Latin Inscriptions: Epitaphs

Inscriptions from the time of the Roman Republic, translated by E.H.Warmington (1940). The numbers in red refer to the Latin text in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.

Epitaphs of the Scipios. On tombs of the Scipios near the Porte Capena.


Latin Text

Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, consul in 298, censor in 290. The epitaph on the lid. Saturnians.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, son of Gnaeus.


Latin Text

The later elogium (after 200 B.C.), on the front.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, Gnaeus' begotten son, a valiant gentleman and wise, whose fine form matched his bravery surpassing well, was aedile, consul and censor among you; he took Taurasia and Cisauna, in fact Samnium; he overcame all the Lucanian land and brought hostages therefrom.


Latin Text

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, son of Barbatus, consul in 259, censor in 258. The original epitaph on the tomb.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, son of Lucius, aedile, consul, censor.


Latin Text

The later elogium (about 200 B.C.) cut on a tablet of stone found in the Scipios' sepulchre: Saturnians.

This man Lucius Scipio, as most agree, was the very best of all good men at Rome. A son of Barbatus, he was aedile, consul and censor among you; he it was who captured Corsica, Aleria too, a city. To the Goddesses of Weather {Tempestates} he gave deservedly a temple.


Latin Text

Publius Cornelius Scipio, probably a son of Scipio Africanus; he died about 170 B.C.? On the front (two pieces) of a sarcophagus: Saturnians.

You who have worn the honoured cap of Jupiter's holy priest:

Death caused all your virtues, your honour, good report and valiance, your glory and your talents to be short-lived. If you had but been allowed long life in which to enjoy them, an easy thing it would have been for you to surpass by great deeds the glory of your ancestors. Wherefore, O Publius Cornelius Scipio, begotten son of Publius, joyfully does Earth take you to her bosom.


Latin Text

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, probably a son of Scipio Hispallus. About 160 B.C.? Tablet from a sarcophagus: Saturnians.

The epitaph.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, son of Gnaeus, grandson of Gnaeus.

The elogium.

Great virtues and great wisdom holds this stone

With tender age. Whose life but not his honour

Fell short of honours, he that lies here

Was never outdone in virtue; twenty years

Of age to burial-places was he entrusted.

This, lest you ask why honours none to him

Were ever entrusted.


Latin Text

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, quaestor in 167 B.C., son of Asiaticus. About 160 B.C. ? On a slab from a sarcophagus.

Lucius Cornelius Scipio, son of Lucius, grandson of Publius, quaestor, tribune of soldiers. Died at the age of thirty-three years. His father vanquished King Antiochus.


Latin Text

Scipio Comatus.

Cornelius Scipio Asiagenus Comatus, son of Lucius, grandson of Lucius, sixteen years of age.


Latin Text

Paula, mother of Scipio Hispanus ?

Paula Cornelia, daughter of Gnaeus, wife of Hispallus.


Latin Text

Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Hispanus, probably son of Hispallus, praetor peregrinus in 130 B.C. About 135 B.C.?

On three tablets which formed the front of a sarcophagus.

The epitaph.

Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Hispanus, son of Gnaeus, praetor, curule aedile, quaestor, tribune of soldiers (twice); member of the Board of Ten for Judging Law-suits; member of the Board of Ten for Making Sacrifices.

The elogium, in elegiacs.

By my good conduct I heaped virtues on the virtues of my clan; I begat a family and sought to equal the exploits of my father. I upheld the praise of my ancestors, so that they are glad that I was created of their line. My honours have ennobled my stock.


Latin Text

Scratched on tufa near the site of the sarcophagus of Barbatus (no.6); first century? B.C.:

To every man his own gravestone.


Latin Text

C. Publicius Bibulus, probably tribune in 209 B.C., who was perhaps son of Lucius Publicius Bibulus, military tribune in 216 B.C.

On a tomb found at Rome. Early in the second century B.C. or a later restoration?

To Gaius Publicius Bibulus, aedile of the plebs, son of Lucius, was granted, at the cost of the State by decree of the Senate and ordinance of the People, to honour him because of his worthiness, a site for a memorial into which himself and his posterity might be conveyed.


Latin Text

Servius Sulpicius Galba, a consul of 144 or of 108 B.C. On stone. Found at Rome.

Servius Sulpicius Galba, consul, son of Servius.

30 squ. ft.


Latin Text

Protogenes. Found in a wall at Preturo, near Amiternum: c. 185-160 B.C.?

Here is laid the jolly old clown Protogenes, slave of Clulius, who made many and many a delight for people by his fooling.


Latin Text

Marcus Caecilius. On stone. Found at Rome on the Appian Way: c. 140 B.C.: Saturnians.

This memorial was made for Marcus Caecilius.

Thank you, my dear guest, for stopping at my abode.

Good luck and good health to you. Sleep without a care.


Latin Text

Numerius Decumius. On stone. Now in the British Museum.

Numerius Decumius Varus, son of Numerius, of the Colline tribe, a clerk; Volusia Celsa, freedwoman of Gaius; Gaius Volusius Charito, freedman of Gaius.

Frontage 13 ft., depth 16 ft.


Latin Text

Unknown. Tegianum in Lucania.

