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Supplementary Images

Hercules in the hypogeum at the Via Dino Compagni, Rome

This page contains the PhD thesis abstract and supplementary images (or links to images) as referred to in this paper by Gail Tatham for the volume Herakles inside and outside the Church: from the first Apologists to the end of the Quattrocento; Editors: Arlene Allan (Otago), Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides (Macquarie); Series Editor: Emma Stafford (Leeds).

Please note that the image thumbnails (shown where copyright is unrestricted) have been cropped to their centre by the page template used. These images are clickable (the target is the link text displayed) and will then show in a full version (i.e. a thumbnail of part of a statue will produce an image of the whole statue).

Tatham, G. (2007) Stories of Moses and Visual Narration in Jewish and Early

This thesis considers aspects of the evolution of narrative art in Judaism and early Christianity, and deals in particular with narrative figure scenes in which Moses is the principal figure. Current theories, espoused by Kurt Weitzmann, posit the existence of a Jewish illustrated manuscript tradition dating back to the Hellenistic period, which could have been the source for Old Testament scenes in art. In the light of these proposals and taking into account more recent narrative theory, this study of early Moses-scenes in art takes up the suggestion that a wide range of visual narrative scenes, closely following a given text and with a tendency to arrange these scenes in narrative sequence, might indicate the presence of a lost illustrated manuscript which artists are using as their model.
Stories about Moses originate from within Judaism, and are mentioned also in Christian texts for the first three centuries CE, when Moses is regarded as the forerunner of Christ. While earlier Jewish art largely conformed to the proscription against figural art, narrative scenes illustrating Old Testament stories are known from the late-second century CE. In the synagogue at Dura Europos (c.250 CE), the range of biblical imagery includes five or six scenes illustrating stories from Exodus and Numbers, although Weitzmann’s criteria are only partially fulfilled.
During the third century CE, when the earliest Christian art is found, Christians use Old Testament imagery as well, including a cycle of scenes illustrating the story of Jonah. The decoration in the baptistery in the Christian house at Dura, like that in the synagogue there, shows some interest in visual narrative, although in this case no Moses scenes are involved. At this time there is only one Moses story illustrated in Christian art, the miracle of the spring (based on Exodus 17). The iconography for this scene is simple and straightforward, and is used in Rome “emblematically” to promote ideas rather than stories about Moses. To anticipate the findings here, it becomes clear that before the fourth century CE there is very little correlation between the way Moses is represented in Jewish art and the way he appears in early Christianity. If at this time Christian artists know of a narrative cycle involving Moses, they show very little interest in reflecting this.

I Introduction 1
II Image and text 6
III Visual narration in Greco-Roman art 21
IV The stories about Moses 57
V Moses in early Jewish art 97
VI The earliest Christian art 141
VII The miracle of the spring 180
VIII Conclusions 215
Abbreviations 226
Bibliography 227

Virtual tour of the hypogeum

A virtual tour of the hypogeum can be found on the Google maps website: ‘Ipogeo di via Dino Compagni’ (image capture September 2013)

Hercules' Labours

Labours-of Hercules sarcophagus front (c.240-50 CE), marble, made in Rome, Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps 8642; Jongste 1992, F6.

For the motif of Hercules dragging the Nemean lion, see the bronze medallion of Commodus, below.

Hercules and the Hydra

Hercules on the reverse of gold coins by Maximian Herculius issued under the Tetrarchy (293-4 CE), where the inscription, ‘to Hercules the conqueror’, celebrates both Hercules’ and Maximian’s fighting prowess.

Rome Calico 4662. Maximianus. 286-305 AD. AV Aureus, 5.54 g. AD 293-294. Rome mint. MAXIMIA-NVS PF AVG, laureate head right / HERCVLI DEBELLAT, Hercules standing right, grasping one of the heads of the Lernean hydra and wielding club, whilst the hydra wraps its tail around Hercules' left leg.

The WildWinds website has been created as a reference and attribution resource in the field of ancient numismatics.
Hercules with the golden apples of the Hesperides (first to second century CE), gilded bronze, found Forum Boarium, Rome, Capitoline Museum.
Gilded bronze statue of Hercules with the golden apples of the Hesperides (first to second century CE), found Theatre of Pompey, Rome, Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums.
Hercules with the golden apples of the Hesperides (second century CE), marble, Ludovisi collection, Rome, Palazzo Altemps, Museo Nazionale Romano, inv. 8573.
The Farnese version of this type, found in the Baths of Caracalla in 1546, has a bulkier Hercules, who looks wearier, and holds the apples behind his back, leaning on his lowered club.

