1. Originally the trunk of a tree with its branches lopped off, left standing
in the ground as a stump or sunk in it: in a wooden fortification described
by Caesar (Caes. Gal. 7.73
) the cippi are
further sharpened to a point and serve as chevaux
2. From the similarity of form, a low column of stone, sometimes round, more
often rectangular. Stone cippi were set up by the Agrimensores to mark the
divisions of lands, and are mentioned in the gromatic writers (Hygin.
p. 127, Lachmann; Sic. Flacc. de
p. 138 ff.; Lib.
i. pp. 211, 218, 221, 222; cf. AGRIMENSORES
p. 83b). The
most frequent use of the cippus, however, was as a sepulchral monument. Such
cippi are among the commonest finds of the excavator, and are to be seen in
the local museums of most Roman cities, as for instance at Bath. Several
fine specimens are in the Townley collection at the British Museum, one of
which is given in the first of the following woodcuts. The inscription
Cippus. (British Museum.)
is to the memory of Viria Primitiva, wife of L. Virius Helius, who
died at the age of eighteen years, one month, and twenty-four days. Our
second example is from a cippus preserved in the Vatican Museum. As features
common to the two, and therefore probably characteristic of these monuments
in general, we may notice the festoons of fruit and flowers suspended from
rams' heads at the corners, and the sphinxes below; between the latter we
see in the one instance the head of Pan, in the other a Nereid riding upon a
sea-monster. The letters D. M. in the first cut
are explained by the DIS MANIBUS which form the
sole inscription on the second. On several cippi we find the letters s. T.
T. L., that is, sit tibi
(cf. Pers. Sat.
1.37). These two uses of the cippus, as a boundary and a
tombstone, were often combined; it was usual to inscribe on it the extent of
Cippus. (In the Vatican.)
ground both along the road (in
) and in depth (in agrum
likewise the words hoc
heredes non sequitur;
in order that it might
not pass over to the heredes and be sold by them at any time. (Hor. Sat.
1.8, 12, 13; Orelli, Inscr.