Daedalic Pendant with Potnia Theron (Mistress of the Animals)

Daedalic Pendant with Potnia Theron (Mistress of the Animals)

650-600 BC

Gold and glass-like substance

Overall: 3 x 2 cm (1 3/16 x 13/16 in.)

Gift of James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell 2001.157

Fun Fact

Potnia Theron, a term first used by the Epic poet Homer, is applied to female divinities associated with animals.

Description

The pendant received in 2001 (2001.157) was originally from the same necklace as the identical pendant acquired by the museum in 1999 (1999.88). Both are exceptionally well preserved and depict the winged goddess Artemis, frontally posed and flanked by two lions. Each lion stands obediently on its hind legs, one forepaw placed symmetrically near the goddess's waist, head turned back. In Homer's Iliad, Artemis is called potnia theron, which means "mistress of the animals," a reference that may be applied to this image of the goddess. On the pendants, her image was created in a sheet of gold by burnishing it over a wooden, ceramic, or stone form. Alternating cloisons of green and blue glass enamel within an undulating gold wire frame the goddess and represent the earliest use of this substance yet known in Greek gold jewelry. The small loops at the bottom of the pendants probably held chains attached to pomegranate-shaped beads.

See also

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