Greco-Persian gems: Greek subjects

These are surprisingly seldom much like those chosen for the Classical Greek series and include some important iconography not matched in other Greek gem engraving rather than in major arts.

Gem image

Hermes and Athens. Apparently statuary types.

Istanbul, from Sardis. Blue chalcedony scaraboid. 29mm. GGFR pl. 855.

Gem image

Herakles stands over the dead Nemean lion, his club behind him. A nymph (Nemea?) moves towards him with a water jar; Eros overhead with a wreath suggests an erotic interest. The hero with the dead lion is known otherwise only in gem impressions of this sty10 April, 2012, Walters, no. 524, from the Punjab. Blue chalcedony scaraboid. 35mm. GGFR pl. 856.

Gem image

A. A Persian bowman.

Gem image

B. A Greek with his dog.

Gem image

C. A naked woman stretches.

Gem image

D. A cock fight.

Leningrad, from Anapa. 20mm. GGFR pl. 861.

Gem image

Love-making. The woman's pigtail shows that she is a Persian, who would never be shown naked in Persian art.

Boston, from Tripolitza. Chalcedony scaraboid. 24mm. GGFR pl. 862.