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IGEL Germany.

The village of Igel with its Roman funerary monument of a cloth-merchant family of Celtic origin called the Secundinii lies on the left bank of the Moselle some 8 km S of Trier. The family villa has not yet been explored. It probably lay up river from the monument, where the village church now is, or 400 m farther E on the Königsacht tributary. The monument has survived because by the early Middle Ages it had become associated with St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, and was regarded as a monument to the wedding of Helena and Constantius Chlorus. It has often been reproduced in engravings.

The monument was erected about A.D. 250 by the two brothers Lucius Secundinius Aventinus and Lucius Secundinus Securus for themselves and some seven or eight relatives. On the main relief, which has a partially preserved inscription, are portrayed six individuals, three full-length and three in medallions. The scene shows the brothers taking leave of a son of the Secundinii. In the medallions are three deceased family members. The remaining reliefs, which cover all four sides of the monument, are based on two themes: the religious-mythological, and the family's professional and daily life. The mythological scenes deal with life after death: apotheosis of Hercules and Ganymede (coronation), the death of Rhea Silvia for the sake of love, and the death of Hylas; Eros as a symbol of the omnipotence of love; Achilles being dipped in the Styx; Perseus with the head of Medusa. The scenes from daily life show the Secundinii at work: textile shop, textile factory, the transportation of the cloth by wagon and ship, are all shown, along with the kitchen, and the family eating and drinking. Other reliefs show the social standing of the Secundinii. They were great property owners, who farmed out some of their lands to tenants (coloni), and received their rent in the form of money, produce, or manufactured goods (cloth). The monument was a memorial to the dead of the family, but also served to document the importance and prestige of the family and firm.

The name Igel does not come from the Latin aquila, but from the mediaeval Latin agulia, which was used in Rome in the Middle Ages to refer to ancient obelisks. The word was brought N by the clergy, and became the High German Igel in Trier, and Eigelstein in Cologne and Mainz. The monument is 23 m high overall. It is built of red and red-gray sandstone that was originally painted.


H. Dragendorff & E. Krüger, Das Grabmal von Igel (1924) summary of older literature; F. Drexel, “Die belgisch-germanischen Pfeilergrabmäler,” RömMitt 25 (1920) 27ff; id., “Die Bilder der Igeler Säule,” ibid. 83ff; J. Vannérus, “Le Mausolée d'Igel,” Les Cahiers Luxembourgeois (1930) 457ff; H. Kähler, “Die rheinischen Pfeilergrabmäler,” BonnJbb 139 (1934) 145ff; E. Krüger, “Die Igeler Süule,” Führungsheft des Rhein. Landesmuseums Trier 9 (1934); id., Die Kunstdenkmäler den Rheinprovinz, Landkreis Trier (1936) 163ff; H. Eichler, “Zwei unbekannte Bilder des Grabmals von Igel,” TrZ 18 (1949) 235ff; F. Oelmann, “Die Igeler Säule und die Eigelsteine als Problem der Nameskunde,” BonnJbb 154 (1954) 162ff; E. Zahn, “Die Igeler Säule bei Trier,” Rheinische Kunststätten 6-7 (1968); (1970); id., “Die neue Rekonstruktionszeichnung der Igeler Säule,” TrZ 31 (1968) 227ff; H. Clippers, “Arbeiten und Beobachtungen an der Igeler Säule,” ibid. 222ff.


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