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Hand of god Sabazios

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Hand of god Sabazios
Hand of god Sabazios

Roman figurine, made of bronze, showing a hand that was part of the cult of the god Sabazios. Object dated to the 1st-2nd century CE.

This deity was of Thracian or Phrygian origin. Sabazios was equated with Zeus/Jupiter or Dionysus. His cult also became popular in the Roman Empire.

Snakes played a large part in his orgiastic cult (next to his right hand in a gesture of blessing). He himself also willingly assumed this character. He was depicted as a bearded man wearing a Phrygian cap. Apart from snakes, his attributes were also lizards, turtles, frogs and pine cones.

The shown hand could act as a symbolic element in a deity’s sanctuary; sometimes the “hand” was simply hooked on stilts and carried in processions.

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