Casket with Warriors and Dancers

Byzantine

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

"If perchance you wish to exempt certain pagans from punishment, my Christ,/ May you spare for my sake Plato and Plutarch,/ For both were very close to your laws in both teaching and way of life./ Even if they were unaware that you as God reign over all,/ In this matter only your charity is needed,/ Through which you are willing to save all me while asking nothing in return."
—John Mauropous (ca. 1000–1081)

Classical literature and classical images were preserved throughout the Byzantine period. The erotes who dance and wage mock battles on the sides of this casket and tame a female panther on the lid recall imagery associated with the ancient pagan cult of the god Dionysos.

#2735. Casket with Warriors and Dancers, Part 1

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  1. 2735. Casket with Warriors and Dancers, Part 1
  2. 2736. Casket with Warriors and Dancers, Part 2
Casket with Warriors and Dancers, Ivory and bone; gilded copper mounts, Byzantine

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