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Fragment of an Attic marble sarcophagus from the island of Krk

Ante Rendić-Miočević

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (208 KB) str. 191-203 preuzimanja: 895* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Rendić-Miočević, A. (2004). Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata. Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, 37 (1), 191-203. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Rendić-Miočević, Ante. "Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata." Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, vol. 37, br. 1, 2004, str. 191-203. Citirano 26.11.2020.
Chicago 17th Edition
Rendić-Miočević, Ante. "Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata." Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu 37, br. 1 (2004): 191-203.
Rendić-Miočević, A. (2004). 'Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata', Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, 37(1), str. 191-203. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 26.11.2020.)
Rendić-Miočević A. Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata. Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu [Internet]. 2004 [pristupljeno 26.11.2020.];37(1):191-203. Dostupno na:
A. Rendić-Miočević, "Ulomak antičkog sarkofaga iz Baške na otoku Krku s prizorom iz Trojanskog rata", Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, vol.37, br. 1, str. 191-203, 2004. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 26.11.2020.]

The Zagreb Archeological Museum's collection of Greek and Roman statuary contains part of a marble sarcophagus found in Ba{ka Draga on the island of Krk which has not yet been described. It is from what was the upper part of the front of a sarcophagus that came into the museum's collection in 1936. Nenad Cambi in his book Ati~ki sarkofazi u Dalmaciji (Attic Sarcophagi in Dalmatia) drew attention to it under the heading Battle for Troy, saying that it would be dealt with later in more detail and published by the author of the present article. The fragment is under inventory no. KS 926. It is made of white Pentelic marble, triangular in shape size 52.2 (50) x 53.5 x 17cm (diagonally it is 77cm long). The upper part finished in a cymation composed of two rows of cymae, a deep Ionic cyma with an egg and dart pattern and shallow Lesbian carving. From left to right it shows part of the neck and head of a horse with a acteristically braided short mane. The head is slightly turned to the left and seems to have had tightly pulled reins. It would be logical to assume, but unfortunately it cannot be proved, that the reins were being pulled by the person who we may suppose was standing in front of the horse, but no such figure of a soldier has been found. Or it may be supposed that it was a rider holding the reins and that as well as checking the horse he was engaged in fighting with the first preserved figure, a warrior shown with two arms raised above his head holding a weapon which is not visible (probably a double axe, bipennis) energetically threatening his unknown enemy both to defend himself and to attack. The soldier is wearing a gathered chalmis but he can only be seen down to just below his neck. The head is shown in left profile turned towards the horse. Facial details are much worn or even chipped off, especially the nose. He is wearing an Attic helmet, a characteristic ring above the left ear can be seen and the back part of the crest is also visible. To his right is another male head without a helmet. The head is on the same level as that of helmeted soldier but differs in being shown in shallow relief. It isleaning back and in right profile with clearly marked facial details which suggest that it was the head of a trumpeter blowing his trumpet. Only part of the mouthpiece of the trumpet (tuba) can be seen resting on the lips of the trumpeter (tubicen). The visible part of the figure is dressed in closely gathered clothing, in shallow relief.
In the continuation towards the right part of the composition a third figure of a man can be seen but the face is totally eradicated and chipped. A larger part of this figure has been preserved,
better than of the previously described figures. His arms are spread and he is shown in vehement movement and half naked, with a densely gathered chimation, wound around his throat, part of the
chest, shoulder and left arm. It seems he did not have a helmet but wore long hair in which one can discern traces of a band twisted round the neck. His right arm is extended in the direction of the soldier in the helmet; the lower part of the arm, cannot be seen, being behind the helmed soldier. Because of the position of the right arm it is uncertain whether he was holding a weapon.We are tempted
to think that in the central plain he would have been holding the reins of the horse, part of whose head and neck are preserved in the left part of the fragment. The left arm of this dominating figure is
pointed in the opposite direction to the right edge of the composition, and this too suggests a gesture we could best explain by his hold on the reins, though it is also possible that he had a shield in this
hand. One could search for a solution by comparing this scene to sarcophagi with similar scenes, such as the analogous Battle before the ships entirely preserved on the chest of the well-known Attic
