previous next


the tomb of M. Vergilius Eurysaces, a baker, built apparently about the end of the republic, in the angle formed by the bifurcation of the via Praenestina and the via Labicana, just outside the arches of the aqua Claudia, which afterwards became the porta Praenestina of the Aurelian wall. It is trapezoidal, measuring 8.75, 6.85, 5.80 and 4.05 metres on its sides, of concrete with travertine facing. This facing takes the form of horizontal and vertical cylinders in rows, which possibly are designed to represent measures for grain or vessels for mixing dough (Mitt. 1886, 47). Above these cylinders is a cornice, and a frieze covered with reliefs representing the various operations of breadmaking. At the corners are pilasters, and the inscription is repeated on all sides of the monument (CIL i². 1203-1205=vi. 1958: est hoc monimentum Marcei Vergilei Eurysacis pistoris redemptoris: apparet 1). The meaning of the last word is uncertain; it is certainly a verb, probably in the sense apparet magistratibus (CIL i². cit.). The inscription of Atistia, no doubt his wife, was also found (CIL i². 1206=vi. 1958).2 When Honorius restored the wall of Aurelian he erected two towers outside the PORTA PRAENESTINA (q.v.), one of which stood over this tomb, and concealed it from view. It must, however, have been partially accessible from the interior, for the inscriptions were partly read in the sixteenth century (CIL cit.; LS iii. 158; PBS i. 150). The towers were removed in 1838 and the tomb exposed to view, but the east side is almost wholly demolished (Jord. i. I. 358; Grifi, Brevi cenni di un monumento scoperto a Porta Maggiore, 1838; Ann. d. Inst. 1838, 202-248; 1841, 123; Bull. d. Inst. 1838, 165-169; Reber 532-533; Caetani- Lovatelli, NA, I July 1908, I-II=Passeggiate nella Roma antica 151- 176; Homo, Aurelien 248-249; Rostowzew, Social and Economic History, 32).

1 This punctuation is adopted in Thes. LL.; cf. Plaut. Cist. 696.

2 Mr. I. A. Richmond has noticed the letters P L over the door.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: