Baubo on the Pig
Travel across Disciplines
Abstract In the mid-nineteenth century, the Altes Museum in Berlin acquired a small terracotta statuette of a nude woman riding on a pig. Although it is likely from Ptolemaic Egypt, little can be said for certain about the object—which makes its name, “Baubo,” particularly curious. The object, after all, resembles a character by the same name in Goethe’s Faust. But was, in this case, Goethe inspired by antiquity, or rather antiquity inspired by Goethe? By untangling Baubo’s modern biography, this chapter critically illustrates the mutual influences between ancient studies, literature, and collecting in the nineteenth century.
Keywords Faust I Walpurgis Scene, Baubo, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, James Millingen, Instituto di corrispondenza archeologica