Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble cinerary chest with lid

Imperial, Flavian or Trajanic
ca. A.D. 90–110
H. with cover 21 3/8 in. (54.3 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
27.122.2a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 162
The Latin inscription reads: "To the spirits of the dead. M. Domitius Primigenius made [this] for himself, his freedmen and freedwomen, and their descendants." Above is a scene in which the deceased, standing on a pedestal, making an offering to a female figure, perhaps Tellus (mother earth), who reclines on a couch bedecked with flowers. They are attended by two young servants, holding food and wine. The chest is in the form of a pedimental building, with flaming torches taking the place of columns at the corners.
Inscription: The Latin inscription on the front of the chest reads: To the manes (spirits of the dead) M. Domitius Primigenius made [this] for himself, his freedmen and freedwomen, and their descendants.
Alexander, Christine. 1928. "A Roman Cinerary Urn." Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 23(8): pp. 200–1, figs. 1–2.

Jensen, William Michael. 1978. "The Sculptures from the tomb of the Haterii. Ph.D. diss." Ph.D. Diss. p. 282f, 494, fig. 109. University of Michigan.

Sinn, Friederike. 1987. Stadtrömische Marmorurnen. p. 201, pls. 71c, d, Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern.

Bodel, John P. and Stephen Tracy. 1997. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA : A Checklist. p. 196, Rome: The American Academy in Rome.

Newby, Zahra and Ruth Leader-Newby. 2007. "Idem ego sum discumbens, ut me videtis: inscription and image on Roman ash chests." Art and Inscriptions in the Ancient World pp. 52-4, fig. 2.5, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 423, pp. 364, 488, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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