| This fragment of a
clay figurine was discovered in several pieces among the remains
of a trash pit exposed by the sea in a cliff face, just west of the Roman
fort at Reculver (Jenkins 86).
The figure stands in a frontal pose, has short legs, and a broad trunk-like
body. Some of the white slip that dressed the figure remains.
Cloaked in a cucullus and clutching a scroll of parchment in each
hand, the figure resembles in form and material the series of hooded dwarves
discovered in the Rhine-Moselle
area of Germany. In identifying the subject, it must be noted that
parchment scrolls and a cucullus are attributes of the god Telesphorus
as well as genius cucullatus. Jenkins resolves the figure
to be a genius cucullatus because the figurine is of native origin,
which precludes identification as the Greco-Roman Telesphorus(87).
While Jenkins' reasoning may not be the most sound, if the figure was,
indeed, imported from the Rhine-Moselle region, a better argument may be
found among the evidence in that region for relating the Reculver figure
to a cult other than that of Telesphorus. The discovery of
this piece in England marks a unique departure from the local stone reliefs
and triads of cucullati of other finds on the island.
p. 89, fig. I
1957, Pl. 63, fig. 4
Fragment of a genius cucullatus
Reculver (Regulbium), Kent
late 2nd c. BC
clay, coated with white
13.5 cm (original state)
Royal Museum,, Canterbury