sarcophagus from Thessalonica. Here this person is attacking one of his, already falling, adversaries with his left arm. There seems to be doubt that the fragment has a mythological subject and shows Greek and Trojan soldiers in the TrojanWars. In the wider context it bviously belongs to the group of sarcophagi with the scene defined as the Battle below Troy.We are able to be more precise because of the
trumpet which we may conjecture belongs among the depictions of the famous Battle Before the Ships in Front of Troy, and inspired by the events related in the fifteenth canto of Homer’s Iliad. Sarcophagi
showing scenes of this are relatively rare, only about twenty are registered. In Croatia no example belonging to this group has been registered. This small number makes comparison relatively
difficult. The fragment we are describing does not show any ships, which, if we are right, should have been there. In this connection, as proposed by Koch and Sichtermann, it is interesting to note there are two types of sarcophagi showing this scene in front of the ships, one showing the ships on the right the other on the left. It would seem that the Baška fragment belongs in the latter because of the position of the trumpeter and his trumpet turned to the right within the event of which he was a part. The way his head is facing suggests that he was summoning his fellow soldiers who would have been shown on the right of the relief.We may suppose that the ships, if they had been shown, were on the left. And that the Greek heroes were embarking on them and the trumpeter was calling on them to retreat in face of the Trojan attack.We may also suppose that the trumpeter himself may have been on a boat as in a similar sarcophagus from Tyre in Lebanon, but it cannot be proved, since this part of the sarcophagus is missing.We may conclude that he Baška fragment, except for the discreetly shown trumpeter, shows that the figure on the left wearing a helmet might have been a Greek warrior. In this case he is heroically defending himself from attack which is characteristic of the Greeks in the Trojan Wars since they were always shown as in a defensive position. This figure seems to have been a foot soldier unlike his Trojan enemy who was probably shown as a horseman. On the other hand the figure of the long-haired half-naked soldier wrapped in a chimation is very likely the figure of a hero who must have held a high position in the Trojan army, and was obviously the central figure of the whole composition. It is therefore reasonable to suppose – and this is supported by some analogous examples – that it is a personification of the most famous soldier in the ranks of the Trojans and the commander of their army – the famous Trojan hero Hector, the son of Priam. When we come to dating the sculpture we may be guided by the similar Tyre sarcophagus or the well-known part of a sarcophagus in Venice which show a number of similarities with the Ba{ka sarcophagus both in subject and treatment of individual details. Most similar however is the sarcophagus from Thessalonica showing the Battle Before the Ships in Front of Troy. The central figure on both is almost identical, the half-naked hero with an outstretched arm (Hector?) and we can find similarities in some other details. Such a comparison is given added relevance by the fact that the Thessalonica sarcophagus, frequently used in comparisons, clearly shows the boats on the right of the figural composition from the outstretched left arm of the Trojan hero over to the right side of the chest. Thus there is no reason not to think that there was a similar placing of the ships on the sarcophagus from Baška, but when we take into consideration the position of the trumpeter in relation to the rest of the composition we see that it must have been it a contrary presentation with the ships to the left of the figures. All the sarcophagi mentioned show that a high-speed drill was used. The Thessalonica and Ba{ka sarcophagi have another common feature in that both »trespass« into the surrounding kymation. Taking this into account along with all the other elements mentioned we may presume to date the Baška sarcophagus, just like the one in Thessalonica, to between A.D. 230 and 240, or even some time later, which is at least ten years after the date of the Tyre and Venice examples. If we try to reconstruct the conditions under which this interesting find was made and the
context in which such a monument could have stood on the western coast of the island of Krk, in the vicinity of Baška, we must take into consideration the information contained by the Museum register,
as well as relevant topographic data on archaeological sites in the vicinity from which the monument was brought to Zagreb. The Baška sarcophagus may have been found in one of several localities
on Krk, perhaps in Šupela between Jurandvor and Baščanska Draga or several other places in the Draga region (parish church of Grgurići, churches of S George and S Paul). Among some less known archaeological sites in this context one may mention Sutvid (S Vitus) with its significant name. Concluding this, I ought to point out that in quality of workmanship the Baška Attic sarcophagus is rather less good than the other examples with similar scenes mentioned here, which does not mean that it was below the general standard for producing most Attic sarcophagi.

Hrčak ID: 18715



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