Hero Choking a Small Lion

Relief of a Hero Choking a Lion from Sargon's Palace

This alabaster relief depicts a large man choking a lion. It is from the throne room of the Palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad, Assyria (8th Century BC). At Khorsabad, several colossal sculptures of the 'hero mastering the lion' were placed near doorways to the palace of Sargon II (722-705 BC).

Louvre Excerpt

Hero choking a small lion
Khorsabad, palace of Sargon II
Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Sargon II (721-705 BC)
Gypseous alabaster
H 5.52 m
AO 19862


"This long-haired personage, which constituted one of the ornaments of the throne room (n) of the palace of Sargon II at Khorsabad, is traditionally identified with Gilgamesh, ancient king of Uruk, hero of a famous epic. In fact, these long-haired personages, represent wise men, such as Adapa, whom the king pretended to resemble." - Louvre

"In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;" - Isaiah 20:1

Copyright © 2001 The Louvre Louvre Musée

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Bibliography on Ancient Art

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008