• r2-256-10
    Enthroned Mother of the Gods (Cybele), Berlin Staatliche Museen 702. (Courtesy of the Staatliche Museen, Berlin)

Enthroned Mother of the Gods (Cybele)

2nd or 3rd C. AD, Roman
Berlin State Museums, 702
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Berlin 702
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Mythological Figure
Inscription Text
[Ἐλ]ευθέριον εὔξετο
περὶ Ἀττάλου τοῦ υἱοῦ
καὶ Φίλητος περὶ τοῦ ἀ-
δελφοῦ Μητρὶ θεῶν.
Inscription Translation

Eleutherion for her son Attalos and Philetos for his brother made a vow to the Mother of the Gods.

Inscription Comment
"Brought from Sardis in 1854 by Herr Spiegelthal" (Sardis VII, 100); according to Berlin Beschreibung, no. 101, it is from Sardis but was acquired by Spiegelthal in Smyrna.

Cybele is enthroned and seated between two lions. The arched recess in which she sits suggests a shrine. She wears a high-girt chiton with a V-neck. The transparent cloth reveals her navel and the shape of her breasts. A heavier cloth himation is draped over her l. shoulder and arm and comes around her back to fall in a thick fold across her lap and knees. The feet and lower part of the chiton show beneath it. A heavy fold or strap also falls over her r. shoulder. On her head the goddess wears a polos. Her hair is parted in the center and goes toward the back in a thick bunch. All facial features are worn away. The arms are both brought forward; her r. one rests on the head of a lion, the l. hand is broken off, but may have held an attribute. The lion on this side is smaller. Both lions are sitting, and frontal. The feet of the goddess rest on a footstool. Above the arched panel, the chisel marks are still evident. The stone is topped by a simple molding.

Below the recessed panel is an inscription.

Buckler and Robinson (Sardis VII, 101) say that the form of the letters suggests a date in the 2nd or 3rd C. A.D.



Complete, except for minor chipping at corners.

H. 0.42; W. 0.215; Th. 0.058; letters 0.008-0.012.
Cf. also a number of Cybele reliefs from Ephesus, Bammer-Fleischer-Knibbe, Fuhrer Museum Selcuk-Ephesos, 163ff., and further references p. 166.
See Also
Published: Sardis VII, 100-101, no. 101, fig. 89 and earlier references;, 261, no. 702 (suggests that the I. hand rests on a tympanum). A Cybele from Cyrene is seated similarly between two lions and wears a similar chiton, Paribeni, Catalogo Cirene, no. 232, pl. 120. On the development of this type of Cybele, cf. Thompson, Terracottas, 77ff. A fine example comes from a private house, Priene: Gerda Bruns, Antike Terrakotten, 42, fig. 26.