A sketch of a Britannic god

Sketch of a Roman era Britannic god, Durham University, 20/03/2015.
I spotted this little fellow in the museum level of Durham University's Palace Green Library, which houses a tiny but fun miscellaneous of natural and human history objects. My phone had run out of battery by that point in the day, so I decided that as I could not photograph it I'd sketch it instead. My sketching abilities are far from first rate, but this didn't turn out too badly: it's a pretty primitive lowish relief, so what I've drawn is pretty close to the actual artifact. It's a Roman era Britannic god. The object label described it thus:
"Horned god on this stone is believed to be a native to the North East. The stone was found at Brennenium (High Rochester) Roman fort."
I love the roughness of the sculpture, lacking in any refinement of technique. It speaks not just to the situation of those living on the furthest Northern reaches of the Roman empire, but also of non-elite participation in cultic activity, and of the integration if not assimilation of local traditional religious practices and beliefs under Roman rule. It attests the continuance of pre-Roman beliefs, and is likely the only surviving testament to this god's existence. We'll likely never know his name.


Popular posts from this blog

A public engagement at Whitley Library, Reading

Metroid Zero Mission and genre

Doctoral thesis vital statistics