cock-headed god actually driving the chariot of the sun.20
In this connection with the sun-god we find the explanation of the fact that the whip carried by the cock-headed divinity is a true whip, such as was used by charioteers, not the flail-like whip carried by Osiris and other Egyptian gods.21
There is an important exception to the general rule that the cock-headed god is usually associated with reverse types of solar deities. On several examples the reverse type is the three-bodied Hecate, with six hands, one pair carrying whips, another torches, another daggers.22
The execution of these specimens seems to point to a later date, when it is likely that the solar meaning of the anguipede was forgotten. Thus it had become merely an apotropaic device, and hence proper to be associated with the dread goddess of the infernal world.
There is still no convincing explanation of the strange junction of cock and serpent in the same form. The cock seems to be a solar creature, but a monster with snake legs suggests only the earth-born giants. One very tenuous line of connection may be mentioned, but only because other resources fail. In the Septuagint version of Psalm 18, 6, the poet says of the sun, “He shall rejoice as a giant (ὡς γίγας) to run his course.” The Hebrew word which the Septuagint translator rendered “giant” (gibbor) means only a strong man; but at a time when the Jews used the Greek translation of their scriptures, and when through some knowledge of Greek art and mythology the idea of the serpentine giant had become familiar to them, it is possible that some Jew, attracted by the solar cult, imagined the cock-headed anguipede. This, however, is a remote and hazardous guess.
Certain variations from the normal type deserve mention, but such minor details as the posture of the arms and the arrangement of the serpent coils may be passed without comment. In two specimens the snake-legged monster has a human head. On one of these, formerly in the Wyndham Cook collection, now in my possession, that is the only departure from the norm, since the whip and shield are present as usual. On the other, described by Zoega, the right hand of the god open and slightly raised; the left arm holds not only a shield but a lance also, a detail for which I know parallel.23
There are three branches, possibly of laurel, below the figure. If this aberrant type is genuine, one might ask, since there is no whip, whether there is any mark to connect it with the solar divinity. The question is perhaps answered by noting the position of the right hand, for others have observed that solar deities are often shown with the right hand outstretched as if to command the sun to rise.24
In several other gems the anguipede has the head of a lion. An excellent example of this is a haematite or limonite in the Newell collection.25
20 The stones just mentioned are as follows, in the order named: King, Gnostics, Pl. B 4; Walters Art Gallery, formerly in the Marlborough collection (D. 68); one belonging to my own collection (D. 174); Lewis Collection, ed. Middleton, p. 80; King, Handbook Engraved Gems2, Pl. 12, 1.
21 This point was observed by Procopé-Walter, “Iao and Set,” ARW 30 (1933), 39 and 46, n. 4.
22 See Blanchet, Bull. arch., 1918, pp. 7–11; Mouterde, “Le Glaive de Dardanos,” p. 69.
23 Museo Borgiano, p. 469, 30.
24 Dölger, Sol Salutis, p. 280.