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CIL 6.16019 Rediscovered

  • Alan H. Cadwallader (a1)


The inscription CIL 6.16019 has remained substantially dependent on an 1881 publication that has provided the fullest description of the inscription and a relief on a separate panel reported as found with it. Even though more recent analyses have adopted different lines of interpretation, there has been no new encounter with the actual panels. No photograph has been published and the inscription and relief were thought to be lost. This article announces that the inscription and relief have been located (in July 2016) and have been able to be photographed.



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1 Kockel, V., Porträtreliefs stadtrömischer Grabbauten: ein Beitrag zur Geschichte und zum Verständnis des spätrepublikanisch-frühkaiserzeitlichen Privatporträts (Mainz 1993) 213 .

3 Matz, F. and F. von Duhn, Antike Bildwerke in Rom: mit Ausschluss der grösseren Sammlungen (Leipzig 1881) n.3852 .

4 A valuable indication of this, though restricted to ‘Grabaltäre’, are the find spots for these funerary dedications that consistently follow the lines of main roads. See Bischung, D., Antike Grabaltäre aus den Nekropolen Roms (Bern 1987) 117-120 .

5 Fr Francesco Maria Torrigio, in the spirit of the Renaissance, recorded a number of epitaphs (though not this one) along the old Via Aurelia and Via Cornelia in the early seventeenth century. See Ferrua, A., ‘Iscrizioni antiche viste dal Torrigio’, RSA 5 (1975) 161-171 .

6 For an extreme case, see Ashton, N. G. and G. H. R. Horsley, ‘A Rediscovered Arkhisynagogos Inscription from Thessaloniki and an Intriguing Iulia Prokla’, Tyche 31 (2016) 1-23 .

7 From whence it derives its name. C. Aurelius Cotta was the censor at the time responsible for the original foundation.

8 Ov. Fast. 1.245; Verg. Aen. 8.355-8; Liv. 1.33.6, 2.51.4. The citadel was ideally placed to safeguard the free passage of trade on the Tiber River and, especially in the turmoil of the late Republic, to watch for troop movements on the Campus Martius (Liv. 39.15; Dio Cass. 37.28.1-3).

9 Cic. Leg. Man. 2.56; ILS 6079; CIL 6.2220. One might add the Naumachia Augusti, associated with the Temple of Mars (established by 2 bce) and fed, along with the surrounding ‘Grove of the Caesars’, by the Aqua Alsietina at the foot of the Janiculum on the banks of the Tiber, to this list, if only to demonstrate that the Janiculum, although formally outside the bounds of the old city, was a crucial part of the city’s cultural life. The aqueduct in the city approach ran close to the Via Aurelia. See RGDA 23; Suet. Aug. 43.1; Frontin. Aq. 11.1-2; Dio Cass. 66.25.3.

10 Liv. 1.33.5; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 3.45.1-2.

11 Table 10.3: ‘No burial or cremation of a corpse shall take place in a city’; cf. Cic. Leg. 2.23.6-8. See generally Retief, F. P., ‘Burial Customs and the Pollution of Death in Ancient Rome: Procedures and Paradoxes’, in F. P. Retief and L. Cilliers (eds.), Health and Healing, Disease and Death in the Graeco-Roman World (Bloemfontein 2005) 128-146 .

12 The building of the Aurelian Wall between 271 and 275 ce formally shifted the boundaries of the pomerium. The part of the wall to include the Janiculum hill substantially encloses the general location(s) for the inscription and relief given here.

13 Thus Patterson, J. R., ‘Living and Dying in the City of Rome: Houses and Tombs’, in J. C. Coulson and H. Dodge (eds.), Ancient Rome: The Archaeology of the Eternal City (Oxford 2000) 259-289 , at 267.

