19. King fights lion

This is an important subject, clearly related to those examples in the series where the lion-fighter seems to be Heracles, but taking precedence since this is an eastern motif and there are indications, though puzzling, of identification. There seems a real distinction between Type A, in which the figure wears a conical headdress or mitre and usually wields a weapon, and Type B in which the figure has a flat-topped cap, in proportion but not detail like a Persian crown. The subject occurs also on Persian seals. The king commonly extends his hand over the lion and is presumed to be holding the creature's forelock, as in scenes where the opponent is human (18), but the gesture is less explicit and the hand with the grasped hair sometimes misplaced.

A. The king with conical mitre

The king is bearded and normally wears dress of Assyrian type with one leg bared and, on the better pieces, a curved outline to the cloak covering the other leg. There are simpler variants.

West

19/1 Ibiza no. 75 (Barcelona 9374). BH;EXO. The king with raised axe treads down the lion which turns away, head averted, holding its forelock. Star above. V

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19/2 Cagliari 19804, from Tharros. Marmora, pl. B 76; AG pl. 15.10; NBAS 2 (1985) 197, fig. 8 (Acquaro). BH;EXO. The king treads down the lion whose forelock he holds (?); he wields an axe. It turns away. V

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19/3 Cagliari 9490 (Spano 31), from Tharros. NBAS 2 (1985) 198, fig. 9 (as 9481; Acquaro). BL. Pose with lion as on the last. He holds a sword (?) in lowered hand. Star above. III

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19/4 Cagliari 9481 (Spano 14), from Tharros. BL;EXnb. The king throttles the lion which rears up, forelegs splayed. He holds a sickle in his lowered hand. Disc above. V

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19/5 R. Arcais Coll., from Tharros. Marmora, pl. B 75. BH;EXO. The group as the last. Flat crown in the drawing, but perhaps inaccurate.

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19/6 Coll. Chessa, from Sardinia. Ebers, pl. F 31. BH; beaded groundline. King grapples rearing lion, holding both its paws (?). III

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19/7 Coll. Chessa, from Sardinia. Ebers, pl. G 43. BL; ExZ. King confronts rearing lion, its head averted. Disc-and-crescent above. III

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19/8 Spano Coll. Ebers, pl. G 42. BL;EXCR. King throttles rearing lion, its forelegs splayed; short dress. He holds a sword in lowered hand. Disc above. III

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19/9 Kerkouan Museum. REPPAL 9 (1995) pl. 4.10. BL;EXCR. As the last; crescent and disc above. III

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East

19/10 Nicosia D.5. BL;EXZ. Reyes, no. 119. Naked figure? before rearing lion. Winged disc above.

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19/11 Paris, Bibl.Nat., de Clercq II, no. 55bis, pl. 7. Nunn no. 55. BH. King confronts rearing lion, its head averted, holding its forelock. Sword in lowered hand. V

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19/12 Paris, Bibl.Nat., de Clercq no. 2764, pl. 18, from Beirut (E 25924). Nunn no. 50. BL;EXCR. King confronts rearing lion; short dress; disc-and-crescent above. III

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19/13 Paris, BN 1026. Scaraboid. Menant, II, pl. 9.9. BL; double groundline. King confronts rearing lion; staff (?) in lowered hand.

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19/14 Impression, once Seyrig. AJBA 1 (1968) 70, pl. 3.1 (Culican); Nunn no. 62. BL. Attack with raised axe as on 19/2 but the king also wears a quiver. A running dog behind; disc-and-crescent above. VI

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19/15 Impression, once Seyrig. AJBA 1 (1968) 70, pl. 3.3 (Culican); Nunn no. 52. BH; EXO. King grapples rearing lion. III

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19/16 Oxford III, no. 475 (1889.390), from Syrian coast. Nunn no. 51. HB;EXCR.

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Other

19/17 New York, Rosen 217. BH;EXO. King grapples rearing lion. IV

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19/18 New York, Rosen 219. BL. King with quiver at waist and wielding an axe pursues a fleeing lion, its head averted. Behind the king a dog; disc-and-crescent above. IV

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19/19 New York, Rosen 191. BL;EXCR. Figure with pointed cap and apron grappling with rearing lion. Disc-and-crescent above. II/IV

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19/20 New York market. Christies 8.6.01, no. 232. BL;EXCR. The king holds a sword, and treads down the lion which turns away, head averted, holding its forelock. Above, star and a dumpy winged disc.

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B. The king with vertical crown

The crown is sometimes striated to resemble the Persian crown, or it is shapless but not pointed. The dress usually covers both legs and may be patterned as on many Persian seals, but at least once is divided as in Type A. The usual scheme is for the lion to be rearing before the king who grapples it; weapons are not prominent but the addition of a tree and star is common.

