Posted by: aediculaantinoi | September 26, 2013

Look where Palaimon has turned up!

So, a few weeks ago at the Esoteric Book Conference, I found out about this astonishing painting called “The Apotheosis of Washington” by Constantino Brumidi that is in the U.S. Capitol building’s rotunda’s oculus. I mentioned it to my class just a little while ago in terms of the tendency to “deify” the founding fathers of various endeavors in human history…

In any case: amongst the various deities and deified abstractions in the painting (including Columbia, Ceres, Minerva, Libertas, Mercury, and Vulcan), we see here Neptune, Venus helping to lay the transatlantic telegraph cable, and who is that on the dolphin in the bottom left corner?

Why, it’s Palaimon/Melikertes! But, of course, in a Roman context, it would be Portunus.

It wouldn’t be a real country without a deified drowned boy somewhere in the symbolism of the deification of our rulers, now, would it? 😉


  1. The book “The Lost Symbol” by Dan Brown has a long and detailed analysis of the painting in the dome. I feel so dirty for typing that.

    • Oh dear…

      Well, not everything in his books is utterly wrong; only the story/plot, and the characters’ adherence to certain nonsensical theories. But, anyway…!?!

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