Hercules with Club and Cloak

By
Laura Hutchison
Laura Hutchison is finishing her first year of course-work in the Interdepartmental Ph.D. Program in Classical Art and Archaeology at Hopkins. Her research interests include Greek and Roman religion, the human form in ancient art, and modern issues in illicit trade of antiquities. She was excited and grateful to work so closely with ancient objects in preparation for The Roman House at Hopkins.

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  • Accession Number: JHUAM K18
  • Measurements: Width: 7.9cm, Height: 11cm
  • Material: Copper alloy
  • Culture/Date: Roman, 1st-2nd c. CE
  • Provenance: Unknown

 

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Back view.

This Hercules is beardless, and thus younger than the other Hercules statuette in this group. A lion skin is draped over his left arm, and a garlanded club rests in the crux of his left arm. The right hand stretches out to pour an offering from a patera, evidenced by the gesture of the fingers and the positioning of the wrist and palm. In both Pompeii and Herculaneum, representations of Hercules are ubiquitous, and his role as a tutelary deity is most commonly emphasized. The presence of Hercules, a deity of archaic Greek origins, in the context of the Roman lararium illustrates the composite nature of Roman religious practices and political identity.