West

19/21 Ibiza no. 76 (Madrid 16990). BL;EXCR. The king has neither crown nor helmet but hair dressed. A short skirt is shown over the dress covering the rear leg. He grapples the lion, its head averted, and holds a curved sickle (?) in his lowered hand. V

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19/22 Ibiza no. 77 (Barcelona 9378). BH;EXO. Lion head averted; star above; tree behind. V

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19/23 Ibiza no. 78 (Moreno 3). Fragment. BH;EXO. As the last. V

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19/24 Tharros pl. 58c (BM ANE 133822), London no. 384. BH;EXO. V

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19/25 Como, Mus.Civ., from Tharros. RSF 6 (1978) pl. 5.2 (Pisano); AttiFP II, pl. 86.1. BH; on a gold hoop B.

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19/26 Toronto 927.7.3, from Tharros. Bull. Royal Ontario Museum 1929, 13, fig. BL;EXO. Tree behind. V

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19/27 Coll. Chessa, from Sardinia. Ebers, pl. F 32. BH;EX? Tree behind. IV

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19/28 Milan (once Busacchi), from Tharros. BAS 4, 97, pl. 2.21. BH;EXCR. As the last, with tree and disc above; lion head averted. Spiky crown. V

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19/29 Lord Vernon Coll., from Tharros. Marmora, pl. B 74. BH;EXO. Tree behind.

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19/30 Carthage no. 550. B?;EX? IV

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East

19/31 Indiana 64.70.11. AJBA 1 (1968) 90, fig. 11 (Culican); Berry no. 13 (so acquired in east). BH;EXO. Lion head averted; tree behind; star above. V

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Other

19/32 Cologne, Kunstg.Mus., once Treskow. BH;EXO. Lion head averted; tree behind, star above.

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19/33 Zurich market, NAAG Cat. 7 (1991) no. 69; Syria 76 (1999) 265, fig. 46. As (? =) the last.

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19/34 Cambridge, Lewis Coll. M. Henig, The Lewis Collection of Gemstones (1975) no. 263. BL. Lion head averted.

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19/35 Paris, BN, Chandon de Briailles. BH;EXCR; on gold hoop B. Lion head averted; tree behind; star above. V

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19/36 Chevalier de Palin (probably from east). Lajard, pl. 68.14. BH;EXO. Lion head averted; tree behind; star above. (? = the last)

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19/37 New York, Rosen 205. BH;EXCR. Branch behind; star above. IV

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C. Other

West

19/38 Ibiza no. 79 (Madrid 36991). BL;EXCR. The king holds the lion upside down. V

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19/39 Tharros pl. 58d (BM ANE 133720), London no. 399. BL;EXCR. Small figure in pointed cap with spear confronts standing lion, head averted; disc-and-crescent above. II/III

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19/40 S. Carta Coll., from Tharros. Marmora, pl. B 89. BL;EXCR. Figure with spear and pointed cap confronts standing lion, head averted; disc-and-crescent above. VI

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19/41 Spano Coll., from Tharros. Marmora, p. 130. On gold mount and hoop A. EXCR. Egyptianizing. Small figure with short skirt grapples large rearing lion round waist; uraeus behind.

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East

19/42 Jerusalem IAA 73-129 (once Lefkowitz), from Akko. CSAPI I, no. 122. BL;EXZ. Figure with pointed cap with tassel fights rearing lion with a spear. II

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19/43 Ashkelon 30752, from Ashkelon. CSAPI no. 59. BH;EXnb. The king is bare-headed, with short skirt, grapples standing lion holding its legs. III

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Other

19/44 Paris, Louvre A 1085. Delaporte II, pl. 103.23. BL. Summary naked figure with pointed cap faces standing lion, its head averted. As S. Carta Coll., above. II

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19/45 Amsterdam 7899. BL;EXO. Naked figure faces rearing lion. III

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19/46 Rome, NM 52380. RPA 30-31 (1957/9) 226, fig. 4. BL;EXZ. Dressed figure faces rearing lion.

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19/47 Zurich market, NAAG Cat. 7 (1991) no. 68. Syria 76 (1999) 265, fig. 45. BL;EXO. Man with pointed cap, short dress, faces rearing lion; disc-and-crescent behind, star above.

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Other materials

19/X1 Boston 27.762, LHG no. 9, pl. 2, from Tharros. AG pl. 61.12; RSF 4 (1976) pl. 9.3 (Culican). Cornelian. BL; in gold mount. King in pointed helmet with raised axe pursues lion who runs over the prostrate figure of a naked humanoid, lying on a cross-hatched area, like a displaced exergue. Flying bird above; a squatting ape (not a plain cartouche) behind. Some indecipherable patterns on the king's dress (a floral, an animal?).

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19/X2 New York, Rosen 62. Black steatite scaraboid. BL;EXnb. A man fights a rearing lion; his body is turned away, and he is naked, with no weapons, thus unlike any of the standard lion-fighting schemes in the series. Device? between; disc-and-crescent above.

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