Roman Bronze Figurine of Jupiter and Amalthea

£ 2,400.00

A magnificent Roman bronze statuette of a young goat and an impressive eagle perched on its back. Realistically rendered, the small kid is depicted with all four feet planted on the ground, its hooves distinguished from the rounded dewclaw. Muscular thighs lead to a barrelled body and thick neck, decorated with incised linear strokes to create the wool of its thick coat. The kid’s head leans slightly to one side, the features elegant, with almond-shaped eyes and pointed muzzle marked with incised markings. Two small pointed ears point outwards and a small, pricked tail features at the rear. The attention to detail clearly marks this quadruped as a young goat.

Perched on the mammal’s back is a large bird, most likely an eagle. It’s talons grip the goats fur, stabilising it’s body. The two large wings are slightly unfurled, as though in mid flight and it’s small head looks into the distance. Similarly, the sculptor has paid great attention to the bird’s feathers; the rows of primary, secondary and tail-feathers clearly defined. Eagles were a favourite subject matter for the ancient Roman; the bird featuring heavily within their mythological corpus. The delicate nature of the composition would allude to a scene featuring the god Jupiter as the eagle and the young goat that reared him as a child. An exceptionally detailed statuette with a rare subject matter.

Date: Circa 2nd-3rd century AD
Condition: Excellent. Very clear detailing and attention to detail. Minute hole to bronze, near the eagle's eye.
Product Code: RES-216
Category: Tags: , ,

This delicate figurine presents the mythological figures of Jupiter, as an eagle, and the goddess Amalthea, represented as a young goat. Within the corpus of ancient mythology, Amalthea is represented as both a young goat or a nymph, who used the milk of a goat to feed the infant god, saving him from being consumed by his father Kronus. According to a Cretan legend, it was prophesied that Kronus would be defeated by his children. Attempting to change his fate, he swallowed them up, one by one. The only child to survive the ordeal was Zeus, swapped for a swaddled stone by his mother, Rhea. Zeus, or Jupiter as the Romans adopted, was hidden in a Cretan cave and raised by Amalthea. Once he came of age, the god exacted revenge, killing Kronus and the Titans and releasing his siblings from their human prison.

Artistically, Amalthea was represented as both a human nymph, beside a goat, or as the animal itself.

Weight 47.79 g
Dimensions L 4.1 x W 1.2 x H 4.7 cm



Southern Europe

Roman Mythology


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