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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



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 BCE), 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


Antioch (Object found in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

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


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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