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Mars of Todi

Todi-Monte Santo
end of 5th cent. BC
hollow-cast bronze
height cm 141
cat. 13886

This is one of the very rare objects of ancient Italic statuary that has survived to our time. It shows a warrior dressed in armour and, originally, with a helmet, portrayed in the act of performing a libation before battle, pouring the liquid contained in a particular form of cup (patera) held by the extended right hand, while with the left he leans on an iron spear (the patera and remains of the spear, not visible in the photo, are in the showcase). The statue, which betrays the influence of Greek art starting from the middle of the 5th cent. BC, was found in Todi buried between slabs of Travertine, perhaps after having been hit by lightning. The dedicatory inscription, in the language of the ancient Umbrians but in the Etruscan alphabet, recalls that the statue was given as a gift (dunum dede) by a certain Ahal Trutitis.