Sarcophagus of Peducaea Hilara and Sex. Peducaeus Hilarus

End of the first century BC – beginning of the first century AD


Istrian stone (Karst); 59 x 198 x 83cm

This monument, whose exact provenance within the Roman city of Mutina remains unknown, was placed on four Tuscan columns during a nineteenth-century arrangement of the Museum, reminiscent of its reuse in the Cappella del Sacramento in the Duomo by the Balugola family (1443). This sarcophagus from the early Imperial age was probably a cenotaph made to accentuate the location of the funerary urns of the deceased pair. It is a rare Northern Italian example of a type of object found in Rome and destined for high-ranking figures. A prestigious comparison may be drawn with the Sarcophagus of Scipio Barbatus, member of the powerful Cornelia family of which condottiero Scipio Africanus was also part (so-called in memory of his triumph over Hannibal in Zama during the Second Punic War). The monument was commissioned during the lifetime of Peducaea Hilara, a slave freed by Sextus, for herself and her husband, the latter probably also freed by Sextus. Their family’s presence in Mutina was also documented by other epigraphic samples.