be useful in identification of the scene. For
example the thrusis a wand like ite m indicates Bacchus or his female
bacchants, an oar may indicate Fortuna a favorite among Roman
soldiers in the 1-3rd C. AD.

Best thing to do is begin with books that catalogue collections and
inclu de photos, impressions and descriptions and match them up with
your image s. Most books will be found in second hand stores or on
line at websites like bibliofile.com. Images on ancient coins and
other art can also prov ide clues. Authors like Richter are
excellent. There are very few live e xperts.

I set my seals in signet style rings. They sell very well
particularly t o more affluent men looking for something interesting
in a ring other tha n an onyx.

Richard Wise


#3

Actually I believe it was Mercury that wore the winged helmet. Maybe
you could take some pictures of the intaglios and post them. I know
there’s a wellspring of expertise here, and many of us would love to
take a look at them and at least make guesses!

Janet Kofoed


#4

Dawn; Hello. I believe Mercury also had a winged helmet. But the
give away for him, would be winged boots.

Eric V. Schmidt


#5

Try you local library, they should have books on mythology with
pictures. I think you god with the winged hat is Mercury the
messenger of the gods. You can fin him on some florist ads, he also
has winged feet or sandals. Just passing thru.


#6

Hi Dawn; I’ve studied quite a bit of Greek and Roman mythology. I’m
not an expert, just quite a bit more studied in the subject than
most. If you can scan those intaglios and send me a .jpg., I’ll be
glad to take a crack at it.

David L. Huffman
@David_L_Huffman


#7
antique plaster intaglios that depict scenes from ancient myths. I
am making castings of these pieces to create jewelry.I need help
identifying the mythological figures depicted. Some of these are
easier such as Mars who wears a winged helmet, others I have no
idea about. Does anyone have any ideas to help? I would be happy to
pay a knowledgable person for their time. Thanks. 

Check out reference books on ancient coins, ceramics, mosaics and
statuary. They may shed light on the identity of mythological figures
on your plaster intaglios. Also, look up Greek and Roman mythology.
By the way, Mercury(Roman) and/or Hermes (Greek) is the messenger of
the gods that wears the winged helmet and winged sandals and carries
the Caduceus (winged scepter with snakes that is the medical
profession’s symbol). FTD Florists use Mercury/Hermes as their logo
for floral deliveries.

Mars, god of war, wears a helmet but it doesn’t have wings.

Good luck in your search,
Donna Shimazu


#8

Both Mercury and Hermes (the Greek origin - or is it visa-versa?)
are usually depicted with a winged helmet. The Roman bronze in the
Louvre, shows Hermes carrying the Caduceus. A winged staff, entwined
with two serpents and used as a symbol of the medical profession.
You can find an image of this sculpture on my website:
www.kimericlilot.com In the Sculpture ‘window’. I make miniature
reproductions of Classical figures in precious metal.

Peace. Kim.


#9
A winged staff, entwined with two serpents and used as a symbol of
the medical profession. 

Just as an additional factoid. Those are not serpents wrapped around
the staff but worms. One of the many cute paracites of the ancient
world burrowed underneath the skin and created large raised areas of
skin with a little tail of the worm sticking out. Ancient doctors -
and modern ones if the infection gets that far - would slowly pull
the end of the worm in order not to break it and then wrap it around
a stick. Each day the stick is turned a little more to extract more
of the worm. Finally the pest emerges after a little more than a
week, its body is wrapped and partially dried around the stick and
the head is near the top of the stick. It has to be extracted this
way because of the toxic/highly allergic nature of the contents of
the worm. I am going on old memories here but I think the name of the
paracite is draconculous.

Alicia Miller


#10

Don’t know about the worm story. Never heard that one. Here’s what
I know of the serpents on the Caduesus. The staff is the staff of
Asclepius, a physician, son of Apollo, and a deified mortal who
taught the medical arts to Hermes. Zeus killed him for raising the
dead, but still placed him in the heavens, since he was, like
Heracles, the son of at least one god. The Roman cult of Asclepius
(he was worshipped in efforts to bring about the end of plagues)
represented him with a snake. Hygieia (daughter of Asclepius) has no
myth, being more of an abstraction, personified health and is
associated with the serpent too, since snake venom was sometimes
employed for medicinal purposes. Images depict her milking venom
from a serpent much as it is done today to produce anti-venom.
Hence, Hygieia is also associated with the serpent. There is a
complex of myths surrounding Hermes and the enigmatic nature of his
role as a psychopomp (sort of an archtypical psychiatrist), and the
two snakes entwined also symbolize this aspect, much like the twin
serpents in Kundalini yoga. Spiraling polarities, didactic nature of
consiousness, et. al. . . Note also the twin serpents similarity to
the dual helix of DNA, the codified molecule of life. Most of us
have heard of people of “Mercurial” temperment. They are
charictaristically difficult to pin down, and so is the exact nature
of Hermes himself. By the way, Athena is probably the diety most
often associated with craft. And St. Elegius is the patron saint of
goldsmiths, having been a goldsmith himself. I just love this stuff.

David L. Huffman