The Sepulchral Symbolism and Workshop Comparison of the Raptus of the Sabines Sarcophagus and the Metilia Acte Sarcophagus
International Journal of Archaeology 2015; 3(1): 1-7
7 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 5, 2015
The sarcophagus illustrating the story of the Sabine Women at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is believed to have been obtained in Rome between 1899 and 1904 by Alfred Emerson, Professor and Chair of Classical Archaeology at Cornell University, Fellow at John Hopkins University and the Curator of Antiquities at the Art Institute of Chicago. The Metilia Acte sarcophagus illustrating the story of Alkēstis at the Vatican in the Museo Chiaramonti was discovered in Ostia in 1826 by the architect Pietro Hall and Felice Cartoni. The Sabine sarcophagus dates to the second century A.D. and the Alkēstis sarcophagus dates by the inscription to between the years 160-170 A.D. The Sabine story is the Raptus of the Sabine Women while the Alkēstis story is according to Euripides' drama, Alkēstis. Metilia Acte was the priestess of the Magna Mater deorum Idaea cult that worshipped the goddess Cybele. The Alkēstis themed sarcophagus also held Metilia Acte’s husband Caius Junius Euhodus, the magister of the fabri tignarii carpenter guild. The qualities of both the reliefs accurately represent the Roman artistic style of the second century and were executed by the same guild or similar workshops in Rome during the second century Nerva–Antonine dynasty.
Keywords: Sarcophagus, Sabine, Roman, Metilia Acte, Marble, Quarry, Archaeometry, Provenance
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