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Leontocéfalo del Mitreo Fagan

The marble Aion from the lost Mithraeum Fagan, Ostia, now presides the entrance to the Vatican Library.
2 May 2010
  • Leontocéfalo del Mitreo Fagan
    Andreu Abuín 

  • Detalle del leontocéfalo del Mitreo Fagan
    Andreu Abuín 

White marble statue (H. 1.65 Br. 0.47), found in the Mithraeum Fagan, now beside the entrance of the Biblioteca Vaticana.

Standing naked figure with lion's head and wide open mouth. Behind his shoulders he has two small wings and two more on his hips. These wings have been placed in opposite directions and carry the symbols of the four seasons. They are decorated with a dove and a swan (top right), ears (top left), a buch of grapes (bottom left), two palms and a reed (bottom right).

The god is entwined in six coils of a serpent, which rests its head on the god's (Aion). On his breast a thunderbolt. In his hands which he presses against his body, he holds a key with twelve drill-holes, and in his left moreover a long staff or sceptre with a knob on either side. On the base beside the r. leg of the god a pair of tongs and a hammer (Vulcanus) and beside the l. leg a caduceus, a cock and a pine-cone.

The whole statue was painted in red.

Main inscription

C. Valeri/us Heracles pat(er) / et C(aii) Valerii / Vitalis et Nico/mes sacerdo/tes s(ua) p(e)c(unia) p(o)s(ue)r(unt). / D(e)d(icatum) idi(bus) aug(ustis) im(peratore) / Com(odo) / VI et / Septi/miano / co(n)s(ulibus)



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