Sarcophagus with the story of Achilles and Polyxena, Roman, Ca. 250
Museo Nacional del Prado, On View in Room 72
“The story, which is highly appropriate because of its tragic character, is divided into various scenes. the front shows the armistice celebrated between Aqueans and Trojans to celebrate the marriage of Achilles to the Trojan princess, Polyxena. Agamemnon can be clearly seen in the center, between Ulysses and Paris (the latter’s head is restored). The right side shows how the treaty was broken when Achilles dies after being wounded in the heel by Paris.
Finally, the left side shows Polyxena marching to her own sacrifice in honor of the dead hero, accompanied by various Aqueans including Achilles’ son, Neoptoloemus. The front of the sarcophagus is missing, except for a few fragments in the Louvre. It represented a combat between Aqueans and Trojans.”
The Empress Sabina, Roman, C. 130 CE
Museo Nacional del Prado, On View in Room 71
“Vibia Sabina (83-136 A.D.), a relative of Trajan, was married very young to the future emperor, Hadrian. This portrait, made towards the end of her life, around 130, denotes the intention to create an intemporal image, free of the passage of time.”
Ornament in the form of a griffin-lion
Achaemenid Persian, 5th-4th century BC
From the region of Takht-i Kuwad, Tadjikistan
This embossed ornament is part of the Oxus treasure, the most important collection of silver and gold to have survived from the Achaemenid period. The treasure is from a temple and dates mainly from the fifth and fourth centuries BC.
The British Museum