- Museum number
Marble sepulchural vase dedicated to Pompeius Locusto, Attilia Clodia, and their family. It is decorated with two birds fighting over a snake on the front and birds on the back. A rectangular tablet contains their epitaph, in Latin. Possibly a modern forgery.
Height: 32.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The vase was not part of Townley's collection, although it is sometimes described as such. This confusion has likely arisen from its having been displayed in the Townley Galleries of the Museum.
The family name recalls that of the notorious Locusta, arch-poisoner of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. According to Tacitus (Annals 12.66), she served Agrippina in concocting the poison that killed the emperor Claudius; later she assisted Nero in his murder of the young Britannicus (Suetonius, Life of Nero, 33).
D'Hancarville, MS Catalogue, 1, pp. 11-12 (Kept in the Department of Greece and Rome)
Combe, T. et al (1830) A Description of the Collection of Ancient Marbles in the British Museum: With Engravings, vol. V p. 31, pl. VIII 3, 4;
A visit to the British Museum, London 1838, p. 193, no. 43
Ellis, H. (1846) The Townley gallery of classic sculpture, in the British museum, vol. 2, 251
Altmann, W. (1905) Die Romischen Grabaltare der Kaiserzeit, (Berlin: Weidmann) S. 35 A. 1.
Jenkins, I. (1996), Vases and Volcanoes: Sir William Hamilton and his Collection - exhibition catalogue with Kim Sloan (British Museum Press), no.134
- Not on display
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number