Skip to main content

Two Men and a Sarcophagus

In a post below (titled The Perfidious Myth of the Unified Church) I talk briefly about and show a photo of a sarcophagus in the Vatican Museum. This is officially titled "The Sarcophagus of the Two Brothers". Following is what my classmate Perry had to say about this beautiful monument:

Two Men and a Sarcophagus

The highlight of the whole adventure occurred for me in Museo Pius in a lecture by Professor Martin Wallraff. While touring tombstones the class gathered around a popular and somewhat peculiar sarcophagus, the Sarcophagus of the Two Brothers. Carved together on one sarcophagus and buried together within it (facts that together represent a highly unusual story) were two men. Professor Martin did not debunk the story presented of two brothers; rather, he simply questioned the interpretation as definitive. It is possible they were brothers; however, there is no Roman precedent for brothers sharing a grave anywhere in the Roman catacombs. Many examples exist of husbands and wives sharing a single grave—a fact which at least begs the question of whether these two men may have been lovers. For me as a young Christian man, coming to turns with my sexuality was like the ripping of the veil the moment Christ died. I was shattered and torn apart. So this one moment gave meaning and purpose to every step it took to get to this point of the journey. The plausibility of the professor's question was like a bandage that holds torn flesh back together allowing the healing to begin. The moment defied any expectations I held for this trip. With evidence right in front of me, I had to concede that it is possible that some 1600 years ago two affluent Roman Christian male lovers were buried together. I could have exploded for joy because I could see myself in the history of Christianity for the first time in 25 years!

Comments

Alison said…
Andy- I've really been enjoying your posts on your experience in Italy!! Perhaps you and your classmate might also enjoy an article I read for a class on a tomb in Ancient Egypt. It also portrays two men, presumed to have been lovers.

Reeder, G.
2000 Same-sex desire, conjugal constructs, and the tomb of Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep. World Archaeology 32(2): 193-208.

Popular posts from this blog

Family and Gender in Ancient Rome

I mentioned below that Prof. Diane Lipsett delivered a wonderful lecture on the conversation currently taking place between New Testament scholars, family historians, social archaeologists and the like. The title of this post is actually the title of en entire semester-long course taught by Prof. Lipsett, so for our, geez, ninety minute session she condensed her focus to Men, Women, and Children in Ancient Rome. With her permission, I am posting my notes from this lecture below, tweaked a little for readability.

Prof. Lipsett is interested in studies of gender formation among non-elites as well as elites, those people about whom we know much less because they did not have the resources or clout to commemorate and study themselves, generally speaking.

Roman households were much broader than we conceive of in modern terms, with a wide spectrum of people connected by family and employment living under one roof (the terms domus/eikos/ikea capture this idea of an indiscriminate household…

A Few More in Kodak 400 Ultramax from the Summishica

These are actually my faves from that roll:






Summishica + Velvia 50 = :-0

I was happy with some of the images I got on Kodak with this lens/camera combo; the ones of the Japanese Maple leaves were my favorites, and I loved how the two red peony photos came out.

But.

The finer grain and richer colors of the Velvia took me to another place. You have to remember that, when I was taking these pictures, I had no idea how they would turn out. Because the TL-Super meters through the lens (TL standing for, "through lens," natch) I was pretty confident that they would be metered okay, and I could see through the prism that at least something was going to be in focus, but beyond that it was really a wing and a prayer. You can judge for yourself how things developed: