Statue of Dionysus

UnknownRoman period, 2nd century CE

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jerusalem, Israel

Dionysus was portrayed from Hellenistic times onward as boyish and sensual yet with a reserved expression on his face, as this sculpture demonstrates. This depiction of the wild wine god derives from the integration of his cult into that of the sun god Apollo, who was known for his restrained character and represented the human struggle to attain an internal balance between the base and the divine elements in his being. Christians of the Byzantine Period vandalized the face and genitalia of this statue in an attempt to neutralize its godly power while preserving its beauty.


  • Title: Statue of Dionysus
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Roman period, 2nd century CE
  • Location: Beth Shean
  • Type: Statue
  • Rights: Israel Antiquities Authority, Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • External Link: Israel Museum, Jerusalem
  • Medium: Marble
  • Dimensions: H: 124; W: 61 cm
  • Curator: Mevorah, David

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