Roman Bronze Roundel Depicting the Winged Head of Medusa

SKU CK.0046

1st century AD – 3rd century AD


2.75″ (7.0cm) high





Gallery Location



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, as in this example, she even sports a small pair of wings emerging from her head. The only reminder of her serpentine nature is the band below her chin that has been incised with diagonal lines recalling the texture of scales.

Login to view price