Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius: back view

Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius, detail of relief on front of urn: frontal view

Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius, detail of upper inscription on lid

Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius: view from left

Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius, detail of a Silenos

Image access restricted
Funerary Urn of Cassius, detail of Dionysos (Bacchus) and Ampelos

Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Title: Funerary Urn of Cassius
Summary: Scenes of satyr and maenad and the death of Pentheus.
Object Function: Funerary
Material: Marble
Sculpture Type: Relief-decorated vessel
Category: Single monument
Date: ca. 200 AD
Dimensions: H (with lid) 0.372 m; W 0.325 m; D 0.25 m
Region: Italy
Period: Roman Imperial


Subject Description: This cinerary urn takes the form of a miniature sarcophagus. The inscribed lid has a relief scene on the front of a reclining satyr at the left and a reclining maenad with a thyrsos at the right. An Eros presents a wreath to the satyr, and another presents a wine cup to the maenad. On each side of the lid is a flaming torch. On the front of the urn is a scene of the death of Pentheus, the king of Thebes who opposed the worship of Dionysos. The scene is crowded with nine human figures. At the left a nude Dionysos (Bacchus) is supported by a smaller satyr, Ampelos. Pentheus falls on one knee to the ground as he is attacked by two women, probably his own mother, Agave, and a follower. Two satyrs, an old Silenos, and a maenad fill the background, which also has a gnarled tree. There is a panther in the lower left. The lid was secured to the urn with three metal clamps that are no longer preserved.

Condition: Nearly complete

Condition Description: Head of panther missing and minor damage.

Material Description: Thasian marble

Inscription: D. M. L. CASSI. COLONI. COLONIANI. EQ. R./ VIXIT. ANN. XXXV. This translates as follows: "To the gods and shades, Lucius Cassius Colonus, (the son of) Coloniania, a Roman knight. He lived 35 years."

Sources Used: Comstock & Vermeule 1976, 151-153 no. 243