The Arab God
Arsu Riding a Camel
2nd Century AD

Click for a larger image of the Arab God Arsu Riding a Camel.

Arsu Riding a Camel
ca. 2nd century A.D.

Limestone
133 x 44.5 x 7 cm (13 x 17 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.)
Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos (Syria)
The worship of Arsu, an Arab god, was probably introduced at Dura-Europos during the Parthian era by caravans and nomads. In the earlier of the two Arsu reliefs in the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection (see also 1938.5311), the god rides a camel and approaches an altar. A crescent perhaps symbolizes his association with the evening star; the rose may signal divinity. After Dura became a Roman military garrison, worship of Arsu emphasized his military characteristics. The later relief above depicts a standing Arsu with weapons of the desert: a small round shield, a spear, and a sword.
Yale University Art Gallery. 1935.44



Referenced as figure 32 in The military technology of classical Islam by D Nicolle
32. Relief, Arsu, protector of caravans (?), 2nd-3rd centuries AD, Dura-Europos, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven (Perk).



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