Tombstone of Archidike, daughter of Aristomachos, from Tylissos on Crete (Volos Λ20)

A painted red pomegranate decorates the top. The epigram reads:

“Rhadamanthys, if you have judged another woman to be kind, or you, Minos, also lead this woman to the Island of the Blessed, the daughter of Aristomachos. For she practised piety and its associate, justice. She was nurtured by Tylissos, a Cretan city, while this very earth enfolds her, immortal; this is your fate, Archidike”.

Archidike sits on an elaborately carved stool, topped by a thick striped cushion. She wears a chiton (dress) and a himation (mantle),  and looks beyond the figured field. Next to her stands a young female slave. The IRR and VIL images reveal details of the delicate drawing of her dress and the use of Egyptian blue to enhance its volume and luxuriousness.

The funerary poem praises the virtues of the deceased, informs us about her Cretan origin and family (whose tombstones have survived from Demetrias), and reveals prevailing eschatological beliefs in a privileged afterlife.


painted stele

© HMCS, EFA Magnesias, photo: M. Stamatopoulou

composite image showing the paint under different lights

© HMCS, EFA Magnesias, photos: a) M. Stamatopoulou, b-c) G. Verri