14 See Toynbee, J. M. C., Death and Burial in the Roman World (London 1971) 46-48 ; Hope, V., Death in Ancient Rome: A Sourcebook (London 2007) 235 . The elaboration of the procession depended substantially on status and wealth. See Bodel, J., ‘Death on Display: Looking at Roman Funerals’, in B. Bergmann and C. Kondoleon (eds.), The Art of Ancient Spectacle (New Haven, CT 1999) 259-281 ; Wrede, H., ‘Stadtrömische Monumente, Urnen und Sarkophage des Klinentypus in den beiden ersten Jahrhunderten n. Chr.’, AA 3 (1977) 395-431 , at 409; Galvao-Sobrinho, C. R., ‘Feasting the Dead Together: Household Burials and the Social Strategies of Slaves and Freed Persons in the Early Principate,’ in S. Bell and T. Ramsay (eds.), Free at Last! The Impact of Freed Slaves on the Roman Empire (London 2012) 130-176 , at 130.

15 Malvasia, C., Marmora Felsinea (Bologna 1690) 20 .

16 Fabretti, R., Inscriptionum antiquarum quae in aedibus paternis asservantur explicatio et additamentum (Rome 1702) 370 , §143.

17 Pietro Santi Bartoli’s discovery of a columbarium in the Villa Corsini in the seventeenth century bequeathed his name to the grave structure: Gli antichi sepolcri ovvero Mausolei romani ed etruschi trovati a Roma (Rome 1697) plate 4. His sketch actually indicates a series of small gravehouses/columbaria, rather than one large construction, in this location.

18 Amadutius to Cl. Praesuli Philippus Valentius in Angelo Calogerà, Nuova Raccolta D’ Opuscoli Scientifici e Filologici (Venice 1740) 226. This was repeated in De Veteri Inscriptione Ursi Togati Ludi Pilae Vitreae Inventoris, Epistola Iohannis Christophori Amadutti Professoris Litterarum Graecarum in Archigymnasio Romanae Sapientiae ad Cl. Praesulem, Philippum Valentium (Rome 1775) 21-2.

19 He also added the missing puncts in his transcription.

20 The building of the Ponte Garibaldi in 1888 accelerated the building explosion in the area.

21 Matz, F. and F. von Duhn, Antike Bildwerke in Rom: mit Ausschluss der grösseren Sammlungen (Leipzig 1881) 3.166 , §3852: ‘At left, a half-length figure of a woman in her prime; the upper garment is drawn over her head, the hair simply parted, the right hand extends from the garment across her chest. At the right, a half-length figure of an older man whose right hand is placed at the front of his chest; he has a broad flat forehead, the hair cut in a Trajanic style. Eye highlights have not been added. Both heads are slightly facing each other. The noses were at one stage complete but are now missing.’

22 However, their transcription neglected to notice the puncts before the two instances of que (ll. 5, 6).

23 H. G. Frenz, ‘Untersuchungen zu den frühen römischen Grabreliefs’ (PhD thesis, Frankfurt 1977) 244, §1; Kockel (n.1) 213, §21.

24 Frenz’s dissertation was subsequently published but concentrated on reliefs for which he had photographic evidence. No reference to CIL 6.16019 was included. See Frenz, H. G., Römische Grabreliefs in Mittel- und Süditalien (Rome 1985).

25 GPS coordinates: 41˚53'13''N / 12˚27'57''E.

26 Compare the similarly-positioned hands on the frame-inscribed relief for Calpurnia Salvia and Calpurnia Hilara: D. E. E. Kleiner, Roman Group Portraiture: Reliefs of the Late Republic and Early Empire (New York, NY 1977) fig. 10 (AE [1992] 119a; note that the Epigraphik-Datenbank omits sibi before et patronis); cf. figs. 4, 5, 9, 14, 16a, 21, 29, 43.

27 Kleiner (n.26) 124.

28 RPC §1564; HRIC §3; RIC §113.

29 See especially Kleiner (n.26) fig. 2.

30 Borbonus, D., Colombarium Tombs and Collective Identity in Augustan Rome (Cambridge 2014) 80 . Compare a similar representation in Kleiner (n.26) fig. 30.

31 E.g. Plin. HN 33.26; cf. Plut. Mor. 138B-146A; Plin. Ep. 1.14, 6.31; Dio Chrys. Or. 6.10-11; Sen. Ep. 76.31; Quint. Inst. 1.2.6.

32 See, for example, the coin minted by Drusus under Tiberius in 23 ce: RIC §43. Sometimes the veiled woman would also be portrayed pouring the incense of sacrifice, indicating that religious observance was a key practice of pietas (RIC §§373, 392, 394a, 483; cf. 1 Cor. 11:5, 7).

