Date: ca. 250
Geography: Made in Asia Minor
Dimensions: Overall: 11 x 9 13/16 x 2 3/16 in. (28 x 25 x 5.5 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1918
Accession Number: 18.108
Images of seated figures holding open scrolls, as here, were understood throughout the Late Roman world to be philosophers, or learned men. Originally part of a large sarcophagus with five niches separated by columns, this figure represented interest in an intellectual life and its usefulness in achieving a happy future life. The philosopher pose was adopted from the 300s onward for images of intellectual leaders of the Christian church, including Christ, his apostles, and the Four Evangelists.