Hestia Tapestry

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"Hestia full of Blessings" Egypt, 6th century tapestry in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection

The Hestia Tapestry is a Byzantine-era pagan tapestry made in the Diocese of Egypt in the 6th century. It is now in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection in Washington DC.

The Hestia tapestry, which is made of wool,[1] is a late representation of the goddess Hestia. It shows the goddess enthroned with two attendants and six putti.[1] The tapestry is identified in Greek as “Hestía Polýolbos" or "Hestia full of Blessings" (Greek: Ἑστία Πολύολβος) and is depicted mainly through the use of pomegranate fruit. Her headdress and earrings are made from pomegranates while the blessings that Hestia gives out are in the form of the fruit.[2]

The tapestry's history and symbolism are discussed in Friedlander (1945).[3] Scholars note that this pagan artifact is often displayed in Christian households in Egypt.[4]


  1. ^ a b Oaks, Dumbarton; Kitzinger, Ernst (1967). Handbook of the Byzantine Collection. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks. p. 108. ISBN 9780884020257.
  2. ^ Stone, Damien (2017-05-15). Pomegranate: A Global History. Reaktion Books. ISBN 9781780237954.
  3. ^ Friedlander, Paul. (1945). Documents of Dying Paganism. University of California Press.
  4. ^ Sessa, Kristina (2018). Daily Life in Late Antiquity. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 117. ISBN 9780521766104.

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