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Husillos sarcophagus

  • Husillos sarcophagus. National Archaeological Museum, Madrid © Santiago Relanzón. Fundación ITMA; Museo Arqueológico Nacional (N.I. 2839)

    Husillos sarcophagus. National Archaeological Museum, Madrid © Santiago Relanzón. Fundación ITMA; Museo Arqueológico Nacional (N.I. 2839)

     
  

Category

Rites, worship and beliefs

Date

Mid-2nd century A.D.

Cultural background

Roman

Original title

Sarcófago de Husillos

Made in a Roman workshop and imported into Hispania for containing the remains of an important Roman person, this sarcophagus shows various scenes from the legend of Orestes.

The legend was told by Aeschylus and Euripides, leading figures in Greek tragedy.

In the centre of the sarcophagus is Orestes, who avenged his father's death by killing both Aegisthus and his own mother. On the right, the Furies persecute Orestes with the tortures of remorse. On the left end the hero is shown sleeping but his sleep is tormented by Furies; on the right he seeks refuge from the Furies at the sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi to purify his crime.

On the left side, the scene shows the Athenian tribunal of Areopagus, where Athena sways the result of the trial in Orestes' favour. In the scene on the right side, Pylades and Orestes, with their hands tied, are taken to sacrifice in honour of Artemis.
 

Details of the work

Object
Sarcophagus

Dimensions
Height = 57 cm; Length = 204 cm; Width = 66 cm

Technique
Chiselled, Carved

Material
Marble

Place of production
Rome (Lazio, Italy)

  

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