Ancient Art

Grave Stele

ca. 400–350 B.C.

Marble, Pentelic

71.6 x 36 x 11.4 cm (28 3/16 x 14 3/16 x 4 1/2 in.)
Yale University Purchase
1939.15
In fifth and fourth century B.C. Athens, graves were usually marked by inscribed stelae, often, like this one, carved from marble. The flat slab, with two carved rosettes that resemble offering dishes, is topped by a palmette and blossoms. The inscription, which runs along the top of the slab, identifies the grave’s occupants as Nausistratos, his wife Phanagora, and their daughter Rhode, all of the deme Oinoe. Burials in the Classical world often reflect family groups, and the majority of grave inscriptions from Athens commemorate two parents and their children, as here. Also important is the reference to membership in the family’s deme—a neighborhood in Attica and one of the fundamental administrative divisions within the city-state—which guaranteed the family’s status and citizenship.
Culture: 
Greek, Attic
Period: 
Late Classical
Classification: 
Sculpture
Status: 
On view
Bibliography: 

Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, The Sculpture and Sculptors of The Greeks (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1950), fig. T.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 265, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.

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