Etruscan chimera, 4th century BC

Etruscan chimera, 4th century BC

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Etruscan chimera. Bronze ornament depicting the Chimera, dating from around 400 BC during the Etruscan era in what is now Italy. The Chimera was a three-headed monster from Greek mythology. It had the head and body of a lion, with the head of a goat attached to the middle of its body, and a snake or dragon head at its rear. It was killed by the Greek hero Bellerophon. The creature is here shown with a fatal wound to the goat head, with blood on its neck. The snake head is seizing one of the horns of the goat head. This bronze object, which is 80 centimetres high, was originally a votive offering to the Etruscan god Tinia. It was discovered in Arezzo in 1553, and became a symbol of Medici power. It is now in the National Archaeological Museum, Florence, Italy.

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