Relief of a woman with scrolls

While doing my research for the previous post, I was looking at various funerary stelae, and I came across the one I’m publishing today.

It is rather untypical in the sense that the deceased is not looking at jewelry or at herself in the mirror. Instead, the relief underlines the fact that this was a cultured woman (probably an intellectual or perhaps a poetess), by means of the box of scrolls visible under her seat.

The relief is rather unusual because in classical times women rarely received an education. Perhaps that is the reason this woman’s relatives made a point of underlining that quality on her gravestone.


Funerary relief of a woman with a boy and scrolls. Boeotian work, 4th century BCE, Athens, National Archaeological Museum


Today’s relief is from the city of Thespiai, Boeotia where a sanctuary to the Muses was located. It dates from the end of the 4th century BCE and can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.



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