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Lecture by Sarah Madole Lewis: 'A Third-Century Battle Sarcophagus in Tyre: Love and War in Roman Syria'

Thursday, January 24, 2019,

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  • Location: Cohen Memorial Hall • 1220 21St Ave S • Nashville, TN 37212
  • Room: 203

This project considers a monumental sarcophagus found in Tyre, a wealthy city in the Roman province Syria. Scenes of battle from the Trojan War decorate the sarcophagus chest, and the owner-couple recline on the couch-shaped lid. Thus, the heroic, manly scene is juxtaposed with an expression of marital unity and love. The sarcophagus type, which is connected with the Attic tradition, and its imagery, carried a particular expression of identity politics in the Roman world, in Tyre and other provincial spheres, such as Ephesos. I examine the Tyrian sarcophagus in light of related regional and interregional funerary monuments in its third-century context, a time of war and political upheaval in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.

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