. . . made, poised, and smoothed this memorial for himself and his children.


Latin Text

Claudia. Tablet or pillar found at Rome, now lost: c. 135-120 B.C.: Senarii.

Stranger, my message is short. Stand by and read it through. Here is the unlovely tomb of a lovely woman. Her parents called her Claudia by name. She loved her husband with her whole heart. She bore two sons; of these she leaves one on earth; under the earth has she placed the other. She was charming in converse, yet proper in bearing. She kept house, she made wool. That's my last word. Go your way.

On sepulchral urns found in the vineyard of San Cesario on the Via Appia at Rome; c. 150-100 B.C. Most are now lost. A selection from C.I.L. I, 1015-1195 (cp. 1196-1201). The persons were humble folk.


Latin Text

Lucius Aelius. 15th Octob.


Latin Text

Gaius Aemilius. 1st Jun.


Latin Text

22nd Mar. Sextus Aemilius.


Latin Text

Alfenus Lucius. 21st Octob.


Latin Text

Decimus Aponius. The ides of an intercalary month. Marcus Lucretius.


Latin Text

31st Oct. Apronia . . . 1st of an intercalary month; her bones.


Latin Text

Lucius Kailius. 11th Decem.


Latin Text

Sextus Clodius, freedman of Decimus, 3rd {or 5th} of the month.


Latin Text

Curiatia met her death on 12th Ap.


Latin Text

Exit of Gaius Decumius, 12th June.


Latin Text

Fabricia, elder daughter. 6th Sep.


Latin Text

Farnua (?); ides of an intercalary month.


Latin Text

Aulus Fulvius, freedman of Aulus and Aulus. 25th Feb.


Latin Text

Publius Larcius Hilarus, freedman of Gaius, laid to rest 17th Novem.


Latin Text

Gaius Lutatius, three days before the ides of an intercalary month.


Latin Text

The Feast of the God of Harbours {Portunalia - 17th Aug.}. Maria Plotica.


Latin Text

Protarchus, public slave, 29th Jan.


Latin Text

10th Dec. Marcus Sempronius, son of Lucius, of the Teretine tribe; his bones.


Latin Text

Aemilia's. 3rd Fe.


Latin Text

Buried 19th Sep. Salvia Postumia.


Latin Text

Pompeia. At Rome. Tablet of marble. End of the second century B.C.? Senarii.

Here lie the bones of Pompeia, Eldest daughter.

Fortune pledges things to many,

Guarantees them not to any.

Live for each day, live for the hours,

Since nothing is for always yours.

The gift of Salvius and Heros.


Latin Text

Cupiennia Tertulla. At Rome. End of the second century B.C.?

Cupiennia Tertulla, daughter of Lucius, whose remains here await the very end of time, was the last of her family


Latin Text

Marcus Statius Chilo. Found near Cremona. Early in the first century B.C.? Senarii.

Marcus Statius Chilo, freedman of Marcus, lies here. Ah! Weary wayfarer, you there who are passing by me, though you may walk as long as like, yet here's the place you must come to.

Frontage 10 ft., depth 10 ft.


Latin Text

Sempronia Moschis. Found at Rome. First century B.C. Has hexameter rhythms.

Here is laid the renowned Sempronia Moschis, dutiful, honourable, chaste, and modest, to whom thanks were rendered herewith by her husband for her merits.


Latin Text

Sergius Mena and other Sergii. Near Rome. Outside the Porta S.Paolo. 90 B.C.

. . . Sergius Mena son of Marcus, of the Veline tribe; . . . Sergius son of Gaius, of the Veline tribe, was killed in battle with Quintus Caepio.

Gaius Sergius, Gaius Sergius


Latin Text

Publius Critonius. Rome. Early in the first century B.C.?

Publius Critonius Pollio, son of Publius. This memorial to me was superintended by my mother, who deeply longs for me, placed here before my time. Farewell and good health to you!


Latin Text

Helena. Rome. Pillar of tufa.

Here lie the bones of Helena Antistiana, my sister.


Latin Text

Macer. At Abella.

To . . . mullius Macer, son of Gaius, member of the Board of Two, in a fifth year, by last will and testament, at the order of the executrix Ofillia Rufa his wife, daughter of Gaius.


Latin Text

Cornelius Diphilus and Cornelia. Pompeii. Early in the first century B.C.?

Quintus Cornelius Diphilus freedman of Quintus and of Publius, and Cornelia, daughter of Hera, freedwoman of Quintus, lie here. I further granted this as a burial place to my freedmen and freedwomen and all who are mine.


Latin Text

Marcius Philodamus. Beneventum. Early in the first century B.C.?

Publius Marcius Philodamus, builder, freedman of Publius, for himself and his. Here was buried Jucunda his darling.


Latin Text

Gaius Caninius Labeo. Found at Rome. Senarii on a tablet of marble. First century B.C. All words down to 'gave' are known from a copy only.

Gaius Caninius Labeo, of the tribe Arnensis, son of Gaius, the father. "All these here are mine. Him yonder did my son yonder make a freedman; her yonder did he make a freedwoman deservedly, and gave her a robe. As long as I lived, lived all of them together among my own." "An old man bestows on me the same tokens of love, for his boy. Witness this memorial, beset with stone, and packed round its wall with marble at the cost of many thousands."


