Marble Bust of a Lion-headed Deity of the Mithras Cult

Culture: Roman
Period: 2nd-3rd century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 14.5 cm high
Price: Sold
Ref: 3342
Provenance: Old French private collection M., Avignon. Accompanied by a French antiquities passport.
Condition: Rare fragment of high quality.
Description: Very rare marble bust of a lion-headed deity of the Mithras cult. The lion with a gaze from deep-lying eyes with pierced pupils. Between the bulging eye brows a deep wrinkle leading to the broad muzzle, the mouth, only preserved as a fragment, open with visible teeth. The lion with a thick mane cascading on the back. Typical for the lion god of the Mithras cult are the snakes coiling around the body. The first one stretches around the back of the head and places its head on the forehead of the lion. The other two winding around the neck and torso of the deity. On the right shoulder a lion protome. The name and significance of the lion-headed deity of the Mithras cult are unclear until present. Possibly the figure represents a power conquered by Mithras, similar to Perseus defeating Medusa.