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Kallian Publico was a wealthy and powerful Nemedian who lived in the city of Numalia. He owned a museum known as Kallian Publico's Temple where he stored his collection of rare antiques and exotic artifacts from all over the world. Kallian was killed by a giant man-headed serpent that was sealed up in a large metal bowl-shaped sarcophagus that Kallian opened while it was stored in the museum.[1]

Conan, who had been hired by Aztrias Petanius to break into the Temple and steal a Zamorian diamond goblet, was caught by the police and suspected of the murder. After they questioned him, and after being sold out by Aztrias, Conan exerted his rights in characteristic fashion at the edge of his sword.[1]

The sarcophagus had not belonged to Kallian. It arrived by caravan from the south, sent by the Stygian wizard Thoth-amon and intended for the wizard's hated enemy Kalanthes of Hanumar, priest of the god Ibis. The master of the caravan was supposed to deliver it directly to Kalanthes in Hanumar, but it meant having to go out of his way, so he instead left it with Kallian until Kalanthes could send for it.[1]

Kallian never informed Kalanthes of the delivery, for he believed that the sarcophagus held a priceless relic, the fabled diadem of the Giant-Kings, and his greed got the better of him with fatal results.[1]

Kallian's staff included his chariot driver Enaro, his chief clerk Promero, and the night watchman Arus who guarded the museum.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Robert E. Howard, The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian ("The God in the Bowl"), Del Rey (2003).