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Apollo and Royal Hero

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Apollo and Royal Hero
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Photo Comments

The panel on the left depicts the god Apollo sitting on a raised platform with his tripod at his oracular shrine.  He is approached by two figures.  A woman greets the god with a raised hand.  With her is a hero wearing a traveling cloak and the flat headband or diadem of a king.  He has come to consult Apollo, probably about the founding of a city. (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The panel on the right shows the same diademed youth standing with his horse and two hunting dogs.  At the left, an oval (foreign) shield hangs from a leafless tree, against which leans a long thin club.  The royal hero here in this and the left relief is probably a local founder of Aphrodisias — such as the Assyrian king Ninos who was believed to be the founder of the city of Aphrodisias.  (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The 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.