Figure of Bes in a Roman armour

Figure of Bes in a Roman armour

3rd century
Height: 115mm
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Figurine of Bes (protector of homes, families) in legionary dress is widespread in ancient Egypt. Bes took the features of a warrior from the demon Aha popular in the Old Kingdom. Suchway of presenting this god is connected with his apotropaic (protective) function – with his knife, which in the Ptolemaic period was replaced by a sword, he warded off evil powers and protected newborn children. The god depicted as a dwarf with animal facial features wears an anatomical cuirass with leather lambrequins falling to his shoulders and forming a short skirt. A broad sword-suspending belt is slung diagonally across his torso. With his right hand, Bes raises his sword towards the crown of ostrich feathers that adorns his disproportionately large head. Both the Roman armour and, for example, the long folds of the tunic allow dating the figure to the Diocletian period, that is the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 4th century.


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