Latin Text

Aulus Granius. Found at Rome; tablet of marble now at Rokeby Hall. About 100 B.C.?

Stranger, this silent stone asks you to stop, while it reveals to you what he, whose shade it covers, entrusted it to show. Here are laid the bones of Aulus Granius the auctioneer, an honourable man of high trustworthiness. No more. This he wanted you to know. Farewell.

Aulus Granius Stabilio, auctioneer, freedman of Marcus.


Latin Text

Posilla Senenia. Found at Monteleone in the old Sabine territory; Senarii on four pieces of stone.

Posilla Senenia, daughter of Quartus, and Quarta Senenia, freedwoman of Gaius.

Stop, stranger, and also read through what is written here: A mother was not permitted to enjoy the presence of her only daughter. Some god or other, it's my belief, cast unfriendly eye on her life. Since it was not permitted to her to be arrayed in life by her mother, her mother performed this act after her death, at the limit of her time, as was due; she has provided with a memorial her whom she had loved.


Latin Text

Gnaeus Taracius. On a marble tablet found at Capua. Hexameters. c. 85-45 B.C. (Has an apex over one long vowel.)

Gnaeus Taracius, son of Gnaeus, lived twenty years. Here are laid his bones.

Alas alas Taracius, how bitter the fate to which you were delivered! The years of your life were not all spent when you were given up to death; but at the time when it behoved you to be living in the flower of the age of youth, you passed away and left your mother in grief and sorrow.


Latin Text

Lucius Aurelius Hermia and his wife Aurelia. Stone slab now in the British Museum. Found at Rome by the Via Nomentana. Elegiacs. c. 80 B.C. or later. Both persons were Greek freedmen. The wife was dead, but words are represented as spoken by her.

[a] Lucius Aurelius Hermia, freedman of Lucius, a butcher of the Viminal Hill.

She who went before me in death, my one and only wife, chaste in body, a loving woman of my heart possessed, lived faithful to her faithful man; in fondness equal to her other virtues, never during bitter times did she shrink from loving duties.

Aurelia, freedwoman of Lucius.

[b] Aurelia Philematium, freedwoman of Lucius.

In life I was named Aurelia Philematium {"Little Kiss"}, a woman chaste and modest, knowing not the crowd, faithful to her man. My man was a fellow-freedman; he was also in very truth over and above a father to me; and alas, I have lost him. Seven years old was I when he, even he, took me in his bosom; forty years old - and I am in the power of violent death. He through my constant loving duties flourished at all seasons . . .


Latin Text

Publius Buxurius. Near Monte Prandone in E. Picenum.

Publius Buxurius of Truentum, son of Publius, lies at rest. His surname was Tracalus. An architect. Good bye.


Latin Text

Lucius Maecius Philotimus. Found at Rome. First century B.C. Senarii (3rd line trochaic octonarius ?)

Young man, though you are in a hurry, this little stone asks you to look at it, and then to read the message with which it is inscribed. Here lie the bones of Lucius Maecius Philotimus the hardwareman. I wanted you to know this. Farewell.

{Added by a later hand:-}

To my posterity full rights.

{Added later still? :-}

Lucius Maecius Salvius, freedman of Lucius; Menahemim, sons of Menahem; Rutilia Hethaera, freedwoman of Rutilia; Maccia, daughter of Lucius.


Latin Text

Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces. On a very large monument ( Tomb of Eurysaces ) still in situ at Rome, which is usually dated to about 50-20 B.C.

This is the memorial of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces, baker and contractor. (?) It is apparent.


Latin Text

Atistia, his wife. On marble in the form of a bread-basket.

Atistia was my wife. In life she was a dear good woman. All that survives of her bodily remains is in this bread-basket.


Latin Text

Gaius Quinctius Protymus. Near Casinum. c. 50 B.C.? Mixed metres.

Here is laid Gaius Quinctius Protymus, approved by his friends in highest praise, whose talents Gaius Quinctius Valgus, patron and fosterling of loyalty, thus proclaims.


Latin Text

An unknown auctioneer. Found at Venusia. c. 50 B.C.? Senarii.

Stranger, if you read this name, revile it not . . . auctioneer, son of Lucius. This he made in life an everlasting dwelling-place for himself. He believed that what nature gave him was a guest-chamber, and as was proper he enjoyed his means in company with his friends. See to it that you too use your friends so while you live. Farewell.


Latin Text

Gaius Atilius Euhodus. On the Appian Way. Tablet of marble.

Stranger, stop and "turn your gaze towards this hillock on your left," which holds the bones of a poor man "of righteousness and mercy and love." Wayfarer, I ask you to do no harm to this memorial.

Gaius Atilius Euhodus, freedman of Serranus, a pearl-merchant of Via Sacra, is buried in this memorial. Wayfarer, good bye.

By last will and testament: it is not permitted to convey into or bury in this memorial any one other than those freedmen to whom I have given and bestowed this right by last will and testament.


Latin Text

Albia Hargula. Rome. Tablet of marble. First century B.C.

Albia Hargula, freedwoman of Albia: lived fifty-six years. Chaste she was and the soul of honour. If the dead below have any sense at all, may her bones which lie here rest in perfect peace.


