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.
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Title:Fragment of a Sarcophagus with a Seated Figure
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
[ Hagop Kevorkian, New York (sold 1918)]
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 18, 1970–March 29, 1970.
Chicago. Art Institute of Chicago. "The Middle Ages: Treasures from The Cloisters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 16, 1970–July 5, 1970.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century," November 19, 1977–February 12, 1978.
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Memory and The Middle Ages," February 17–May 21, 1995.
Stohlman, W. F. "A Group of Sub-Sidamara Sarcophagi." American Journal of Archaeology: The Journal of the Archaeological Institute of America 25, no. 3 (July-September 1921). pp. 223–232.
Morey, Charles Rufus. "The Sarcophagus of Claudia Antonia Sabina and the Asiatic Sarcophagi." In Roman and Christian Sculpture. Publications of the American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, V, Vol. 5, part 1. Princeton, New Jersey: American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, 1924. p. 46, fig. 81.
Lawrence, Marion. "Columnar Sarcophagi in the Latin West: Ateliers, Chronology, Style." The Art Bulletin 14, no. 2 (June 1932). pp. 116, 183–185, fig. 14, 14cf.
Ferrari, Gloria. Il commercio dei sarcofagi asiatici. Studia archaeologica, Vol. 7. Rome: L'Érma di Bretschneider, 1966. p. 64.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 26, no. 5 (January 1968). no. 9, p. 200.
Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 1, pp. 16–17, 251.
McCann, Anna Marguerite. Roman Sarcophagi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978. no. 22, pp. 130–131.
Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. no. 238, pp. 255–56.
Netzer, Nancy. "Modes of Remembering the Classical Past." In Memory and the Middle Ages, edited by Nancy Netzer, and Virginia Reinburg. Chestnut Hill, Mass.: Boston College Museum of Art, 1995. p. 8, fig. 1.
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