Document Type : research articles
Faculty of Archaeology, Ain Shams University, Egypt
This study aims to bring to scholarly attention a terracotta decorated plaque from Alexandria, which is kept in the Cairo Egyptian Museum. inv.
This is a rectangular plaque with high reliefs, showing some evidence of remaining color. It has a mythological theme "triumph of Dionysus in India". The myth of Dionysus and his campaign against India as well as his victorious return was depicted during the Hellenistic era because it served as a prototype for the victories of Alexander the Great. Some believed that Alexander the Great followed the god's footsteps that guided him until he reached India. He also claimed that he was a descendant of Dionysus and took him as an example to emulate. The triumph of Dionysus in India was also depicted in the Roman era to symbolize the victorious ruler defeating his enemies, and to indicate the joy of victory among his followers. Moreover, this theme has a religious significance as it is related to the victory advocated by Roman doctrine, as a common topic frequently represented since the end of the second century AD. This article uses a descriptive and analytical study to answer many questions related to the function of the plaque. Questions such as, Was it a separate plaque that hung on the wall or a part of something larger? Was this scene associated with specific myths or festivals, and what were these festivals? Did this scene appear in other art forms such as mosaics and sarcophagi and what were the differences between them? This article will also include an analysis of all the characters in the scene to ascertain whether the characters present in the scene differ from those in the mosaics and sarcophagi and whether they can be used to date this plaque?