Latin Text

Nymphe (?). Found at Rome. Elegiacs.

If anyone cares to add his own grief to ours, here let him be; and with no scanty tears let him deign to weep. Here an unhappy parent has laid to rest his one and only daughter Nymphe whom he cherished in the joy of sweet love while the shortened hours of the Fates allowed it. Now she is torn away from home - earth covers her, dear to her own; now her fair face, her form too, praised as fair, - all is airy shadow and her bones are a little pinch of ashes.


Latin Text

Manlia Sabina. In the Sabine territory.

Manlia Sabina, daughter of Lucius.

My parent I loved as being my parent, my husband I cherished in the second place after my parent. Thus was my life's account proved right - a spotless one. I bid you farewell, stranger. Live your life, death is already on its way for you also.


Latin Text

Papinius Zibax. Rome. Repeated on another stone.

Still living. Marcus Papinius Zibax, freedman of Quintus and Marcus, is the giver of this site for himself and his freedmen, fellow-freedmen, and fellow-freedwomen. Frontage 12 ft., depth 12 ft.


Latin Text

A child, Optatus. Found at Rome. Hexameters, elegiacs.

. . . Optatus, freedman of Publius and Clodia, lived six years and eight months.

Here my parents burnt my dead body in the flower of my age. So long as was allowed me I lived more acceptable than any other to the gods above, of whom none could speak ill in bitter word . . . to the gods above whom loyalty compels . . . now modestly you . . . say you: "Optatus, lightly rest the earth on you." . . . a child who had not yet your share of years . . . when I am torn away from my mother's bosom to death . . . in life I was dear to departed souls, and very dear to the goddess who made away with me under unlucky omens. Cease now, mother mine, cease to torment yourself in vain sobs of wretchedness each livelong day, for grief such as this has not now befallen you alone; sorrows the same as these have fallen to the lot of mighty kings too. Bright with never-fade . . .


Latin Text

Unknown person; at Venafrum.

Others waste life away in Love's affaires;

But my love, rightfully begot, death takes.


Latin Text

Plotia, a slave-girl. Carthago Nova in Spain. First century B.C.?

The handmaiden Plotia (she was often called Phryne), freedwoman of Lucius and Fufia, was placed here. This memorial shews how she behaved towards her protector and protectress, her father and her husband. Farewell, sir. Be you well.


Latin Text

Brutius and Brutia. On a pillar found at Rome.

Quintus Brutius (still living), a cattle-merchant of the Campus {Martius}, son of Publius of the Quirine tribe lies here, an honest man, clean-living, loved by all.

Brutia Rufa freedwoman of Quintus. So long as she lived she loyally pleased her protector.


Latin Text

Carfinia. Tablet of marble; Rome.

Carfinia M . . . freedwoman of Marcus, lived twenty years. She was a joy and a dear pleasure to her friends. She was obliging to all.


Latin Text

Decimus Saturius and Philoclea. Rome.

Decimus Saturius Dama, freedman of Lucius; and Saturia Philoclea freedwoman of Decimus. For themselves their freedmen and their freedwomen.


Latin Text

Apollodorus, Glycera, and Nicephorus. Rome.

Aulus Clodius Apollodorus freedman of Aulus, Vettia Glycera freedwoman of Quintus, and Aulus Cascellius Nicephorus freedman of Aulus; as partners they made this memorial for themselves and theirs.


Latin Text

Aulus Salvius and Sextus Salvius. On two sarcophagi of the gens Salvia found at Ferento near Viterbo.

Aulus Salvius Crispinus, son of Aulus, grandson of Aulus, was buried here when 51 years of age. He four times held office on the Board of Four at Ferentum. On the day that was his very last, at luncheon . . . he was killed by a wall.


Latin Text

Sextus Salvius son of Aulus lived 88 years. lie was thrice member of the Board of Four.


Latin Text

Grave given to Petillia and Alexander. Rome. c. 106-92 B.C. A. Gordon, in Univ. of Calif. Publ. in Class. Arch. 1. 4, 157.

Critonia Nice freedwoman of Critonia presents this burial-place to Petillia, freedwoman of Lucius, and to Alexander, during their lifetime; a memorial for trustworthiness and services . . . lived


Latin Text

Egnatuleia. Rome. Early in the first century B.C.?

Property of Egnatuleia Hilara, freedwoman of Marcus, for herself and her freedmen (or children?); frontage 18 ft., depth 18 ft.


Latin Text

Sextius Geganius. Rome. (repeated on two other stones).

Sextus Geganius son of Sextus, of the Colline tribe, for himself and his freedmen. Frontage 18 feet, depth 26 feet.


Latin Text

Lucius Herennius. Rome. Tablet of stone.

For Lucius Herennius, son of Lucius, of the Stellatine tribe, clerk-accountant to the treasury of the three decuries, and for his freedmen. Twelve ft. each way.


Latin Text

Lemiso. Tablet in a columbarium found at Rome.

Here am I, Lemiso, laid to rest; of my labours nothing but death ever made an end.


Latin Text

Caesellia Hymnis. Capua.

Here are placed the bones of Caesellia Hymnis, freedwoman of Quintus and his wife. Helena a freedwoman made this at her own cost.