This ancient statue of Hercules, probably an enlarged copy or version of a Greek original (probably fourth century BCE by Lysippus or his circle), was made in the early third century CE and signed by Glykon. Marble, Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples.

Thumbnail image: Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)
Hercules shown at rest after his labours, holding the golden apples triumphantly, his club lowered in a standard gesture of peace on a lidded sarcophagus made in Rome (150-180 CE), marble, London, British Museum 1873 0820.760 (unrestored).
A close iconographic parallel can be found on bronze coins of Constantius I (Chlorus). For example, on the reverse of a bronze antoninianus of Constantius I (294), VIRTVS A_VGG, Ticinum mint.

The WildWinds website has been created as a reference and attribution resource in the field of ancient numismatics.

The dextrarum iunctio is the formal joining of two individuals’ right hands

There is an iconographic tradition of Herakles and Athene using this dexiosis gesture, dating back to Greek sources and denoting their ‘special relationship’.

E.g. Herakles and Athene dexiosis on an Attic black figure oinochoe (c.500 BCE), attributed to the Gela Painter, London, British Museum B498.

Front of a vita humana sarcophagus

Front of a vita humana sarcophagus (c.176-93 CE), marble, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 47.8.9a-c.

Image released by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through its "Public Domain High Resolution Image Available" policy.

Hercules and Cerberus

Hercules and the capture of Cerberus appears on the left short side of a labours-of-Hercules sarcophagus (c.150-70 CE), Florence, Uffizi Gallery, inv. 110.

The long side of the sarcophagus.
The short side of the sarcophagus is more easily visible in the image available online in McCann, 1978, 72, fig. 78.

The whole book, published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, can be read for free online or downloaded as a pdf, accessed through the museum website.

Hercules & the capture of Cerberus on the reverse of a gold coin of Probus

RIC 588 var
Probus, AV aureus. Siscia. AD 276-282. 22mm, 5.90 g. IMP C M AVR PROBVS P F A VG, helmeted and cuirassed bust left, holding round shield and spear over shoulder / HERCVLI INMORT ALI, Hercules walking right, looking left, holding lionskin and club, dragging Cerberus from the entrance of Hades behind him. RIC V 588 var. (obv. legend); Calicó 4160 var. (ditto); Pink VI-1, 9.

British Museum: 1867,0101.855

Hercules dragging dead Nemean lion (Bronze medallion of Commodus)

The motif also occurs on the sarcophagus front cited in footnote 28.

Commodus medallion: the reverse of a bimetallic medallion of Commodus (192), Rome mint, Gnecchi, 1912, no. 32 var (bust type).

Combining the Cerberus exploit with the Alcestis one

As on the front of the sarcophagus of Euhodus and Metilia Acte (161-70 CE), marble, found Ostia, Vatican, Museo Chiaramonti, inv. 1195.

Wedding of Bellerophon and Philonoe

Fourth century CE, mosaic floor from cubiculum 14, House of the Nymphs, Neapolis (Nabeul), Tunisia. Nabeul Regional Museum.

Photo by Barbara F. MacManus for VRoma

The seated Admetus

Example from the House of the Tragic Poet, Pompeii VI.8.3, Room 8 (45-79 CE), fresco, Naples, Archaeological Museum 9027.

The standard deathbed scene

On vita humana sarcophagi family members gather round to tend a sick person and mourn as they die; figures with hands raised in the conclamatio, the ritual cry of mourning, are often included.

For example, on a sarcophagus of a young girl with lid (c.200-220 CE), marble, made in Rome, London, British Museum 1805,0703.144.
Such deathbed scenes occur on mythological sarcophagi as well, referencing dying heroes/heroines such as Meleager, Protesilaus and Alcestis.

For example, as on the front of a sarcophagus (c.180 CE), the death of Meleager, marble, Paris, Louvre Museum Ma 539.

Hercules enjoys his reward

Hercules can be thought of as enjoying his reward at ease in the idyllic Garden of the Hesperides or with Minerva on Olympus.

Seated Hercules at ease in the Garden of the Hesperides, with inverse club (c. 410-400 BCE), attributed to the Meidias Painter, Attic red-figure hydria, London, British Museum, London E224.
Seated Hercules playing a lyre in the presence of the gods (including Minerva) on Olympus (169 CE), stucco relief, ceiling, Tomb of the Pancratii, Rome, Via Latina; Newby 2016, 228-72, figure 5.16.