Roman Marble Sarcophagus Fragment

SKU PF.0003

200 AD to 300 AD


17.75″ (45.1cm) wide




Geresa, Jordan

Gallery Location

S Korea


Frequently the decorative scheme of a sarcophagus was selected from a pattern book with specific attributes of the patron in mind. the winged Eros, god of love, shown here holding a wedding wreath, is very possibly a reference to the married status of the woman whose tomb it probably was. The dropped torch most likely alludes to the marriage ritual, in which the new bride was accompanied by a torch-bearing procession. It is less clear to whom the fragmentary leg belonged, though perhaps it was a winged figure holding a portrait of the deceased. In antiquity, people often chose their own sarcophagus years before they needed it. We might guess that this playful Cupid is the choice of the woman herself, who is otherwise long-forgotten save for this charming clue to her life.

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