Latin Text

Gaius Fulmonius Metrophanes. Capua.

Here are placed the bones of Gaius Fulmonius Metrophanes the Rich, freedman of Gaius. Superintended by his freedmen according to his last will and testament.


Latin Text

Offellius. Beneventum.

Lucius Offellius, son of Gaius, of the Claudian tribe, superintended the making of this memorial during his lifetime for himself and his ancestors.


Latin Text

C. Petuellius. Beneventum.

Gaius Petuellius Falevius son of Quintus superintended the making of this memorial for himself and Epidia Neria his wife, daughter of Publius. He likewise acceptably completed the work.


Latin Text

Unknown woman. Ancona. Senarii.

[a] Stranger, stop and look at an everlasting home. Set up according to deserts by mate for mate and self.

Above this inscription are representations of a woman's bust and of a wool-basket. Above the latter are letters which may in part mean:

wool-basket . . spindle of her distaff.


Latin Text

L. Lucilius. Cremona.

Lucius Lucilius, who was known as son of Quintus, grandson of Gnaeus, of the Claudian tribe; Gaius Lucilius Statius, freedman of Gaius. This burial-place stretches square over one eighth of a Roman acre of land; the coffin is in the middle.


Latin Text

Salvia? Ivrea. Now lost. Senarii.

Property of Gaius Pagurius Gelos freedman of Gaius.

Stranger, stop and look at this lofty tomb, which contains the bones of a little life of tender age. Here I lie buried whose tender age was in its spring-time. I brought dignity to attend on my duty, my wool-making. Plaint fills me at Fortune's lot so hard and unfair. Should you ask my name, the name of 'Salvia' would rise up. I will bid you farewell, stranger. I would like you to be happier.


Latin Text

Quintus Marcius. Patavium.

If any man has not bequeathed an estate, let his children seek for themselves. As for you, wayfarer, farewell. There is a thick mass of 7000 by the waters.

Quintus Marcius Rex son of Publius, of the Sergian tribe.


Latin Text

Lucius Postumius. Found in Casus Island.

Still living. Lucius Postumius Diodorus, freedman of Lucius, made this during his lifetime for himself and his wife, Pomponia Calliopa, now deceased, freedwoman of Pomponius.


Latin Text

Valus Gabinius. Avennio (Avignon). Early in first century B.C. Bilingual.

Valus Gabinius. Adieu. Here lies Valus Gabinius.


Latin Text

Lucius Sulpicius. Carthago Nova, Spain. Early in the first century B.C.

Lucius Sulpicius son of Quintus, grandson of Quintus, of the Colline tribe, is placed here.

"He was approved in many a judgment of his kinsmen and relatives."


Latin Text

Herennia Crocine. Gades, Spain. First century B.C. Has hexameter rhythms.

Hail! Herennia Crocine, dear to her own, is shut up in this tomb, Crocine dear to her own. My life is over; other girls too have lived their lives and died before me. Enough now. May the reader say as he departs, "Crocine, lightly rest the earth on you." Farewell to all you above ground.


Latin Text

A buffoon. Rome. First century B.C.

for . . . freedman of Lucius, a buffoon by profession, a most respected and excellent freedman of the highest honour, his patron built this monument.


Latin Text

Licinus, wife, and son. Rome.

. . . son of Lucius, Pomponius Licinus . . . Teidia his wife, daughter of Sextus, . . . Capito son of Lucius. This sepulchre shall not pass to an heir.


Latin Text

Hostius Pamphilus. Rome. Tablet of stone.

Gaius Hostius Pamphilus, a doctor of medicine, freedman of Gaius, bought this memorial for himself and for Nelpia Hymnis, freedwoman of Marcus; and for all their freedmen and freedwomen and their posterity. This for evermore is our home, this is our farm, this our gardens, this our memorial.

Frontage 13 ft., depth 24 ft.


Latin Text

Lucius and Gaius Vecilius; and Pola and Plenese. Falerii.

To Lucius Vecilius, son of Volta, and to Pola Abelensis was granted one funeral couch.

To Gaius Vecilius son of Lucius, and to Plenensis, one funeral couch. Nothing further may be done against the wish of Lucius Levius and Gaius Levius, sons of Lucius, and of him whose duty it is to make sacrifices to their souls. Let no one place a body in front of these dead.


Latin Text

Publius Octavius. Naples or possibly Capua.

Here are laid the bones of Publius Octavius Philomusus, freedman of Aulus. Sacred to the gods of dead parents. Damage it not. Depth 15 feet, along the road 15 feet.

Philargyrus, freedman, and his mate.


Latin Text

Marcus Orfius. Origin unknown; probably Campania. Time of Sulla.

To Marcus Orfius, son of Marcus, of the Falernian tribe. Rufa, freedwoman in the service of Diana, made this for herself and her husband.


Latin Text

Lucius Mussidius. On a pillar found at Sulmo.

To Lucius Mussidius Syrus, freedman of Romanus; set up by Vettidia Leucadium, freedwoman of Vettidia.


Latin Text

Numitorius and Mummia. On a piece of sarcophagus. Rome. First century B.C.

Gaius Numitorius Asclepiades, and Mummia Zosima, freedmen of Lucius.

