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Funerary Stela of C. Julius Valerius

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

This funerary stela, the oldest in this exhibition by several centuries, shows a boy who died when he was three. His father, a Roman soldier, was stationed near Alexandria. His Egyptian mother is not mentioned. The child’s costume and pose are Roman, but his long sidelock of hair is traditionally Egyptian, as are the jackal god Anubis and the falcon god Horus above his head. The griffin in the lower right corner represents the classical goddess Nemesis, who controlled life and death.
MEDIUM Limestone, traces of paint
  • Possible Place Collected: Terenouthis
  • DATES 3rd century C.E.
    PERIOD Roman Period
    DIMENSIONS 14 3/16 x 10 1/16 x 2 3/16 in. (36 x 25.5 x 5.5 cm)  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 16.105
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Funerary Stela of C. Julius Valerius, 3rd century C.E. Limestone, traces of paint, 14 3/16 x 10 1/16 x 2 3/16 in. (36 x 25.5 x 5.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Evangeline Wilbour Blashfield, Theodora Wilbour, and Victor Wilbour honoring the wishes of their mother, Charlotte Beebe Wilbour, as a memorial to their father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 16.105. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 16.105_PS1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 16.105_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2009
    "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.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Limestone funerary stelae of C. Julius Valerius standing in high relief within a temple facade. At his shoulder he is flanked by a Horus-hawk and a jackal (?). At his feet are an altar and a griffin. At the base are four rows of Latin inscription giving the name and the boy’s age at his death as three. The child is clad in Roman costume and wears the side-lock of youth. In his left hand is a bucket perhaps a type of situla. With his right hand he grasps a circular object which is perhaps an offering which is about to place on the small altar. He is probably intended to represent Horus. The griffin in the lower right corner seems to show Greek influence. While the stela is of a well-known type it is of special interest as an example showing the mingling of classical and Egyptian influences. Latin inscriptions are also none too common in Egypt. The background instead of being smooth and cut is hatched in a very crude way. Extensive but faint traces of bright red paint remain as the background. Condition: Edges considerably chipped. Paint gone. General condition good.
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