• r2-270-10
    Honorary stele with horseman, Louvre MND 438. (Photographs by Chuzeville, courtesy of Musée du Louvre, Paris)

Honorary Stele with Horseman

Late Hellenistic or very early Roman Imperial, Hellenistic or Roman
Paris, Louvre, MND 438
Museum Inventory No.
MND 438
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Louvre MND438
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Inscription Text
<Ο> Ὁ δῆμος ἐτίμησ-
εν Ἄτταλον Θεο-
δότου ἥρωαἥρωα
Inscription Translation
The people honored the hero Attalos, son of Theodotos.
Inscription Comment
As observed by L. Robert (letter May 3, 1976), the inscription and stele were seen by Radet at Bakir in the upper Cayster Valley in 1886, and the inscription subsequently published in Radet and Lechat, Inscriptions de Lydie, 478, no. 56.

A horseman is shown riding to r. and approaching a round altar and tree. He wears a short tunic and a cloak attached with a brooch. His face is too damaged to determine whether or not he was bearded. A snake drinks from a patera (?) on the altar. A woman in peplos stands at the r. Her proper r. arm is bent to bring her hand (now lost) to her chin; the I. arm is held across her body, the I. hand under her r. elbow. At her feet a swaddled infant is lying on a bed that has short legs. The child’s head is on a raised rectangular pillow (?); his face is eroded.

Below, the inscription reads:

L. Robert (letter Apr. 13, 1976) states that the work is “not a dedication to a hero [but] a posthumous honor rendered by the people to the deceased; this is the ordinary sense of ἤρως in texts of this kind. It is very frequent that at the death of a notable the people rendered an honorific decree and associated themselves with the funerary ceremonies . . . The scene at the right represents the family left behind by the dead man, a wife and a child in a cradle.” The type of the woman goes back to the late 5th C. B.C., as in the Medea-Peliades reliefs. The style and the use of the frontal figure point to the late Hellenistic or very early Imperial age.

This piece is from another site in Lydia, but in the past, it has been mistakenly attributed to Sardis.



Lower inscribed part and most of relief preserved.

H. 0.43; W. 0.40; Th. 0.10; H. of letters 0.02.
This piece is from another site in Lydia, but in the past, it has been mistakenly attributed to Sardis.
See Also
Data courtesy of F. Baratte. For Medea-Peliades reliefs see , no. 925; Helbig-Speier, Fuhrer durch Sammlungen Rom I, 761-762, no. 1060 (1154); R. Carpenter, Observations on Familiar Statuary, 62, pl. 21.