Kriophoros (Ram-Bearer), Statuette

Kriophoros (Ram-Bearer), Statuette

650-600 BC

Terracotta and polychrome

Overall: 17.5 x 9.6 x 8 cm (6 7/8 x 3 3/4 x 3 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.172


Did you know?

This heroic figure is shown presenting a ram, most likely as a sacrificial offering to a god or goddess.


In Greek art, the kriophoros is usually a shepherd or, later, Hermes. This statuette may be unique in presenting a warrior-hero as kriophoros. It is certainly one of the earliest sculptural representations of this type. The figure appears to be wearing a helmet, secured under the chin with a painted strap. Double outlines, reinforced at the bottom with incision and adorned with dotted circles in the area of the nipples, were used to suggest breastplates. A thick waist belt, decorated with painted crosshatched lines, is clearly the heroic zoster (warrior's belt). As described in ancient Homeric poetry, the zoster is the ultimate symbol of valor and prowess, worn by such heroes as the brothers Agamemnon and Menelaos and old King Nestor. This figure is shown in the solemn act of presenting a ram, most likely as a sacrificial offering, to a god or goddess.

See also
GR - Greek
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 

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