The CBd
Bonner, SMA, 146.

inscription βαινχωωωχ, “soul of darkness,” again apparently an epithet of the sun.
Another type shows Harpocrates as a youth, standing with a cornucopia held in his left hand and resting against his shoulder. The right hand is raised towards his lips, and the left elbow is supported by a pillar.37 This type, with minor variations, is used on coins of Domitian, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius. Here Harpocrates seems to be an agrarian divinity, the giver of the fruits of the earth. Some authorities use the name Karpokrates for this phase of the young god;38 but since it seems to owe its origin to nothing more than an effort on the part of the Greeks to find a meaning in the first part of the name, its use is merely unnecessarily confusing.
In his catalogue of the Borgia collection Zoega describes a well-cut heliotrope (bloodstone) which represents Harpocrates as a youth, standing, his left hand raised towards his lips, his right holding a whip.39 His body, of which the lower part is broken away, was encircled several times with a serpent which passes across the belly, behind the right arm, under the left arm and behind the neck, its head poised over the head of the god. A cock-headed god on the reverse side of the gem reminds us once more how frequently that type is associated with Harpocrates, and seems to show that the representation of the deity as a youth in the coils of a serpent is a solar type no less than the child on the lotus flower. But it is noteworthy that the snake enwraps the body of Harpocrates in exactly the same way that it coils round the figure of the monstrous lion-headed god, to whom scholars have given the name of Chronos (as infinite time) or Aion, and whose image has several times been found associated with Mithraic sanctuaries.40 Another less monstrous figure, the so-called Phanes of the beautiful Modena relief, a youthful figure entirely human except that it has cloven hoofs, is much nearer to the type described by Zoega.41 Cumont publishes a fragment of a basalt statue in the Louvre, representing a god with a serpent so closely coiled about him as to show no part of his body between the folds.42 It has been supposed to

37 This design is not uncommon, but only a few examples are accompanied by inscriptions; and the legends that occur are religious acclamations rather than magical charms. A rather poor specimen in the Ruthven collection has on its reverse the words νικᾷ ἡ Εἶσις (D. 216). Harpocrates is shown in the same posture, with slight variations, on six gems in the British Museum (Cat. of Engraved Gems 1799–1804, the first two illustrated on Pl. 23). There are ten in the Museo Borgiano (Zoega, pp. 435–436, 5–14). Eight of these are without inscription. One (No. 13) has ἡ χάρις on the reverse; the other (No. 12) deserves notice because it emphasizes the celestial and, in particular, the solar significance of Harpocrates. Round the main design are the words ὦ οὐρανέ, Ιαω αβρα[σαξ] on the reverse is the radiate sun-god standing with his left hand raised, the right holding a whip. With the obverse inscription we may compare ο ωρανος αδωνε (ὁ οὐρανὸς Αδωναι?) on the reverse of a stone published by Spon (Recherches curieuses, p. 124, No. 24), which has the same type of Harpocrates on its obverse face. For examples of the standing Harpocrates with cornucopia as a coin type see Dattari, Pl. 14, 497; cf. also 1375, 1719 on the same plate.
38 Perdrizet, Terres cuites, p. 28.
39 Museo Borgiano, p. 444, 48.
40 Cumont, Les Religions orientales 4, Pl. I, 1, p. 28; Monuments, I, 74 ff.
41 There is an excellent illustration of this monument in Doro Levi's article “Aion” (Hesperia, 13, 290, fig. 16; see also 299); also in Rev. arch., 40 (1902), 1 ff., and Pl. 1 (Cumont). See now also Nilsson in Symb. Oslo., 24, 1–7.
42 Cumont, Monuments, I, 79, fig. 1.

Last modified: 2012-10-29 16:38:02

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