Faunus was the god of the forest, plains, and fields, and the Roman equivalent of the Greek god, Pan. Faunus was also the god considered to make the livestock fertile, and it is on this ground that rams are closely associated with him. On account of Faunus’ role power over fertility, many religious rites were performed using the blood and skins of goats. It is even thought that fertility rites involving whipping with goat skins were performed before formal courtship. As this handle was attached to a libation bowl, it has significant value as an object of ritual.
Roman Ram Head Patera Terminal
A Roman bronze handle terminal depicting a ram’s head with curved horns that meet the jaw. The bronze was cast around a sandy clay core roughly shaped to the tubular form, and was probably a part of a larger object (like a libation bowl). The shape is mainly cylindrical, with tapering down to the end of the nose. At the tip of the face, there is a small suspension loop. The features are softened with age, but the horns and facial details are still visible.
Condition: The finer details now worn; a dig to the metal on the underside.
Category: Ancient Appliqués & Protomes Tags: Animals, Patination, Rams & Sheep