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Portonaccio battle sarcophagus 'standard'?
#1
I've been uploading some old pics of Roman military equipment and related pieces to Flickr. According to Stoll and Töpfer (p. 375), this curious object (beside the eagle) on the Portonaccio Battle Sarcophagus is a corona muralis mounted on a pole, but I can't think of another representation of a military crown with a roof. Could it be something like a portable shrine (cf. the aedicula of Felsonius Verus)?

[Image: 36304407371_fb1e7dc4e2_z.jpg]

Another angle:

[Image: 36521746335_e6f9c7ff1a_z.jpg]

Cheers,

R!
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#2
Looks like a birdhouse for the eagle.....boom tish

Top marks for the Iron Maiden avatar by the way
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#3
(08-13-2017, 03:16 AM)markhebb Wrote: Looks like a birdhouse for the eagle.....boom tish

Yes, compact and bijou. ;-)

Another thought is that it might be for the imago of the emperor. Or perhaps it is a corona muralis gone awry, rather like the lorica segmentata.

[Image: 35633874103_793f7e340e_z.jpg]

[Image: 35606591724_2bd06f573e_z.jpg]

Cheers,

R!
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#4
In all seriousness the imago would be my best guess....
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#5
It looks to me rather like a cinerary urn. With a hole in the front... so you can see who's inside??

Could it be that the 'urn' contained an imago of the dead man - which for some reason was being carried into battle? Or maybe a purely symbolic representation, as the man (or emperor?) whose imago would have been on the standard is now dead?
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#6
(08-14-2017, 12:17 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: It looks to me rather like a cinerary urn. With a hole in the front... so you can see who's inside??

Could it be that the 'urn' contained an imago of the dead man - which for some reason was being carried into battle? Or maybe a purely symbolic representation, as the man (or emperor?) whose imago would have been on the standard is now dead?

Yes, it looks like an urn. It is interesting to consider that, if the sarcophagus had been finished (the general is faceless - so presumably a speculative piece by the workshop), a v. small imago (deity, of emperor served, or a famous ancestor), or another symbolic object, might have been placed inside the 'standard', but it'd be rather difficult to see. (For a similar 'house on a stick', compare the staff carried by Nantosuelta - scroll down for images.)

I suspect the Portonaccio sculptors did intend an imago-type military standard, or some triumphal symbol (e.g. like the models of catpured towns and fortresses carried in triumphal processions).

Cheers,

R!
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