A Mutilated Aphrodite in Istanbul

I have previously mentioned the mutilated statue group of the Three Graces, now in the Antalya Museum, that is going to form part of the core argument of my chapter 5 “Before the Fig Leaf: Body & Society in Late Roman Perge.” The statue group is only one of several statues from Perge’s South Baths that have been mutilated in various ways.

I have also found some interesting comparanda to the Perge material. One of them is a statue of Aphrodite/Venus, found in a niche in the frigidarium of the Baths of Faustina at Miletus. It is now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The mutilation is wonderfully noted by Fritz Krischen in the 1928 publication: “Die Brüste und der mons Veneris sind verstümmelt”.

Mutilated statue of Aphrodite from Miletus in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. Photo: TMK, May 2006. Larger version here.

Krischen also notes the mutilation of a statue group of Bacchus and a satyr, found in the same baths’ tepidarium. I have previously discussed similar material from Scythopolis here and here.

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