• r2-213-10
    Panel, detail of birth of Zeus. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-213-20
    Panel, detail of armor. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-213-30
    Birth of Zeus and armor on right gatepost, projection drawing. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Birth of Zeus and Armor on Right Gatepost

2nd- 3rd C. AD, Roman
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 4098
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Other Architectural Piece, Human Figure, Mythological Figure
Yilmaz Köy
Yilmaz Köy, NW of Salihli. It had been housed in the school.

On the front face there are four figures, three of which overlap the edges of the rectangular recessed panel. At the bottom is a thick-bodied Atlas sitting on a rock in a frontal position, with his r. leg bent (following the curve of the rock). Upon his outstretched arms stand two somewhat smaller figures who may represent two giant Kuretes in short-girt tunics and much damaged helmets. The l. one swings a sword in his r. hand and carries a shield in his l. The r. figure may also have a shield (or cymbal?) in his l. hand. Behind the two Kuretes and in the center of the relief can be seen two dangling legs of Zeus with military boots. The upper part of this figure is almost entirely broken away, but he may have had his arms extended to lean on the shoulders of the Kuretes.

On the r. face is a recessed panel with armor displayed. On the l. is a pointed wand or lance (H. 0.40) ending at the lower side in a knob. There was another vertical object at the r. surmounted by a crested Corinthian helmet (?). Below are two shields, or a figure-8 shield. At the very bottom is a sacrificial patera or possibly a larger shield.


Coarse-grained gray-white “local” marble, weathered yellowish.

Top is original. A clamp hole (0.03 by 0.04 by 0.05 D.) and dowel hole were for piecing to other blocks. On front face, the top has been split off, and surface of relief figures is lost in part and worn elsewhere. At the bottom is a tenon for insertion into a base or jamb. On the r. side face, the r. edge is heavily and irregularly damaged. A clamp hole is located 0.20 from the top, for a deep ordinary bridge clamp (0.04 by 0.03 by 0.03 D.; cutting is 0.08 from r. edge break). Only on the l. face has the edge of the recessed panel been preserved; the panel itself was trimmed away in reuse. The line preceding the reused area looks as if it had been burned. There is a dowel hole in the rough-trimmed area. The back side is entirely broken off. Fragments splinter off easily.

Total H. 0.90; max. Th. without relief 0.28. Front face without tenon H. 0.65, W. 0.26; panel H. 0.64, W. 0.22. R. side: panel H. 0.64, W. 0.22. L. side: panel H. 0.65, P.W. only 0.06 at top, 0.04 at bottom.
See Also
Published: Hanfmann, Croesus, 57-58, fig. 120.