Fragment of relief with Dionysian Mysteries initiation scenes

Inv. Scu 2011

The fragmented relief shows a complex depiction arranged into two registers: in the upper scene, framed to the left by a leafy tree, there is a Muse holding a Silenic mask; on her left, there is a small temple behind which there is a young boy with a double flute.

The lower register illustrates the actual initiation scene; two nude young boys are being led by a Satyr towards the initiation site. Behind them, there are the symbols of the Dionysian rite: the mystic basket, a thyrsus and a statuette of Priapus.

The scene is set in a rural context where the Dionysian Mysteries were held.

The fragment dates to the early Augustan period. It was found in the area occupied in the early Imperial period by the Gardens of Maecenas.