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SARCOPHAGUS
Properly lithos sarcophagos, a kind of stone (alum-slate) found near Assos, in the district of Troas in Asia Minor; so called because it had the peculiar property, that all corpses laid in it were completely consumed in forty days, with the exception of the teeth. [Cp. Pliny, N. H. ii 211.] Usually coffins were only inlaid with it in order to hasten decomposition. Then the name is given generally to any stone-coffin, such as those which were customary among Greeks and Romans, among the latter particularly after the 2nd century A.D. (Cp. SCULPTURE, and for a specimen see MUSES.) The cut represents the sarcophagus of L. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, consul 298 B.C., great-grandfather of the elder Scipio Africanus, of the 3rd century B.C. It is made of common stone, and is the only example remaining from the old Roman time.

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SARCOPHAGUS OF L. CORNELIUS SCIPIO BARBATUS. (Rome, Vatican Museum.)
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