Bust of Poseidon or Zeus, Artemisio/Euboea 450. b.C.
Made of casting stone with an antique, ivory-colored finish.
Approx. 140mm (14cm) height
The bust is from an original bronze statue (2 m. in height, and currently on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens) that is thought to be either Poseidon or Zeus (Poseidon is more probable). Discovered underwater at the cape of Artemision, in north Euboea. Dated to ca. 460 B.C.
In Greek mythology, Zeus is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky and thunder. His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward, with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.
In Greek mythology, Poseidon (Greek: Ποσειδῶν) was the god of the sea and, as "Earth-Shaker," of earthquakes. The name of the god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon. Linear B tablets show that Poseidon was venerated at Pylos and Thebes in pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, but he was integrated into the Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades.