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.
Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!
IMPERIUM ROMANUM is in process of translation over 3300 Polish articles about history of ancient Rome. If you have the opportunity to financially support the further translations – even with smaller amount – I will be very grateful.