Harpocrates, The Child Horus (Primary Title)

Unknown (Artist)

ca. 332-330 BC
Egyptian (Ptolemaic?)
Overall: 4 3/4 × 1 1/4 × 1 3/8 in. (12.07 × 3.18 × 3.49 cm)
Harpokrates (from the Egyptian Har-pa-khered, “Horus the Child”) was the personification of the sun, which is born anew each day. He is depicted in imitation of the hieroglyph for “child,” but later Greek and Roman poets reinterpreted the gesture to mean “silence” thus, Harpokrates became a god of silence and secrecy. Like the cults of Isis and Serapis, the cult of Harpokrates spread throughout the Roman Empire.
Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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