A detailed alabaster reproduction of the ancient Greek sculpture known as the "Laokoon group
". This sculptural grouping is dated to 100 B.C. and it was one of the major discoveries of the Italian Renaissance; it was found in Rome in 1506 in the ruins of Titus' palace. It depicts an event in Vergil's Aenied (Book 2).
The Trojan priest Laocoon and his sons were strangled by sea snakes, sent by the gods who favored the Greeks, while he was sacrificing at the altar of Poseidon (find out more about Poseidon...)
Because Laocoon had tried to warn the Trojan citizens of the danger of bringing in the wooden horse (Trojan horse), he incurred the wrath of the gods.
The sculpture is currently exhibited at the Vatican Museum in Rome.