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Sarcophagus Bacchus

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Sarcophagus Bacchus
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Photo Comments

This sarcophagus is made of Carrara marble and was discovered in 1800 as Saint-Irénée.

It depicts the Victory of Bacchus (Greek Dionysus), the god of wine, over India.  On the left, Bacchus stands in a chariot that is drawn by two panthers.  He is looking back over his shoulder toward Ariadne (his "wife").  They are surrounded by a "Victory" and Bacchantes.  The procession is led by a bearded satyr—in the center of the image.

Just to the right of center, the heads of two Indian captives are visible—they have the same hairstyle.  They are riding on an elephant and a camel.

To the far right is a drunken Hercules who is being held up by a satyr.

The sarcophagus was produced in a workshop in Rome in the early third century A.D.

Information from a sign in the museum.