The relief is thought to be part of a group of tablets which represent human virtues.

The subject is taken from Livy 2: 12-13. Caius Mucius, a young Roman noble, penetrated the Etruscan camp in 507BC but instead of assassinating the King of the Etruscans, he killed the King's aide by mistake. To show the guards how cheaply he valued his life he thrust his right hand into the flames. The King was impressed and let him go. Scaevola means left-handed.

Provenance

The Duke of Leeds; Christie's, 7/7/87, lot 135; Katz.


Scottish National Gallery

The Mound, Edinburgh, EH2 2EL
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