They thought they had hidden this statue forever in the confines of a medieval building. Every historian of the ancient world knows that one form of destruction brought to the ancients by the early Christians, consisted of taking statues and parts of destroyed temples and using them to build other structures in Christian society, but even that has fallen to the passing of time while Dionysos remains visible today. Hidden in a wall in Via Alessandrina, Rome, an amazing Dionysos head was recently uncovered, being brought into the light of the world again after centuries of desecration. The eyes of the statue have long lost the precious and valuable materials used to fill them, which were probably also gouged out and looted by the Christians. Nevertheless, the basic formation remains clear. The community surrounding the archaeologists and the excavation has been very supportive of the efforts toward recovery and restoration, which would not have been the case in the distant past. At the end of this post, I will put a link to the article where one can view the actual statue and read the details, but first, I want to give my comments on the find.
Of course, I am always pleased when relics of our ancient past are recovered safely. So much has been lost and destroyed over the centuries, more than we will probably ever know, but it's also clear that the persistence and strength of the old religion refuses to relent. The destruction and loss has went on for the better part of 2,000 years, yet we are still finding and assembling the windows into the roots of our existence that held us firm and strong for so long. I also think the find is very telling of the persecution Pagans suffered at the hands of Christians. These truths come more and more into the light each day with new literature, revealing to us the fact that ancient structures were broken down and used for building materials, but to actually see it with your own eyes, to watch this statue come out of the Christian wall that it was forced to support for so long, brings more of a reality to the human experience than just reading texts about it. It's important that the world today understand what happened to their roots and their ancestors, and in turn, what happened to them as people today.
Read the article and watch a video of the dig here.
Hail Dionysos, God of life!
In the Goodness of the Gods,