Skip Navigation

Cippus of Horus on the Crocodiles

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
In Egyptian mythology, the goddess Isis raised Horus by hiding him in the marshes from his enemy, Seth. Cippi, or magical stelae, represent Horus’s healing from scorpion stings and snakebites in the marshes. Egyptians believed that a liquid poured over a magical stela could absorb and transfer the power of the stela’s spells and images to the worshipper.

Traditional Egyptian magic and religion such as this thrived throughout the fourth and third centuries B.C.E. despite the largely non-Egyptian origin of the country’s rulers at that time.
MEDIUM Steatite
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 3rd century B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 9 1/8 x 5 5/16 x 2 3/16 in. (23.2 x 13.5 x 5.6 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Black steatite cippus of Horus on the crocodiles, Conventional type with Horus in high relief standing against round top stela and grasping scorpions, lion and gazelle in his hands. Figure of Horus surmounted by head of Bes; Osiris and Min in high relief on background, other deities in sunk relief. All surfaces including under side of base inscribed in hieroglyphic. Condition: Intact. One chip with loss of text in center of back of stela. Green adhesion (ancient) on back.
    CAPTION Cippus of Horus on the Crocodiles, 3rd century B.C.E. Steatite, 9 1/8 x 5 5/16 x 2 3/16 in. (23.2 x 13.5 x 5.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 60.73. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum (Gavin Ashworth,er), 60.73_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 60.73_Gavin_Ashworth_photograph.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph (Gavin Ashworth, photographer), 2012
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.