Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus

Martyrdom of Paul, Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus (detail), 359 C.E. Museum of St. Peter's Treasury, Rome. 

The style and iconography of this sarcophagus reflect the early stages of development of Christian art, with interplay of pagan and Christian imagery. The sarcophagus has ten scenes in two registers. Each of the scenes is contained in a classical architectural constraint of two columns and a roof. Here in the Martyrdom of Paul vignette we see Paul being led away by soldiers.


Martyrdom of Paul. Detail from the sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, died 359 C.E. Vatican Museums.

(n.) One who adheres to traditional or polytheistic religious and spiritual belief and practice systems; sometimes used to refer broadly to anyone who does not adhere to biblical monotheism.

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