Brill’s New Pauly

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(4,388 words)

(σαρκοφάγος/sarkophágos, stone coffin, literally 'flesh-eater'; Lat. arca, capsula and sarcofagus, Juv. 10,171).

I. Graeco-Roman

[German version]

A. Material, typology, research

Since the 18th cent., scholars have been referring to containers for corpses decorated with reliefs as sarcophagi. These were made of marble, less frequently of limestone, tuff, sandstone, granite, basalt or porphyry. Pliny describes a lapis ... sarcophagus from Assus (Plin. HN 2,210; 36,131) as 'corpse-con…

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Neudecker, Richard (Rome), Lesky, Michael (Tübingen), Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) and Oepen, Alexis, “Sarcophagus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 18 January 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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