HOLLOW TERRACOTTA FIGURE OF HARPOCRATES
“GOD OF SILENCE”
EGYPT, GRECO-ROMAN 100 BC – 100 AD
Hollow terracotta figure of harpocrates with remains of white paint on the surface “God of Secrecy and silence” Harpocrates is shown seated with his right forefinger to his lips
This gesture was misconstrued by the Greek and Roman conquerors as an exhortation of silence and consequently adopted Harpocrates as the God of secrecy and silence
Height: 13.5 cm
Width: 6 cm
Height on stand: 17 cm
Condition: Good condition as shown
Mounted on a custom made plexi-glass “Lucite” display stand.
Harpocrates is the Greek name given to this particular representation of Horus meaning “Horus the Child”. Though the deity took many forms in Ancient Egypt, Horus the Child was one of the most popular representations that survived through the Greco-Roman Period. He was considered to be the son of Isis and Osiris, tasking his father’s place on earth after avenging his death through numerous battles with Seth, the god of Chaos.
In late Greek mythology as developed in Ptolemaic Alexandria, Harpocrates (Ancient Greek: is the god of silence. Harpocrates was adapted by the Greeks from the Egyptian child god Horus. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus represented the newborn Sun, rising each day at dawn. When the Greeks conquered Egypt under Alexander the Great, they transformed the Egyptian Horus into their Hellenistic god known as Harpocrates, a rendering from Egyptian Har- pa -khered or Heru- pa- khered (meaning “Horus the Child”).