• Sarcophagus: Achilles among Lycomedes's Doughters

    Dimensions:
    height: 168,0 cm; length: 243,0

Sarcophagus: Achilles among Lycomedes's Doughters

Ancient Rome, 2nd century

When he was gathering the greatest heroes together to wage war on Troy, wily Odysseus learnt that the goddess Thetis, who was Achilles’ mother, had hidden her son away so that he would not join the army and fall in battle as an oracle had predicted. At his mother’s insistence, Achilles “went undercover” on the island of Skyros, wearing women’s clothing and keeping company with the daughters of King Lycomedes. Keen to recruit Achilles for the campaign, Odysseus came to the island in the guise of a merchant and laid out his wares for inspection. Among the silks, perfumes and jewellery, he placed a sword, shield and spear. The girls eagerly looked through the luxurious fabrics and adornments. Suddenly, though, an alarm was sounded, warning of an attack. The girls fled, but Achilles snatched up the weapons and gave himself away. That is how he came to be a participant in the Trojan War. The most vivid image of Achilles in ancient literature was created by the great poet Homer. That is why Count Stroganov, from whose personal collection this sarcophagus comes, called it the “Tomb of Homer”.

Title:

Sarcophagus: Achilles among Lycomedes's Doughters

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Date:

Material:

Dimensions:

height: 168,0 cm; length: 243,0

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1930; transferred from the Second Branch of the State Hermitage; originally in the Counts Stroganov collection

Inventory Number:

ГР-13081

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