figure of Hercules capturing the Cretan Bull, British Museum 1814,0704.1652. (www.KornbluthPhoto.com)
Hercules (Herakles to the Greeks but since this is North Africa, his Roman name seems more appropriate) was never one of my favourite heroes - he was a bit bi-polar and had decided 'anger management' issues - but at least he only captured the bull. Another divine figure popular among 3rd-century Romans, the god Mithras, slew his bull - which I always thought was a trifle harsh.
But perhaps it isn't Hercules ...
Any comments shedding light on these lamps would be welcome.
(With thanks to Guy Cloetens and Skander Sayadi, and to Hervé Dejean for permission to use an illustration from his Lampes Antiques à travers les Ages: Le Corpus, Editions Archeo-Numis, 2012, pl.111.)