The Legend of Meleagris Sarcophagus of Durres, stolen by the Ottomans in 1908

Meleagris Sarcophagus
Meleagris Sarcophagus

 The sarcophagus of Meleagris sarcophagus is undoubtedly a part Albanian national heritage and constitutes a part of our archaeological treasure.

Unfortunately, this 'treasure' is not in Albania, but in Turkey.

A researcher at the Center for Albanological Studies, Frederik Stamati, has visited Istanbul's Archeological Museum these days and brings first impression of Meleagris sarcophagus, discovered in Durrës and transported to Istanbul at the time of the Ottoman invasion.

"The explanatory label of this sarcophagus is said to be of the Roman period and belongs to the first half of the 19th century. II century AD," Stamat said, pointing out that "In the center is Meleagri killed by Apollo who is carried by his family members, two diocesan brothers. On his right is his sister who commited suicide," he writes.

This sarcophagus was discovered in Durrës in 1908 as a new road was build in Durres.

Along with the sarcophagus was also found a treasure with gold coins. Both the sarcophagus and gold coins were taken to Istanbul, as the center of the Empire by that time.

"While visiting the museum, some of its pavilions were under reconstruction, so I had no chance to look at the treasure or gold cup discovered in 1901 in the village of Vrap, Tirana.

Meleagri's story belongs to mythology. He was the son of King of Caledoni, Ojne, and of Althea. But when the boy was born, the parents forgot to sacrifice Artemida, who sent out a rage from anger to ruin the Etolines.

The pig was killed, but began the quarrel over who would take the skin. In the quarrel, Meleagri killed his own uncles, fueling the anger of his mother.

According to another variant, when Meleagri was born, Altena is visited Moirisis, which determined the fate of man and warned his mother that Meleagri would live so long, as the bridges would burn.

Altea removed the bridge and put it in a coffer. When it grew, Meleagri took part in wild boar hunting. The hunt was attended by a young hunter, Atalanta.

He injured the first pig, then Meleagri killed it. Meleagri gave the skin of the pork to Atalanta, but this angered his uncle Pleksippi, who took forcibly the skin from Atalanta.

Meleagri, angry with the insult that made to his girlfriend, killed his uncle.

Altea, desperate for the murder of her brother, pulled out the bridge from the coffer and put it on fire, and when the bridge was burned, Meleagri died.

Altea hanged herself. His sisters cried so much that Artemide was sorry. It turned them into birds called 'Meleagrids' and having white spots in their feathers that look like tears.
The Legend of Meleagris Sarcophagus of Durres, stolen by the Ottomans in 1908 The Legend of Meleagris Sarcophagus of Durres, stolen by the Ottomans in 1908 Sunday, March 04, 2018 Rating: 5
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