Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm not dead yet!

The last post had a tombstone with the abbreviation TFI, which stands for Testamento Fieri Iussit (He ordered it to be made in his will). This is what was put on tombstones if the deceased had not arranged for a tombstone to be made while he was alive, which was common practice for the Romans. If he had, the abbreviation VF would be on the tomb, for Vivus Fecit (He, while alive, made it), as in the following inscription from a museum in Brescia, found in Tremosine in 1754.

V(ivus) f(ecit) | Triumus | Celeris f(ilius) | sibi et | Duci|avae Turi f(iliae) | uxs(ori)

Triumus, son of Celer, while he was still alive made this tombstone for himself and for his wife Duciava, daughter of Turus.

All the names on this tombstone (besides Celer) point to indigenous, non-Roman citizens. Freed slaves would normally take three Roman names (praenomen, nomen, and cognomen), often influenced by the name of their former master. It's not unusual that members of the same nuclear family would have very different names, depending on their legal status.

This inscription included a CIL listing (CIL V 4881). The Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Body of Latin Inscriptions) is a catalog of all the Classical Latin inscriptions known. The volumes are divided by date (I is the oldest inscriptions), by geography (II-XIV), or by special topics (XV-XVII). The CIL is headquartered at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences in Germany and has sister Corpora of Greek and Etruscan inscriptions.

No comments:

Post a Comment