The Joy of Museums

Finding Beauty & Meaning in Museums

Goddess with Diadem

Hellenic Museum, Melbourne - Joy of Museums - Goddess with Diadem

This “Goddess with Diadem” is a Roman copy of the head of an Athenian cult statue of a peplos-clad goddess. We can only speculate on the original complete form of this statute and which goddess the figure represented. The Greeks created images of their deities for many purposes. A temple would house the statue of a god or goddess and might be decorated with relief scenes depicting myths.

The most popular greek Goddesses included:

  • Aphrodite – Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Her Roman counterpart is Venus.
  • Artemis – Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth, and plague. Her Roman counterpart is Diana.
  • Athena – Goddess of reason, wisdom, intelligence, skill, peace, warfare, battle strategy, and handicrafts. Her Roman counterpart is Minerva.
  • Demeter – Goddess of grain, agriculture, harvest, growth, and nourishment. Her Roman counterpart is Ceres.
  • Hera – Queen of the gods, and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. Her Roman counterpart is Juno.
  • Hestia – Virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and chastity. Her Roman counterpart is Vesta.

In Ancient Greece, mythology was at the heart of everyday life. Greeks regarded mythology as a part of their history and legacy. They used myth to explain natural phenomena, cultural variations, enmities and friendships. Greek mythology was embodied in Greek arts, such as vase-paintings, votive gifts and statues. Divine images were also standard on coins and drinking cups.

Other historical antiquities at the Hellenic Museum, Melbourne include:

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                 Goddess with Diadem
  • Date:                    430 BCE
  • Material:            Parian Marble
  • Museum:            Hellenic Museum, Melbourne


“Honour is priceless and glad be he who has it.” Greek Proverb



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons