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Relief with Phanes


Relief with Phanes, ca. 2nd century A.D.
Modena, Galleria Estense, inv. 2676

The first bestower of life in the universe, Phanes emerged from the cosmic egg at the beginning of time. For the adepts of Orphism he represents a new era of salvation: the band of the zodiac symbolises eternal time, while the serpent entwined around it represents the rapid course of human time.