ιστορία (The Roman Newspaper)

By: Marina Fargas

Sarcophagus Panel with Medusa and Theader Masks

Roman, A.D. 149-178

Made out of marble

This Panel from a four sided sarcophagus ( coffin ) is richly decorated with two theater masks flanking the head of the Medusa, framed by lush floral swags held up by Cupids and winged figures of victory. The masks and the snaky-haired Medusa relate to Roman funerary beliefs; Medusa was thought to ward off evil, while makes symbolized the cult of Dionysos and its association with passage to the afterlife.