33 See generally Fantham, E., ‘Covering the Head at Rome: Ritual and Gender’, in J. Edmondson and A. Keith (eds.), Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture (Toronto 2008) 158-171 .

34 See Thompson, C. L., ‘Hairstyles, Head-Coverings, and St. Paul: Portraits from Roman Corinth’, Biblical Archaeologist 51.2 (1988) 99-115 , at 107; compare Soxiadis, E., The Mysterious Fayum Portraits (New York 1995) 234-235 . For gems, see Reinach, S., Pierres gravées des collection Marlborough et d’Orléans (Paris 1895) 16 and plate 5, nos. 2, 3 (and also 4); 22 and plate 27, 3; 48 and plate 96, 1; 113 and plate 109, 14.

35 Wrede (n.14) 406-8, noting plates 82-4.

36 Kleiner (n.26) figs. 22, 30.

37 The double nominative is honorific for Anteros (larger letter size), without compromise for Apollonia’s initiative (fecit).

38 Statistics are based on all published volumes up to and including volume 5C (Inland Asia Minor).

39 Fraser, P. M. and E. Matthews (eds.), A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (Oxford 1997) 3A.43 .

40 Iiro Kajanto underscores the importance of regionalism in assessing the growth of particular onomastic usage: see Kajanto, I., The Latin Cognomina (Helsinki 1965) 18-19 .

Of course, the accidence of survival may impact the statistics, but the incidence for Rome is striking. Kajanto was also struck by the apparent preference of slaves and freed in Rome seemed to prefer Latin on gravestones: Kajanto, I., A Study of the Greek Epitaphs of Rome (Helsinki 1963) 3 .

41 H. Solin, Die griechischen Personennamen in Rom (2nd edn., 3 vols.; Berlin 2003) 1.21. There is a typological error for this inscription: the name is printed as M. Cominius Anteros (p. 20).

42 Solin (n.41) 1.299-300. For Anteros and Apollonia, Solin includes one example of the name in a Greek inscription for each.

43 Lambertz, M., Die griechischen Sklavennamen (Vienna 1907) 22 .

44 Kajanto, Cognomina (n.40) 133.

45 Compare CIL 6.2226; CIL 6.17347, 24019 has ∙que∙ after libertabus but no breakdown for posterisque; the converse occurs in CIL 6.15182, 17158; in CIL 6.15160 the que is both abbreviated to ‘q’ and divided by puncts. In some inscriptions, puncts become dividers of syllables: CIL 6.15917, 15946, 16898, 24041, 24050.

46 Compare CIL 6.15710, 15767, 15769, 15790, and 15887 for slight abbreviations of ll.4-6 and CIL 6.16563 for a heavier pruning; see CIL 6.15258, 15983, 16563 for partial abbreviations for ll.5-6, reducing to L∙L∙P∙Q∙E∙ in CIL 6.16792.

47 See CIL 6.15164, 15166, 15168, 15172, 15173, 15174, 15178, 15173 as a handful amongst thousands.

48 J. S. and A. E. Gordon, Contributions to the Palaeography of Latin Inscriptions (Berkeley, CA 1957) 216, 211. Their album of datable inscriptions bears this out. The combination of these letter forms, as also a down-turn in the completion of the curvilinear stroke of the letter P, is most nearly matched by first-century styles; see A. E. and J. S. Gordon, Album of Dated Latin Inscriptions (4 vols.; Berkeley 1958-65) vol. 1, nos. 28, 34, 93 (with plates to vol. 1); cf. no. 126, which is dated at the end of the first century ce but has a horizontal finish to the curvilinear stroke.

49 Gordon, A. E., Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy (Berkeley, CA 1983) 40-41 .

50 Solin (n.41) 20, 300.

51 Solin, H., Analecta Epigraphica 1970-1997 (Rome 1998) 212 .

52 Mouritsen, H., The Freedman in the Roman World (Cambridge 2011) 125-126 .

53 I am grateful to the two anonymous reviewers for this paper, as also to Dr Michael Theophilos, for their salutary comments.


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