* the family tomb of the Cornelii Scipiones near the via
Appia, about 400 metres south-east of the point where the via Latina
branched off to the east, and at the intersection of a cross road that
connected the two great viae. The importance of the family made
this one of the most notable monuments of the kind in Rome (cf. Cic.
Tusc. i. 13
: an tu egressus porta Capena, cum Calatini Scipionum
Serviliorum Metellorum sepulcra vides, miseros illos putes ?
was buried in this tomb, and his marble statue erected by Africanus
(Cic. pro Arch. 22; Plin. NH vii. I 14; Suet. de poet. 8; Liv. xxxviii. 56
The statues of Publius and Lucius Scipio are also said to have been
placed in the tomb (Liv. loc. cit.).
As the Scipios regularly followed the practice of inhumation and not
cremation (Cic. de legg. ii. 57), the tomb was filled with sarcophagi,
arranged for the most part in loculi cut in the tufa rock. (It is probable
that there was a quarry here before the tomb was made.) The tomb
was opened early in the seventeenth century, and one sarcophagus,
that of L. Scipio, consul in 259 B.C., was broken and its inscribed lid
removed, but the final excavation of the monument was carried out
in 1780 (Piranesi e Visconti, Monumenti degli Scipioni, Roma 1785
=Visconti, Opere varie, Milan 1827, i. 1-70; Nibby, Roma Antica, ii.
561-575). Many of the sarcophagi were then broken and their contents
scattered (CIL i². pp. 373-375), though Hilsen, to whom the description
of the tomb in CIL cit. is due, considers that much of the damage had
already been done in the fourth century; but one, that of L. Scipio
Barbatus, consul in 298 B.C., and apparently the first to be buried there,
was preserved and is now in the Vatican, together with portions of
several others and their original inscriptions. These inscriptions (CIL
12. 6-16=vi. 1284-1294) record the burial of eight members of the
family, from Barbatus (vid. sup.) to Paulla Cornelia, wife of a certain
Hispallus of unknown date but probably later than 150 B.C. (RE iv. 1600
No. 445). Some of them are written in the Saturnian metre and are
extremely valuable for the history of Latin literature and phonology,
but they are probably later than the date usually assigned to them. That
of Barbatus, for instance, is probably not earlier than the second Punic
war (Bticheler, Carm. Lat. Epig. i. Nos. 6-9; W6lfflin, Bayr. Sitz.-Ber.
1892, i. 188-219). Of the sarcophagi, that of Barbatus alone was decorated
with a Doric entablature with Ionic volutes. The others were perfectly
plain. See LR 323-329; HJ 200, 211 and reff.
The tomb has quite recently been completely cleared, and restored
as far as possible to its original condition, facsimiles of the sarcophagus of
Barbatus and of the inscriptions having been put in their proper places.
Its facade lay on the cross-road already mentioned, and consisted
of the natural rock, which had been hewn vertically and coated with
plaster for a length of some 25 m. The paintings with which this facade
was decorated are fragmentary. In it are two openings-the main
entrance, the ancient form of which has completely disappeared, and
what has generally been believed to be an arched doorway, but is far more
likely to be a window. Within the rock are passages, originally quite
regular, but much altered in the third and fourth centuries A.D. (when
a house was built over the tomb, and the rock consequently needed reinforcement) as well as in modern days 1
: an idea of their original form may be
gained from the restoration (p. 10) in Ephemeris Dacico-Romana, i.
, 1-56, which contains a careful account of the tomb before the
recent excavations, with illustrations, and a plan which supersedes all
previous ones. To the south-west of the tomb are rooms belonging to
the house already mentioned (Capitolium, ii. 24-3 I; iii. 27-32
; YW 1927).