A petrifying experience – Medusa-related objects for Coral exhibition

Details of the Manchester Museums’ new coral exhibition

Ancient Worlds

Some time ago Dmitri Logunov, Curator of Entomology at the Manchester Museum, and Marion Endt-Jones, who is curating the Coral: Something Rich and Strange exhibition (29th November 2013-16th March 2014), visited the archaeology store to select objects. This might seem a bit counter-intuitive because we don’t really have anything made of coral in the archaeology collection but it turned out there was a really good link with the ancient Greek and Roman collections in the form of representations of Medusa. The connection between coral and Medusa is a passage in Ovid’s Metamorphoses ((4.782-86).

The Greek hero Perseus, with the help of a cap that made him invisible, a sickle-shaped sword, a special satchel, and winged shoes, given to him by the god Hermes, chopped off Medusa’s head and escaped. A copper alloy figurine in the archaeology collection, apparently depicting the Hermes, shows the god wearing a winged helmet and sandals, and carrying a bag…

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About HadrianicSociety

The Hadrianic Society was formed in 1971 under the leadership of the late Dr. Brian Dobson together with Professor David Breeze and Professor Valerie Maxfield. The Society is made up of those having Hadrian's Wall or the Roman Army as a principal interest.

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