size or dimensions of Sarcophagus with the Triumph of Dionysus and the Seasons?
I am doing a research paper on this sculpture but cant seem to find any information on its size or dimensions, please help.
Sarchophagus is a word stemming from the Greek ” Sarco ” = flesh , and ” Phagus ” = eater .
Ancient Greek religious belief held that it was necessary to preserve the bones of the dead , a belief that has survived into popular superstition and the teaching of the modern Greek Orthodox church .
The body of a dead person was placed into a stone or baked clay box with a close fitting lid , and after 3 years or so the flesh had decayed . The bones were then removed , washed in wine ( = Vinegar , an excellent age-old disinfectant and bactericide ) before being ceremoniously removed to a special store called an Ossuary , presumably to await their physical reincarnation on Judgement day .
so the box is basically a coffin , about 6 feet by two feet , by two feet .
Oddly . bodies sometimes do not decompose , because of lack of body fat , presence of some bactericidal substance ( like the Myrrh in the Bible ) , cold storage location , etc .
Opening the box after the three years only to find a fairly entire and recognisable corpse led to the folk superstition of the Vampire ( in Greece a Vrykolakkos ) and the body then got the wooden stake through the midriff , exorcism , drenching in Holy Water , and steel donkey shoes were nailed onto the feet , so if they DID prowl about at night , you could hear them coming . And the body would then be taken out and buried face down , so if it tried to scrabble out it would go deeper .
There was quite a scandal some years ago in a village in northern rural greece , where it was discovered that this had been done to a recent burial — spooky , huh ?
LINDOS Rhodes, Greece