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Three Graces

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Three Graces
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Photo Comments

The panel on the left depicts The Three Graces standing in their familiar Hellenistic composition.  They were handmaids of Aphrodite and appeared in this for on the decoration of her cult statue at Aphrodisias.  Their names evoked their character: Euphrosyne (Joy), Aglaia (Splendor), and Thaleia (Bloom).  (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The defaced panel on the right showed a found hero (right) pouring a libation onto an altar in front of a statue of Zeus (left).  A boy attendant stands behind.  An eagle flies down holding a branch in its claws — the good omen needed for the foundation of a cult or city.  Zeus was the next most important god at Aphrodisias after Aphrodite. (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).


he Sebasteion was a complex of structures that served as a municipal imperial cult sanctuary.  It was dedicated to Aphrodite, the main deity of Aphrodisias, and to the "gods Sebastoi"—that is to the "August Ones," namely Julius Caesar and his successors.  Local elite persons built it to solidify their ties with Rome.  Its construction began during the reign of Tiberius and continued into the reign of Nero.