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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Gaziantep pictures - Turkey >> Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep >> The Mars statue at the Gaziantep museum > Gaziantep Museum 4075
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Gaziantep Museum 4075
30-SEP-2005

Gaziantep Museum 4075

Statue of Mars. He has in one hand a spear (gone), in the other a flower. As such he symbolizes both the destructive quality as the god of war, and the fertile aspect that he also possessed.

From the Enc. Britt.: ancient Roman deity, in importance second only to Jupiter. Little is known of his original character, and that character (chiefly from the cult at Rome) is variously interpreted. It is clear that by historical times he had developed into a god of war; in Roman literature he was protector of Rome, a nation proud in war.

Mars's festivals at Rome occurred in the spring and the fall--the beginning and the end of both the agricultural and the military seasons. The month of March was especially filled with festivals wholly or partially in his honour; the members of the ancient priesthood of the Salii, who were particularly associated with Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus, came out several times during the month to dance their ceremonial war dance in old-fashioned armour and chant a hymn to the gods. October was also an important month for Mars. At the festival of the October Horse on October 15, a two-horse chariot race was held in the Campus Martius, and on October 19 the Armilustrium marked the purification of the arms of war and their storage for the winter. The god was invoked in the ancient hymn of the Arval Brothers, whose religious duties had as their object to keep off enemies of all kinds from crops and herds.

Nikon D70
1/25s f/3.2 at 200.0mm full exif

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