Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Something About the Serpentine Column

Serpentine Column
Are three heads better than two?

I mentioned Medusa yesterday, she with the snakes in the mother-loving hair, and now I see ancient Constantinople had a triple headed serpent column at one point. Take that, you Asclepius and Caduceus fans. Three! And I think I found three sweet potatoes in the pantry yesterday - so there's that to look forward to tomorrow. I think I'd rather discuss this serpent statue. Mumtāz!

I read it's actually a sacrificial tripod, cast to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians during the Persian Wars in the 5th century BC. Constantine ordered the Tripod moved from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, and set in middle of the Hippodrome. The top was adorned with a golden bowl supported by three serpent heads. The serpent heads and top third of the column were destroyed years later (or years ago). One of the heads displayed at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum. All that remains today is the base, known as the "Serpentine Column". 

In 2015 a bronze cast copy of the serpent column was made and now stands at an archaeological site in Delphi. Unfortunately when I came across a contemporary picture of the statue to me it looks more like a sculpture better suited for the fourth plinth dedicated to all the broken bolts out there. Some bolts may break due to stress. I may break tomorrow with the stress over those sweet potatoes. We’ll see.

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