It was said that the legendary founder of Padova, the Trojan hero Antenor, was buried in this coffin although this was later discovered not to be true. Renovations during 1985 revealed the incomplete remains of a skeleton. The examination of a bone fragment by the Department of Physics of the Arizona University in Tucson proved that the inhumed lived between the 3rd and 4th century B.C.
In Greek mythology, Antenor was a son of King Dymas and husband of Theano. During the Trojan War, he was a councilor of King Priam. He supported returning Helen to the Greeks and therefore the Greeks spared him after the war. He is also believed to have founded Patavium (currently Padova). There are verses in the Aeneid where Virgil (a latin poet, 70BC-10BC) sings the praises of the Trojan prince Antenor. When some ancient human remains were accidentally discovered in 1274, they were assumed to be those of Antenor. They were put in a marble urn which was placed in this shrine. Thus the myth became reality, even though the bones belonged to a soldier who lived between the 2nd and 4th century AD.
Padua claims to be the oldest city in north Italy.The early medieval commune justified itself by a fabled founder in the Trojan Antenor, whose relics the commune recognized in a large stone sarcophagus exhumed in the year 1274
The Tomb of Antenor
Funny: I took a picture of this tomb just because it was an interesting sight. I didn't really know that this was the tomb of a man whom a legend describes as the founder of Padova. My lucky hand again!
You'll find this sarcophagus in Piazza Antenore (of course), opposite the rather lovely 15th-century Palazzo Sala and the Gothic Palazzo Romanin Jacur (which carries an inscription saying that Dante hid there to escape arrest.
Antenor, a Trojan prince who features in Homer's 'The Iliad', supposedly founded Padova (then called Patavium). In 1274 the good citizens of Padova thought they had found his remains, and so they constructed this 'ciborium-shaped' stone sarcophagus for him. The remains have recently been shown to be those of a warrior from the 3rd or 4th century AD...so perhaps those good citizens were actually right?
The inscription, written in Latin by the Padovan judge and poet Lovato dei Lovati, reads:
>This sepulchre excavated from marble contains the body of the noble Antenor who left his country, guided the Eneti and Trojans, banished the Euganeans and founded Padua.
Lovati has his own tomb on show to the side of Antenor's.
One of the more important sites in Padova is that of the Tomb holding the remains of the Trojan Prince Anteno who is said to be the founder of Padova in the year 1183.