Tabletop

Date: 400–600

Geography: Made in Rome

Culture: Byzantine

Medium: Marble

Dimensions: Overall: 32 7/16 x 35 1/8 x 1 1/2 in. (82.4 x 89.2 x 3.8 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Stone

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1947

Accession Number: 47.100.50

Description

Small table tops like this were used to celebrate feasts for the dead at gravesites throughout the early Byzantine world. They were often supported on bases elaborately carved with messages promising humankind's salvation. At the lower edge of the table, four sheep, representing the blessed according to Matthew 25:33–40, flank a chi-rho, the monogram for the name of Christ based on the first two letters of his name in Greek. The tables are often called sigma tables due to their resemblance to the Greek letter of that name.

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