This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience.
Find out more on how we use cookies in our privacy policy.


Flavius Gerontios

Φλαουιος Γεροντιος

Pater nominos in Sidon, he consecrated a number of sculptures, including a Hecataion.

  • Sculptures from Sidon at Musée du Louvre

    Sculptures from Sidon at Musée du Louvre
    1967 Musée du Louvre / Maurice et Pierre Chuzeville 

  • Marble statuette of Hecate depicted as a triple goddess surrounded by dancers

    Marble statuette of Hecate depicted as a triple goddess surrounded by dancers
    Carole Raddato, CC BY-SA 2.0 

  • Head left-side view of the lion-headed statue from Sidon

    Head left-side view of the lion-headed statue from Sidon
    Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 


of Flavius Gerontios


The title Pater nominos, 'father of the customs' or 'lawful father' is also attested at Tomis (in Scythia) in connection with a priest of Hekate. For the use of fictive parental language for leaders or benefactors of associations, see Harland 2009.

Some of the statuettes bear inscriptions stating they were paid for by Fl. Gerontios in the year ‘500’, although there has been some deliberation as to what year this is in the modern calendar. If it is taken from the Seleucid calendar then it would be the equivalent of AD 188, while Ernest Will observed that, based on the local calendar of Sidon, which is established from stelae found in the town, the date is more likely to have been AD 398. Will also argued that the name Gerontios is far more common at the turn of the 4th c. than during the 2nd.

The name Flavius indicates that Gerontios’ ancestors had been made Roman citizens in the period of the Flavian emperors, nearly two centuries earlier, since the enfranchised added to their own names that of the ruling house. The expression “authorized pater” indicates that the Mithraic cult had some form of consecration comparable to ordination. See Leroy A. Campbell, Typology of Mithraic Tauroctones, Berytus, XI (1954), no. 101.

As F. Baratte suggests, one has the impression that there were two or even three mithreas at Sidon, of different periods. A part of their installations was gathered by Flavius Gerontios and installed in his sanctuary at the end of the 4th century.


Hekataion of Sidon

TNMM 305

The Hekataion of Sidon shows a triple Hekate surrounded by three dancing nymphs.

Φλ. Γερόντιος, πατὴρ νόμιμος, εὐχαριστῶν τὴν θέον ἀφιερωσάτω φʹ ἔτι.
I, Flavius Gerontios, father of the customs (patēr nomimos), dedicated the goddess as a thanksgiving in the 500th year.

Lion-headed Aion from Sidon

TNMM 157

The controversial Italian journalist Edmon Durighello discovered this marble statue of a young naked Aion in 1887.

Φλ. Γερόντιος, πατὴρ νόμιμος, ἀνεϑέμην τῷ φ̕ ἔτι.
Fl[avius] Gerontios, pater nominos, have consecrated [this statue] in the year 500.

Taurcotony sculpture from Sidon

TNMM 156

The Mithras killing the bull sculpture from Sidon, currently Lebanon.

Φλ. Γερόντιος, πατὴρ νόμιμος τῶν τελετῶν τοῦ θεοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αφιερωσάτω τῷ φ̕ ἔτει.
Fl. Gerontios, pater nominos of the rites of initiation of the god, in thanks I have consecrated [this statue] in the year 500



Add a comment