A World of Emotions travels to Acropolis Museum in Athens. Click to see exhibition trailer.

A World of Emotions

​Funerary Stele for a Lovable Pig, Victim of a Traffic Accident​

The relief depicts a four-wheeled cart being pulled by four mules on sloping ground. On the cart, a hooded driver holds the reins. A pig is shown standing in front of the animals’ raised hooves, while the same pig is also shown on the ground under the wheels of the cart. Some lines of verses present the animal as telling his tragic tale:

I, the Pig, beloved of all, a four-footed youngster, am buried here. I left the land of Dalmatia, when I was given as a gift. I stormed Dyrrachion and yearned for Apollonia, and I crossed every land on foot, alone and invincible. But now I have departed the light on account of the violence of the wheel, longing to see Emathia and the wagon of the phallic procession. Now here I am buried in this spot, without having reached the time to pay my tribute to death.

Having been presented as a gift, the pig set off with its master along the Via Egnatia from Dalmatia to Edessa to take part in the Dionysia, perhaps to perform some acrobatic stunts. On a downhill slope his master seems to have lost control of the cart, and thus the pig, which was walking in front, found itself under the wheels and was killed. With evident grief and affection, the pig’s master honored the young animal by erecting a gravestone at the site of the accident.

Pig Edited

Ephorate of Antiquities of Pella, ΑΚΑ 1674

DATE

2nd–3rd century AD

MATERIAL

Marble

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