Marble cinerary chest with lid

Period: Imperial, Flavian or Trajanic

Date: ca. A.D. 90–110

Culture: Roman

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: H. with cover 21 3/8 in. (54.3 cm)

Classification: Stone Sculpture

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1927

Accession Number: 27.122.2a, b


The inscription on the front of the urn translates "to the manes (spirits of the dead) M. Domitius Primegenius make [this] for himself, his freedmen, and freedwomen and their children." The deceased, M. Domitius Primigenius, reclines on a couch. A three-legged table set with dishes is before him. Three slaves offer food and drink. Birds are perched in the laurel trees on each side of the urn. In the pediment of the cover is a bird's nest with four young being fed by their parents. Eagles sit at either end of the cover. The banquet scene, like the tree bearing fruit and the family of birds, alludes to the deceased's hopes for a peaceful afterlife.