Oceanus, god of the river. Frontal bearded head with silver inlaid eyes against a formalized background of the scales of his body, within a modelled rim. Small cheeks, nose and forehead. Two dolphins rampant above act as a crown; two fish peer from the locks of his hair; two more dive out of his beard. top of roundel broken and missing

Boss with Head of Oceanus, 1st-2nd century

expand_more

This bronze medallion depicts the bearded head of Oceanus, the god of the river which the ancients believed surrounded the earth and was the source of all waters. A boss served as an ornamental attachment to a piece of domestic or religious furniture. There are remnants of silver and copper inlays on the god's eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead. Various sea creatures dive in and out of his flowing beard, while two dolphins on his head function as a crown. Oceanus is set against a background of scales, in reference to the tradition that he had a human head and a fish's body.

Details
Title
Boss with Head of Oceanus
Role
Artist
Dimension
4 1/2 in. (11.43 cm)
Accession Number
61.58
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Show Detail

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.

Oceanus, god of the river. Frontal bearded head with silver inlaid eyes against a formalized background of the scales of his body, within a modelled rim. Small cheeks, nose and forehead. Two dolphins rampant above act as a crown; two fish peer from the locks of his hair; two more dive out of his beard. top of roundel broken and missing