Sorry, lovely readers. I'm very short on time today. Let me leave you with this very interesting video a reader sent me. You're about to watch a video about a statue of either Artemision Zeus or Poseidon. It was made around 460 BC., cast in bronze. It was recovered from a shipwreck off Cape Artemision, Greece in 1928  and resides in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. As you may have noticed, we don't exactly know which of the two Gods is represented.

As you have heard in the video, the debate over whether the statue represents Poseidon or Zeus hinges on the lost attribute held in the figure's right hand. He would have held either a thunderbolt, if Zeus, or a trident if Poseidon. However, the iconography of Ancient Hellenic pottery portrays Poseidon wielding the trident, when in combat, in more of a stabbing motion; Zeus is depicted fighting with his arm raised, holding the thunderbolt overhead, in the same position as the Artemision Bronze.

A major additional problem with that hypothesis is that a trident would obscure the face, especially from the profile view, which most scholars (even those who have supported an identification as Poseidon) have held to be the most, or even the only, important view. Iconographic parallels with coins and vase painting from the same time period show that this obscuring pose is extremely unlikely. However, the trident may have been unusually short, avoiding the problem. On the other hand, the statue is essentially a larger version of an extensive series of smaller solid bronze figurines extending back into the late 7th century, all of which strike the same pose and represent Zeus. On the basis of this and other iconographic parallels with vase-painting, most scholars presently think it is a Zeus. However, opinion remains divided.

Who do you think the statue represents? My money is on Zeus, but I am open to opposing views!