Sarcophagus of the Oresteia

Mid-1st century

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

A tragic Greek myth, the revenge of Orestes, decorates this sarcophagus imported from Rome. Its reliefs narrate the deaths of Clytemnestra and the traitor Aegisthus, his father Agamemnon’s murderers, the hero’s arrival at Delphi hounded by the Furies, and his appearance before the Athenian court at the Aeropagus, where Athena’s vote acquits him. The chosen theme emphasises the dead man’s erudition, a sign of prestige and authority.


  • Title: Sarcophagus of the Oresteia
  • Date Created: Mid-1st century
  • Location: Husillos, Palencia, Spain
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: http://man.mcu.es/
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Marble
  • Original Tittle: Sarcófago de la Orestiada
  • Cultural Context: Roman


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