Roman statuette of Silenus

Contributed by The Hunterian

Roman statuette of Silenus

This Roman bust shows an older, bearded man facing front with both arms folded across his chest, both fists clenched and with middle fingers extended. The extended fingers were intended to warn off the evil eye. It is one of four such busts found in various locations inside the Roman fort at Bar Hill. They are all thought to represent Silenus, the drinking companion of Bacchus, the god of wine. However, Silenus is usually depicted in Roman mythology as bald, and the figures from Scotland all have a full head of hair. For this reason it has been suggested that these are local gods or some hybrid with both Scottish and Roman attributes. Many of the Roman sculptures from Scotland demonstrate this fusion of cultures.

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Bar Hill Roman fort


second century AD


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