Funerary monument with Dying Adonis

Photogallery

Funerary monument with Dying Adonis
Funerary monument with Dying Adonis
Rooms X and XI. Hellenistic Age Urns

This famous monument was unearthed in 1834 during the research carried out by the Campanari brothers. Adonis, with an injury to his left thigh, lies on a draped kline, naked except for his boots and the cape that covers his head. The young deified hero, the object of a contest between Aphrodite and Persephone, dies of the injury provoked by a wild boar, whose likeness was perhaps assumed by the jealous Ares himself. Adonis was originally the Babylonian god Tammuz; his Greek name derives from the Phoenician appellative Adon, “Lord”; in his periodical alternations between Aphrodite and Persephone, he simultaneously incarnates the productive forces of nature linked to seasonal cycles. In the Adonia of Athens, on the occasion of the summer solstice, the character of the funerary mourner beside the image of the God, then transported to the tomb, was prevalent. This monument, probably destined for funerary purposes, makes an evocative symbolic reference to Adonis, whose death and subsequent return to life were the themes of solemn celebrations in Byblos, Phoenicia. It also testifies to the adoption in Etruria during the Hellenistic age of rites, myths and symbolism from Greece and the Hellenised Orient, which combined with the complex Etruscan religious vision of the afterlife.