A revised Christian epitaph in verse from Madauros.pdf

The epitaph of 25-year-old Lolliana is incised on a limestone slab of 85 x 90 cm, which had the function of mensa, i.e. a stone table for food offering and ritual banquets on the tomb. First the mensa must have covered horizontally a tomb, but was
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  C RISTINA  P EPE  – M ARIETTE   DE  V OS  R AAIJMAKERS A R EVISED  C HRISTIAN  E PITAPH   IN  V ERSE   FROM  M ADAUROS aus: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 201 (2017) 80–84© Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn  80 A R EVISED  C HRISTIAN  E PITAPH   IN  V ERSE   FROM  M ADAUROS * The paper presents a new edition and commentary of a Christian funerary epitaph from Madauros. The epitaph is incised on a limestone slab of 85 cm high, 90 cm wide, which had the function of mensa . The term mensa  is attested in Christian epitaphs e.g. at Sata fi s (  Mauretania Caesariensis , 14 recurrences, the most explicit one in CIL 8.29277; Stirling 2004, 432–33, Rebillard 2014) and refers to stone tables for food offering and ritual banquets on the tomb. These re fl ect indigenous pre-Roman customs which are deep rooted in North Africa, attested e.g. in Garamantian  νεκροπόλεις  (Mattingly 2007a, 2007b, 8 fi g. 0.7). The two hemispheric cavities in the upper right and lower left corners (Ø 19.9 and 19.7 cm, or ⅔    pes  = 1 bes ) and the cup with a 6 petalled rosette incised near the left border concern libations of the refrigerium  ritual (Carletti 2008, 40, 268; Jensen 2008). First the mensa  must have covered horizontally a tomb, but was later reused in the press bed of a torcularium in Madauros’ city center ( fi g. 1). At the moment of the discovery the super fi cial limestone layer, damaged by pressing activities, had disappeared in some parts. Probably the mensa  came from the Christian cemetery north of Madauros and was disassembled when the Byzantines built a basilica on top of the cemetery. Another Christian epitaph, ILAlg 2798, was remodeled as column base for reuse in the same basilica. 1  Tomb violation was considered a crime by law, also by the clergy. However, Gregorius of Nyssa (  Epistola canonica  7.224–25) considers forgivable the violation of a tomb if the corpse is not disturbed, and if it has been done in order to create a building important for public utility (Rebillard 2003, 84). * The authors thank Dr. Marina De Franceschini for correcting the English text. Reading of the text and archaeological contextualization by M. de Vos; translation, metrics and commentary by C. Pepe. 1  Gsell, Joly 1922, 121–22; city map Pl. XVI. Such disrespect contrasts with evidence from Carthage (Stevens 2008, 85). Many Christian epitaphs were reused during the Byzantine transformation in forti fi cation of the Baths at Mactar: Prévot 1984, 71–105.Fig. 1. Map of the building with oil press and encircled epitaph of Lo[ll]iananear the Grand Cardo . Christo fl e 1935, 200     A Revised Christian Epitaph in Verse from Madauros  81 Fig. 2. Madauros.  Mensa  with encircled epitaph of Lo[ll]iana. Christo fl e 1935, 203Fig. 3  82 C. Pepe – M. de Vos Raaijmakers The architect M. Christo fl e published a sketch of the epitaph in 1935 ( fi g. 2); his mistakes in reading and transcribing have been adopted by D. Pikhaus, L. Gamberale and P. Cugusi, M.-T. Sblendorio Cugusi. 2  The epitaph reads as follows ( fi g. 3): [ Α ] ⊂  chrismon ⊃   Ω  [ Α ] ⊂  chrismon ⊃   Ω  F ̣Ṿ   Ị  [- - -] F ̣ụ   ị  [- - -] HIC LO[..]IANA SITA PAVCIS Hic Lo[ll]iana sita paucis EREPTA SVB ANNIS erepta sub annis CVI MORES VITAQ FVIT CON cui mores vitaq(ue) fuit con- TRARIA PROBA traria proba TER DENIS MISERANDA ter denis miseranda Q ̣ VE NON VIVERET ANNIS q ̣ ue non viveret annis. AN XXV an(norum) xxv“Lolliana lies here, taken away when she was young. Her behavior and life were in contrast: she was virtuous but pitiable because she did not live three decades. Twenty- fi ve years old.” Ordinatio . Height of the letters 6.7–3.6 cm. The fi rst eight lines are set in a circle. This disposition leaves blank spaces before and after the text of ll. 4 and 6, and squeezes the letters in the second half of l. 8 whose last two letters fall largely outside the circle. The age is written below the circle. Elongated regular letters with serifs. The so-called apocalyptic letters [ Α ] and Ω  at both sides of the Constantinian chrismon , attested on many epitaphs of Carthage starting from the second half of the 4 th  c., are not used anymore in the Vandal period (Ennabli 1991, 27, 29). This evidence, combined with paleographic elements, suggests a chronology between the 4 th  and the fi rst three decades of the 5 th  c. The fi gurative symbols incised around the epitaph are common to both pagan and Christian imagerie . Small dashes outside of the circle suggest petals. The circle is indeed a simpli fi ed version of the vegetal crown, which appears in a more explicit form in other epitaphs at Madauros, both pagan 3  and Christian, 4  and also at Rome and elsewhere ( e.g. Carletti 2008, 183, 86 fi g. 21). During the burial ritual the head of the deceased was crowned (Lucian, luct.  11, Tertullian, coron.  10.2; Toynbee 1996, 44–45, Pl. 9). Stylized fl ower buds scattered all around eternalize their material and symbolic use on the tomb (Cugusi 1985, 267–73). Alpha and twig, which are visible in the sketch by Christo fl e on the left of the chrismon , are now lost.  Metrics. From l. 2 to 7 the epitaph contains a short carmen  of three hexameters, each divided in two lines carved on stone. The versi fi er commits some prosodic blunders, such as the wrong quantity of the second syllable in the word vita  (nominative), of the fi rst syllable in  proba in the second hexameter, and of the fi nal syllable in miseranda  (nominative) in the third hexameter. 5  These mistakes can be explained because of the indifference to vowel quantities which is attested early in African Latin (Acquati 1971, 157). h  ī   c L ŏ  [ll]  ĭ   ā́ n ă  (or L ō  [ll]i ā́ n ă  ) s  ĭ  t ā́  p ā  uc  ī ́ s ē  r ḗ  pt ă  s ŭ  b ā́ nnis c ū́ i m ō  r ḗ  s v  ī   t ā́ q(u ĕ  ) f  ŭ    ī ́ t c ō  ntr ā́ r  ĭ   ă  pr ṓ  ba t ḗ  r d ē  n  ī ́ s m  ĭ  s ĕ  r ā́ nd ā  qu ḗ  n ō  n v  ī ́ v ĕ  r ