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Flight from Troy and Arrival in Italy Panels

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Flight from Troy and Arrival in Italy Panels
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Photo Comments

The panel on the left depicts Aeneas' Flight From Troy.  Aeneas in armor carries his aged father Anchises on his shoulder and leads his young son Iulus by the hand.  They are fleeing from the sack of Troy.  The figure floating behind is Aphrodite, Aeneas' mother: she is helping their escape.  Old Anchises carries a round box that held images of Troy's ancestral gods. (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The panel on the right portrays Aeneas' Arrival in Italy.  Poseidon stands naked over a sea-going ship stopped at a short column.  A dolphin jumps between his legs.  Aeneas, his head veiled in the roman manner, pours a libation, a thank-offering for his safe arrival in Italy.  Behind Poseidon's shoulder, a separately worked young male head was inserted into the background (a deceased companion of Aeneas?).  (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The first three reliefs on the Sebasteion tell the story of the Trojan hero Aeneas, son of Aphrodite: (2) his divine conception, (2) his flight fro Troy with his son Iulus, and (3) his arrival in Italy.  Aphrodite, Aeneas, and Iulus were the forebears of the Julian family in Rome, the family of August. (from the description of the panel in the Museum of Aphrodisias).

The reconstruction of the Sebasteion places this panel as the second and third panels on the front side of the middle story—nearest the temple.


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.