These are two persons of one heart, good report, and honourable passing. Blest.


Latin Text

Q. Tiburtius. By a gate at Capua.

Here are laid the bones of Quintus Tiburtius Menolavus, a slaughterer, freedman of Quintus.


Latin Text

Pontia Prima (or Pontia, eldest daughter). rome.

Here is laid Pontia Prima. Do not damage.


Latin Text

On a large pillar found at Rome.

The property of the guild of cutters or stone-sawyers.


Latin Text

Found at Rome.

. . . member of the Board of Two, of the guild of ring-makers, gave as overseer a burial-place; frontage 25 feet, depth 25 feet, to the guild of ring-makers at his own cost.


Latin Text

Association of Greek singers (i.e. players, actors; or givers of Greek shows). Tablet of stone. Found in a tomb by the Labican Way.

The property of the Fellowship of Greek Singers, and such as are members of this Congregation; built out of their common purse. Approved by Maecenas Mal . . ., son of Decimus, master of funeral ceremonies and patron of the Congregation. Marcus Vaccius Theophilus freedman of Marcus, and Quintus Vibius Simus freedman of Quintus, chairman of the Congregation of Decumiani, superintended the purchase of a site for a tomb and the building of the same.

Added by a later hand :

Lucius Aurelius Philo, freedman of Lucius, chairman for the seventh time of the Congregation of the Fellowship of Greek Singers and such as are members of this Congregation, superintended the restoration of this work out of his own purse.


Latin Text

Pescennia. Capua.

Here are laid the bones of Pescennia Laodica, freedwoman of Pescennia.


Latin Text

Lucius Papius; public services at Sinuessa and Caedex. Found at Carinola. c. 60 B.C.? (has <apexes.)

Lucius Papius Polio of the Teretine tribe, son of Lucius, member of the Board of Two, gave a feast of mead and pastry in honour of his father Lucius Papius of the Falernian tribe, son of Lucius, to all the colonists of Sinuessa and Caedex, and a show of gladiators and a dinner to the colonists at Sinuessa and to the Papii. He set up a memorial at the cost of 12,000 sesterces. By last will and testament, and by approval of Lucius Novercinius Pollio, son of Lucius, of the Pupinian tribe.


Latin Text

Presentation of a graveyard by Horatius Balbus. Found at Sassina. Stone tablet, now missing in part but the missing portion is partly known from copies.

. . . Horatius Bathos son of . . . is the giver to members of his township and other residents therein, at his own expense, of sites for burial, except such as had bound themselves to serve as gladiators and such as had hanged themselves with their own hand or had followed a filthy profession for profit: to each person a site, 10 ft. in frontage and 10 ft. in depth, between the bridge over the Sapis and the upper monument which is on the boundary of the Fangonian estate. On sites where no one has been buried, anyone who shall so desire shall make a tomb before he dies. On sites where persons have been buried it shall be permitted to build a memorial to him only who shall be buried there, and to his descendants.


Latin Text

Graves presented in Rome. Found at Rome.

[a] To Titus Luscius Pharnaces, freedman of Titus; and to Luscia Montana, freedwoman of Titus; Titus Attius Auctus, freedman of Attia, to his wife; Titus Luscius Corumbus, freedman of Luscia to his patroness. This they gave, in return for their merits, as a place where their bones may lie at rest.

on the back

[b] (on the back) Of Gaius Laelius Philota.


Latin Text

Horaea. Found at Traiectum on the Liris, c. 45 B.C.? now lost.

Publius Larcius Nicia, freedman of Publius; Saufeia Thalea, freedwoman of a matron; Lucius Larcius Rufus, son of Publius; Publius Larcius Brocchus, son of Publius; Publia Horaea, freedwoman of Publius and of his wife.

I was a woman respected by the good and hated by no respectable woman. To my old master and mistress I was an obedient servant, but to him yonder my husband I was a dutiful wife; for they gave me freedom, and he arrayed me in a robe. For twenty years since my girlhood I maintained the whole house. My last day delivered its judgment and death took away my breath, but took not the splendour of my life.

Lucius Eprius Chilo, messenger-attendant on a tribune of the plebs; Epria . . .


Latin Text

Helvia's sons. Bovianum.

To Helvia, daughter of Mesius, and priestess of Venus, her sons at their own cost.


Latin Text

Helvia Prima (or Helvia, eldest daughter). Found at Beneventum. Elegiacs. c. 45 B.C.?

Wayfarer, you who are walking along with carefree mind and turn your looks to these my funeral gifts, if you ask who I am, being mere ashes, look, and burnt embers, I was Helvia Prima before my sad departure. The husband I enjoyed was Scrateius Cadmus, and we lived one in heart and twins in disposition. Now, led down by fatal fire and Stygian water, have I been given to Dis to remain with him for long ages.


Latin Text

Fresidia Flora and Octavius Antimachus. Found at Formiae (late 1st century B.C.)

