Sarcophagus of Cornelia Maximina and Publius Vettius Sabinus

Third quarter of the third century AD (260-270 AD)


Marble (Marmara), 175 x 232 x 125cm

This prestigious monument, whose exact provenance from within the Roman city of Mutina is unknown, was reused in 1691 by the Cortesi family in the parvis of the Duomo, as recorded by an inscription on the rear edge of the lid. This sarcophagus type—with an architectural, arcaded front and gable roof lid with imbrication and acroteria sporting portraits at the corners—are reminiscent of objects produced in the eastern Aegean islands and completed in the lapidary workshops of Ravenna. Husband and wife are depicted on the front whilst family scenes (marriage) are found on the sides and rear along with illustrations of the male’s social prestige (military parade, hunting deer on his property): knight of the Camila tribe and governor of the city of Ravenna. Symbolic depictions of the seasons and working the fields appear on the acroteria at the rear and sides.