Editorial Photocolor Archives

A cubiculum (burial chamber) at the end of the main catacomb on the Via Latina (fourth century A.D.). Set off from the hall by a long marble screen or transenna, the cubiculum is decorated with garlands and floral patterns. At the top birds are eating under garlands. On the facing entrance wall two women holding sheaves of grain. They may be Abundance and Demeter, goddesses associated with the earth and fertility. In the niche (right) can be seen an Egyptian soldier (dressed in contemporary Roman uniform), a companion piece to the main scene, the crossing of the Red Sea. To the left is Daniel between two lions, part of the ensemble featuring the Raising of Lazarus. A sarcophagus back center sits in the arcosolium. Above is a recess with a peacock, a symbol of immortality. On either side are flying Victories, symbols of the triumph of the deceased over life and death.