Marcus Caelius Phileros, freedman of Marcus - attendant of imperator Titus Sextius in Africa, aedile at Carthage for the administration of justice, and for letting the collection of five-yearly taxes at 83 forts, when he built a shrine of Tellus at his own expense, twice duumvir at Clupia, as Augustalis at Formiae he adorned the shrine of Neptune with coloured stonework at his own expense - {erected this} for his wife Fresidia Flora, the freedwoman of Numerius, who was most obedient to her husband, and for his dear friend Quintus Octavius Antimachus, the freedman of his wife.


Latin Text

C. Baebius. Found at Forum Livii (late 1st century B.C.).   Translated by S.J.Malone.

Gaius Baebius, son of Titus, of the Clustumina voting-tribe, tribune of the Twentieth Legion, prefect of the coasts of Hispania Citerior for the war of Actium, IIIIvir for applying the law lies here; set up at the discretion of Marcus Sappinus, son of Lucius, and Galla, freedwoman.


Latin Text

A funeral eulogy, 'Laudatio Turiae' (late 1st century B.C.).   Adapted from the translation by S.Treggiari.

. . . Before our wedding day you were suddenly left an orphan when both your parents were murdered. Although I had gone to Macedonia and your sisterís husband, Gaius Cluvius, had gone to the province of Africa, the murder of your parents did not remain unavenged. You carried out this act of piety with such great diligence - asking questions, making inquiries, demanding punishments - that if we had been there, we could not have done better. You and that very pious woman, your sister, share the credit for success.

10 While you were busy with these matters, to shield your honour, after the punishment of the assassins, you at once retired from your father's house to the home of my mother, where you awaited my return.

Then pressure was brought to bear on you and your sister to accept the view that your father's will, by which you and I were heirs, had been invalidated by his having contracted a coemptio with his wife. If that was the case, then you together with all your father's property would necessarily come under the guardianship of those who pursued the matter; your sister would be left without any share at all of that inheritance, since she had been transferred to the potestas of Cluvius. How you reacted to this, with what presence of mind you offered resistance, I know full well, although I was absent.

You defended our common cause by asserting the truth, namely, that the will had not in fact been broken, so that we should both keep the property, instead of your getting all of it alone. It was your firm decision that you would defend your father's written word; 20 you would do this anyhow, you declared, by sharing your inheritance with your sister, if you were unable to uphold the validity of the will. And you maintained that you would not come under the state of legal guardianship, since there was no such right against you in law, for there was no proof that your father belonged to any gens that could by law compel you to do this. For even assuming that your father's will had become void, those who prosecuted had no such right since they did not belong to the same family. They gave way before your firm resolution and did not pursue the matter any further. Thus you on your own brought to a successful conclusion the defence you took up of your duty to your father, your devotion to your sister, and your faithfulness towards me.

Rare indeed are marriages of such long duration, which are ended by death, not divorce. We had the good fortune to spend forty-one years together with no unhappiness. I wish that our long marriage had come finally to an end by my death, since it would have been more just for me, who was older, to yield to fate.

30 Why should I mention your personal virtues - your modesty, obedience, affability, and good nature, your tireless attention to wool-working, your performance of religious duties without superstitious fear, your artless elegance and simplicity of dress? Why speak about your affection toward your relatives, your sense of duty toward your family (for you cared for my mother as you cared for you own parents)? Why recall the countless other virtues which you have in common with all Roman matrons worth of that name? The virtues I claim for you are your own special virtues; few people have possessed similar ones or been known to possess them. The history of the human race tells us how rare they are.

Together we diligently saved the whole inheritance which you received from your parents' estate. You handed it all over to me and did not worry yourself about increasing it. We shared the responsibilities so that I acted as the guardian of your fortune and you undertook to serve as protector of mine. On this point I pass by many things in silence, 40 for fear of attributing to myself a portion of your deserts. Suffice it for me to have indicated my sentiments.

You demonstrated your generosity not only towards your very many relatives but especially in your performance of family duties. On this point someone might mention with praise other women, but the only equal you have had has been your sister. For you brought up in our home young female relatives who deserved such kindness. And you provided dowries for them so that they could attain a position in life worthy of your family. These arrangements which were planned by you and your sister were supported by Gaius Cluvius and me with mutual agreement; moreover, since we admired your generosity, in order that you might not reduce the size of your inheritance, we put on the market family property and provided dowries by selling our estates. I have mentioned this not to congratulate myself but in order to make known that we were compelled by a sense of your honour to carry out with our own money those arrangements made by you because of your dutifulness and generosity. This I have related, not to sing my own praises, 50 but to show that we held ourselves in honour bound to execute from our property those obligations incurred by you out of the fullness of your heart.

col. ii [When my political enemies were hunting me down], you aided my escape by selling your jewellery; you gave me all the gold and pearls which you were wearing and added a small income from household funds. We deceived the guard of my enemies, and you made my time in hiding more comfortable. You ceased making trial of the violence of the soldiery, as your courage kept urging you to try; the clemency of those against whom you were planning this provided a safer path for you. In the midst of such a great disaster your spirit was so steadfast that no unbecoming word escaped your lips.

Meanwhile when a troop of men collected by Milo, whose house I had acquired through purchase 10* when he was in exile, tried to profit by the opportunities provided by the civil war and break into our house to plunder, you beat them back successfully and were able to defend our home.

