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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Bronzes : Roman Bronze Button Depicting the Head of Medusa
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Roman Bronze Button Depicting the Head of Medusa - CK.0248
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 100 AD to 300 AD
Dimensions: 1" (2.5cm) high x 1" (2.5cm) wide
Collection: Classical Antiquities
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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Today, the name Medusa conjures up images of a hideous, frightening monster with the snarling fangs of a snake and hair consisting of serpents. However, while this representation of Medusa would have been familiar to an Ancient Greek or Roman, they also would have recognized another, more tame depiction of the famous gorgon. As Classical art evolved over time, the horrifying Medusa type slowly transformed into a type whose features recalled those of a beautiful woman. Her hair of snakes gave way to flowing curly locks recalling the wind-swept coiffure of Alexander the Great. Occasionally, she even sports a small pair of wings emerging from her head. This small button would have adorned an ancient Roman garment that has been lost to us. - (CK.0248)


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