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LR138 - Click to enlarge

LR138 - Click to enlarge

LR138 - Click to enlarge


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Reference: LR138

Hercules and the Nemean lion

Period: Roman

Origin: Syro-Palestine

Date: 90 - 150 AD

A distinctive type peculiar to the Levant.

On discus: Hercules fighting the Nemean lion, his discarded club shown at right.

The shoulder of the lamp is decorated with a band of pointed motifs, interrupted at each side by the "double-axe" device, a feature of lamps from this part of the Mediterranean. The nozzle is flanked by stylised volutes.

The base bears the initials of the lampmaker: HV

Fabric: Pale pinkish-buff clay

Manufacture: Mouldmade

Size: L. 8.5 cm

Condition: Perfect, from a slightly worn mould.

Sorry, this item has been sold.

For the type, see Hayes, 351-6.
Kennedy Type 5.

Fighting the Nemean lion was the first of the twelve labours set for Hercules. He was asked by King Eurystheus to bring him the skin of an invulnerable lion which was terrorising the hills around Nemea. When Hercules got to Nemea and began tracking the terrible lion, he soon discovered his arrows were useless against the beast. Hercules picked up his club and went after the lion. Following it to a cave which had two entrances, Hercules blocked one of the doorways, then approached the fierce lion through the other. Grasping the lion in his mighty arms, and ignoring its powerful claws, he held it tightly until he had choked it to death.

From an old French collection

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