[(?) Rightly did Caesar say that you deserved the credit] for my survival and for his restoration of me from exile to my native land. For unless you had prepared the way which he kept safe, looking out for my safety, his promises of assistance would have been of no avail. So I owe no less a debt to your loyal devotion than to Caesar.

Why should I now disclose memories locked deep in my heart, memories of secret and concealed plans? Yes, memories - how I was warned by swift messages to avoid present and imminent dangers and was therefore saved by your quick thinking; how you did not permit me to by swept away by my foolhardy boldness; how, by calm consideration, you arranged a safe place of refuge for me and enlisted as allies in your plans to save me your sister and her husband, Gaius Cluvius, even though the plans were dangerous to all of you. 10 If I tried to touch on all your actions on my behalf, I could go on forever. For us, let it suffice to say that you hid me safely.

Yet the bitterest experience of my life came later, in the fate that befell you. The favour and decision of Caesar Augustus, then absent [from Rome], had restored me to my country, still a useful citizen perhaps; but his colleague Marcus Lepidus, then present in the city, opposed the pardon. When you threw yourself on the ground at his feet, not only did he not raise you up, but in fact he grabbed you and dragged you along as if you were a slave. You were covered with bruises, but with unflinching determination you reminded him of Augustus Caesar's edict of pardon and kind letter. Although you had suffered insults and cruel injuries, you revealed them publicly in order to expose him as the author of my calamities. And his punishment for this was not long delayed.

Could such courage remain without effect? Your unexampled patience furnished the occasion for Caesar's clemency, 20 and, by guarding my life, you branded the savage cruelty [of Lepidus] by your admirable endurance.

But why go on? Let me cut my speech short. My words should and can be brief, lest by dwelling on your great deeds I treat them unworthily. In gratitude of your great services towards me let me display before the eyes of all men my public acknowledgement that you saved my life.

When the world was finally at peace again and order had been restored in the government, we enjoyed quiet and happy days. We longed for children, but spiteful fate begrudged them. If Fortune had allowed herself to care for us in this matter as she does others, we two would have enjoyed complete happiness. But advancing old age put an end to our hopes for children The courses you considered and the steps you attempted to take because of this would perhaps be remarkable and praiseworthy in some other women, but in you they are nothing to wonder at when compared to your other great qualities, and I will not go into them.†

30 You were depressed about your infertility and grieved because I was without children. You became anxious lest by retaining you in marriage I might lose all hope of having children and be distressed for that reason. So you spoke of divorce and offered to give up your household to another woman, to a fertile woman. You said that you yourself would arrange for me a new wife, one worthy of our well-known love, and you assured me that you would treat the children of my new marriage as if they were your own. You would not demand return of your inheritance, it would remain, if I wished, in my control. You would not detach or isolate yourself from me; you would simply carry our henceforth the duties and responsibilities of my sister or of my mother-in-law.

40 I must confess that I was so angered by your suggestion that I lost my mind. I was so horrified that I could scarcely regain control of myself. How could you talk of a dissolution of our marriage before it was demanded by fate! How could you even conceive in your mind of any reason why you should, while still alive, cease to be my wife, you who remained very faithfully with me when I was in exile, indeed almost in exile from life! How could the desire or need for having children be so great that I would break faith in you, and change certainty for uncertainty! But no more about this! You remained with me as my wife, for I could not have given in to you without disgrace for me and unhappiness for both of us.

But on your part, what could have been more worthy of commemoration and praise than your efforts in devotion to my interests: when I could not have children from yourself, you wanted me to have them through you good offices, and since you despaired of bearing children, 50 to provide me with offspring by my marriage to another woman.

I wish that our old age had allowed our marriage to last until I, who was the elder, had passed away, for it would have been fairer for you to arrange a funeral for me; and that I might have departed, leaving you behind, with a daughter to replace me in your widowhood. But by fateís decree, you finished the race of life before I did, and you left me all alone, without children, grieving and longing for you. I on my part will, however, bend my way of thinking and feeling to your judgements and be guided by your admonitions.† But all your opinions and instructions should give precedence to the praise you have won, so that this praise will be a consolation for me and I will not feel too much the loss of what I have consecrated to immortality - to be remembered for ever.

What you have achieved in your life will not be lost to me. The thought of your fame gives me strength of mind; inspired by your example I will stand up to cruel fortune, which has not stolen everything from me since it allows the memory of you to grow brighter and stronger through praise. 60 But along with you I have lost the tranquillity of my existence. When I recall how you used to foresee and ward off the dangers that threatened me, I break down under my calamity and cannot hold steadfastly by my promise.

Natural sorrow wrests away my power of self-control and I am overwhelmed by sorrow. I am tormented by two emotions: grief and fear - and I do not stand firm against either. When I go back in though to my previous misfortunes and when I envisage what the future may have in store for me, fixing my eyes on your glory does not give me strength to bear my sorrow with patience. Rather I seem to be destined to long mourning.

I conclude my oration with this: you have deserved all, and I can never repay you completely. I have always considered your wishes my commands. I will continue to do for you whatever I still can.

May the Manes assure and protect your eternal peace, I pray.

CIL_10.6087   Funerary inscription of L. Munatius Plancus (c. 20 B.C.) : see Lacus Curtius

Attalus' home page   |   12.09.19   |   Any comments?