Sarcophagus of four of the seven sleeping monks
Late 4e century
Left-hand fragment of one side of a vessel.
This sarcophagus is thought to have come from the cemetery of St Victor.
The five fragmentary silhouettes of apostles are set against an architectural backdrop characteristic of the "city gate" category of sarcophagi. A drawing made in the 17e century, when the fragment was more complete, suggest that it may be part a scene of Tradico legis ofAnastasis (Christ giving the law to Peter, or the Resurrection shown in the form of a triumphal cross).
Sarcophagus of the companions of St Maurice
Late 4e century, narrative ornamentation on one long side. Carrara Marble.
Christ is seated in an exedra in the centre, his feet on a rock from which spring the Four Rivers. He is teaching two pupils while a man and a woman, seemingly bringers of gifts, kneel at his feet in adoration. To the left are scenes from the life of St Paul : the apparition of Christ and the stoning of St Stephen at Lystra. On the right is the Passion, with the arrest of Christ and his appearance before Pilate seen her washing his hands.
This vessel is shown in an old book with a lid whose symmetrical bucolic decor, clearly of an earlier period, shows Cupids harvesting ; they are separated by blank tesserae borne by winged sprites.
Sarcophagus of St Maurice
Late 4e century, narrative ornamentation on one long side.
Under the central arcade we see Christ with the Lamb at his feet, seated on the mountain from which flow the Four Rivers of Paradise. He is holding a book and explaining it to the apostles, grouped two by two in the other arcades. The subject matter harks back to teaching scenes and the architectural ornamentation - coronas, dolphins, doves - uses Christianised ancient motifs.
Sarcophagus of Julia Quintina
2nd century, chapel of St Mauront, one long side decorated, white marble.
This sarcopphagus is said to have been reused in the late 7th century for the body of Bishop Mauront of Marseille and is now the reredos of the altar in the chapel dedicated to him. The mythological ornamentation shows Bacchus (right) meeting Ariadne (left) ; set at opposite ends of the vessel, their chariots are preceded by a cortege of centaurs and satyrs. In the middle two winged Victories lean on the clipeus of the epitaph, wich is supported by a palm trunk and two chained barbarians, a man and a woman. These triumphal motifs would later inspire a great deal of Chritian funerary imagery.