Seated Silenus, 2nd century BCE - early 1st century CE

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Silenus is characterized as a follower of Dionysos or Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, by the panther skin draped over his shoulder, the grape wreath in his hair, and his inebriated state. Silenus’s fat belly and saggy breasts are the result of decades of bacchanalian drinking and feasting. Moreover, the pronounced breasts of Silenus reflect the feminine body type of Dionysos himself, who is often characterized by hermaphroditic features in ancient literature. In other images of Silenus, he is often shown with a satyress simultaneously breastfeeding two infants, emphasizing this analogy between milk and wine.

Seated Silenus
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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