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E05158: Fragmentary Latin epitaph for a former imperial agent (agens in rebus) possibly containing a reference to his burial 'among saints'. Found in the Cemetery of Praetextatus, via Appia, Rome. Late antique.

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posted on 06.03.2018, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Numidius [- - - ex a]-
gente in rebu[s - - -]
qui vixit ann[is]
LXVII m(enses) III dep(ositus) k[alendas - - -]
[- - - E]ncrati int[er sanctos]

line 5 was dropped in the EDB edition || possibly in t[aeo] or in deo Ferrua

'Numidius [- - -] former agens in rebus who lived 67 years, 3 months. He was buried on the calends of [- - -] of Encratius (?) among [saints (?) - - -].'

Text: ICVR, n.s., V, no. 14512 = EDB10837.

History

Evidence ID

E05158

Saint Name

Saints, unnamed : S00518 Saints, name lost or very partially preserved : S01744 Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions Archaeological and architectural - Internal cult fixtures (crypts, ciboria, etc.)

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

300

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

300

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Suburban catacombs and cemeteries Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - crypt/ crypt with relics

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Burial ad sanctos

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials

Source

Fragment of a sarcophagus. H. 0.20 m; W. 0.30 m. The inscription is framed by a tabula ansata which was carved onto the sarcophagus. Letter height 0.028 m. It is not clear whether line 5 is the final line of the original text. First recorded by Antonio Ferrua in area I9 of the Cemetery of Praetextatus, and published by him in 1971.

Discussion

The epitaph records the burial of a former imperial agent, Numidius. Ferrua found the interpretation of line 5 somewhat difficult. He suggested that the damaged word ]NCRATI could be Encratius, a by-name of the deceased ('signum defuncti') while his actual gentile name was given in line 1. This, he says, could be followed by a funerary formula. He opted for 'inter sanctos' in the basic text of the edition, but also considered other possibilities: in t[aeo] (?) or in deo/'in God'. Dating: Apart from the reference to the agentes in rebus, imperial agents and couriers, widely attested between the 4th and 7th c., there is no indication of the precise date of the inscription.

Bibliography

Edition: Epigraphic Database Bari, no. EDB10837, see http://www.edb.uniba.it/epigraph/10837 De Rossi, G.B., Ferrua, A. (eds.) Inscriptiones Christianae Urbis Romae Septimo Saeculo Antiquiores, n.s., vol. 5: Coemeteria reliqua Viae Appiae (Vatican: Pont. Institutum Archaeologiae Christianae, 1971), no. 14512.

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