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:
- Cycladic Figurine
- Cycladic Footed Cup
- Cycladic Pyxis
- Head of a Cypriot Herakles (Hercules)
- Greek “Illyrian type” Helmet
- Goddess with Diadem
- Myrtle Wreath
- 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 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons