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Side Panel of a Sarcophagus

A work made of marble.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of marble.


First half of the 3rd century AD



About this artwork

This panel was once the side wall of a massive stone coffin. It is decorated in relief with a scene taken from the life of the Greek mythical hero Meleager, who led the hunt for a wild boar that was terrorizing the people of Calydon. Here the valiant hunter stands in the center, his right foot resting on a rock. He is surrounded by his companions, including Herakles at the far left, who is armed with his distinctive knobby club, and his beloved, Atalanta (now headless), seated on the right. Meleager’s head resembles portraits of Alexander the Great (356–323 B.C.), the Macedonian king and general who conquered Asia as far east as the Indus River, perhaps because the Romans equated success in the hunt with victory on the battlefield. It is possible that the owner of this sarcophagus wished to equate his bravery and achievements with those of both Meleager and Alexander.

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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Roman


Side Panel of a Sarcophagus




200 CE–250 CE




96 × 140.5 × 22 cm (37 5/16 × 55 3/8 × 8 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Alsdorf Foundation

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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