Friday, August 15, 2008

Fine Art Friday: Isis in Rome

We often forget that Isis wasn't just an Egyptian deity, she reached her loftiest heights of divinity in Rome. This is an early model, from when Rome was on the march. It wasn't until the empire began to recede that they felt the need to drape her in all of that chaste swaddling.

And, oh, how oddly familiar these words seem to us today...
"I am she that is the natural mother of all things, mistress and governess of all the elements, the initial progeny of worlds, chief of powers divine, Queen of Heaven, the principal of the Gods celestial, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the air, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be disposed...
Behold I am come to take pity of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favor and aid thee. Leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away thy sorrow, for behold the healthful day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandment."
- Lucius Apuleius (c.155 CE)