Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau OristanoAntiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano

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Antiquarium Arborense
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano - Tel: 0783 791262 -

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Collection highlights: statue of god Silvanus

Statue of god Silvanus

23 maggio 2020

The Antiquarium Arborense houses a marble statue of god Silvanus, which dates back to the 2nd century AD, from Tharros. It is supposed to be a statue of Genius.

Raimondo Zucca has proposed the attribution of this statue to Silvanus, a god with human face, but sometimes it was depicted with goat's paws, hooves and horns on his forehead. Considered the deity of woods and countryside, protector of flocks and properties, he appears in statues, reliefs, mosaics and paintings.

The statue, unfortunately headless, shows the iconography of a naked god with the skin of a goat, partially preserved, tied on the right shoulder, a pine trunk on the left and a sickle with gamma-shaped blade; the left hand (missing) holding ears, flowers, fruits, crowned by a pinecone. Part of the arm, forearm and the right hand are missing, such as the extremities of both legs, although the ponderatio of the sculpture (typical of statues with one supporting leg) on the left leg is plausible.

Comparisons with the Silvanus of the Museo Nacional de Madrid, the statues of the Ny Carlsberg Gliptotek in Copenhagen, the Altes Museum in Berlin, the Muzeul Național de Istorie a României in Bucharest and, for the blade sickle, the reliefs of Rome (CIL VI 3712; 31180) and Aquincum (Hungarian National Museum.-AE 2008, 1130) confirm the attribution of this statue to Silvanus.

The Latin god Silvanus played a role in the birth of the Etruscan theonym Selvans, known since the 5th century BC but especially in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

In Latin epigraphy we know about 1100 inscriptions dedicated to Silvanus, dating from the Imperial age: in fact, there is only one inscription from Beneventum (AE 1925, 118) dating from the first century BC.
In Sardinia, there is an inscription dedicated to Diana and Silvanus in the nemus Sorabensis (the Sorabile wood, a station of the internal road from Olbia to Karales). The epigraph was written by the governor of Sardinia, Gaius Ulpio Severo, in the 2nd century AD (AE 1992, 891).


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Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano  |   Tel: 0783 791262  | ConsulMedia 2012

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