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Mercury with child

The messenger god Mercury can be identified by his winged cap and the purse. The depiction of Mercury with a child goes back to the childhood of the wine god Dionysius: Mercury brings the child under the protection of the Nymphs of Nysa.

Here, however, the child is encircled by snakes. This cannot possibly be a young Dionysius. Who is the child? The existence of this imagery in an area between the Mosel and Rhine rivers indicates that it may be a local god that was merged with Mercury.

Another image at the Main Limes of Mercury with child was found at the hilltop shrine on the Greinberg, by Miltenberg. This has been lost. The statuette from Stockstadt is dedicated to "Mithrae Mercurio".

Location
Found in 1902 in the far right corner of Mithraeum I which was erected in 210 AD.

Archaeology
Statuette of white sandstone; height 97cm, width 27cm, depth 25.5cm; dating in the second half of the third century.

Literature
Mattern 2005, 18ff., 83. Drexel 1910, 86.

Links

Lupa Nr. 7238

Lupa Nr. 6908

Mercury with child
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1 Mercury with child © Saalburgmuseum

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung