The Intaglio

We should like to express our gratitude to Dr. Martin Henig of the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, for his valuable assistance.

This duo-chromatic Chalcedony intaglio depicts Meleager, the hunter who killed the Calydonian boar.  Meleager was the son of Ares/Mars.  Just after Meleager was born, his mother was told that his life was linked to a brand which burned in the hearth.  The brand was extinguished by Althaea and Meleager grew up.  He fought the Calydonian boar, killing it and offered the pelt to Atalanta, whom he loved.  Althaea, furious at this, re-lit the brand and Meleager died. 

Over his shoulder he carries a staff, his chlamys (short cloak attached to the shoulder) hanging behind him.  His other hand holds what appears to be a leash, possibly attached to an animal, though the gem is somewhat damaged at that point which makes positive identification rather problematic.

Conventionally a find of bath-house drains, this fine example was found on the surface during field-walking.