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Roman - A Maenad, about 100 CE


A Maenad, about 100 CE

Pentelic marble , 143.5 x 58.4 cm (56 1/2 x 23 in.)


This relief, set over the courtyard fountain, belongs to a series of eight Maenads (the seven others were unearthed separately in Rome in 1908 and are now in the Museo Nazionale Romano, Rome). Together, they formed a cylindrical frieze of exuberantly dancing women that was probably the base of a tripod dedicated to Bacchus. Maenads were female followers of Bacchus who danced themselves into orgiastic frenzies.

Source: Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 9.