Relief from a sarcophagos, restored as the punishment of Prometheus chained to a rock, with eagle, Zeus and five semi-draped women. Prometheus was a Titan whom ancient writers like Hesiod and Aeschylus imagined as the man's creator and saviour against the tyranny of Zeus. Prometheus rebelled again Zeus when he deprived men from fire and secretely took it back to people. Zeus punished him by chaining him to a mountain peak at the edge of the stream of Ocean far from mankind. An eagle was sent every day to gnaw Prometheus' liver which grew every night. The man seated in the centre of the scene is Zeus, Prometheus to his right. The women at the front deploring Zeus may be Oceanidae, the sea nymph as identified by the dophin by the second seated nymph. Ashmole suggested that the nymphs may also be running to alarm Poseidon at the attack made by Peleus on Thetis.


  • Title: Sarcophagus
  • Location Created: Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 660 mm x 1530 mm x 150 mm x 233 kg
  • Rights: Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Medium: Marble

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