It is a pleasure for me to present this paper to Pontus, an old teacher and
colleague of mine, with whom I share an interest in Asia Minor.
A new iconographical type of votive reliefs of the Mother Goddess
appeared in Ephesos and the surrounding areas during the Late Classical
period. In earlier images Meter was alone within the naiskos, but from
around 350 BC onwards she is flanked by two male figures, who are
usually identified as deities. On her left side stands an elderly, bearded
deity, and on her right there is a younger god. Scholars have generally
identified the older god as Zeus, while the younger god has variously been
identified as Apollo or Hermes (Fig. 1).
The aim of this paper is to analyze the iconography of these reliefs in
relation to the historical and religious contexts of western Asia Minor at
the time of their appearance.
There are twenty-two published reliefs from Ephesos of this type;1
Ephesos there are a few reliefs from other places in Ionia, such as four
one from Miletos,3
one from Izmir,4
and one from Magnesia
on the Maeander.5
In addition to these there are also nine reliefs without a
provenience, but they are probably, with one exception, all from Ionia.6