Statuette of the Personification of a City

Date: 300–500

Culture: Late Roman or Byzantine

Medium: Copper alloy

Dimensions: Overall: 10 1/16 x 5 11/16 x 4 1/16 in. (25.5 x 14.4 x 10.3 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Copper alloy

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1947

Accession Number: 47.100.40


Tyche, the personification of chance or fortune, was also understood as the protector of cities. Linked to civic pride and well-being, she appeared in a range of media, including coins, stone reliefs, glass bottles, and stone and copper-alloy sculptures. Here, Tyche sits on a low throne. Wearing a mural crown, chiton, and peplos, she holds a cornucopia in her left hand. She extends her right hand, which held a now-missing attribute, possibly a staff. It is difficult to identify which city is represented by the statuette, but regardless, the sculpture is representative of the small-scale Tyche images found throughout the late Roman and early Byzantine worlds.