Cista with cover

Italic, Etruscan
Late Classical or Early Hellenistic Period
about 4th century B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Greek, Etruscan, & Roman Bronzes (MFA), no. 523; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 126 (additional published references).


Height: 30 cm (11 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



The three feet are in the form of lion’s paws, and there is a crouching lion on each. On the cover, Dionysos, satyrs and maenads. On the body, a camp scene with various activities, and a vista of a young man clutching or carrying a child and being pursued by two Furies, while a woman (asleep or dying) breathes out flame or smoke in the left foreground. The first scene may be the slaughter of a Trojan captive in the presence of Achilles, who is arming to set off to war. The second scene could be the infant Dionysos being carried off from his dead mother by Hermes.

The body has been mostly cleaned of a mild encrustation; beneath, there is a rich green patina.

Possibly found in the cista were a sponge, a glass alabastron, a wooden box in the shape of a horse’s head, an ivory double comb, a cylindrical wooden ointment box with cover (93.1440-93.1442, 93.1444), an oval bronze box (93.1443) and two bronze hairpins with spatulate ends (93.1445).


1889: purchased by Edward Perry Warren in Rome on the Piazza Barberini; 1893: gift of Edward Perry Warren to MFA. (Accession Date: October 17, 1893)

Credit Line

Gift of Edward Perry Warren