ArtLex Art Dictionary




ssarcophagus - A coffin, usually of stone, although sometimes made of wood, metal, or clay. In ancient times they were often decorated with carvings of the deceased or with some religious or mythological subject.

Originally this Greek word literally meant "flesh-eater." At some things the Greeks could look ruthlessly. On the other hand, their koimeterion or "cemetery" was literally a "sleeping place."

The plural form of sarcophagus can be either sarcophagi or sarcophaguses.




see thumbnail to leftCyprus, Sarcophagus, second quarter of the 5th century BCE, Archaic, limestone, height 62 inches (157.51 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.



Roman, Garland Sarcophagus With The Four Seasons, Hadrianic period, c. 139 CE, marble, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emery U, Atlanta, GA. See Roman art.



see thumbnail to rightRome, Triumph of Dionysos and the Seasons sarcophagus, c. 220-230 CE, Severan period, Phrygian marble, height 34 inches (86.36 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.






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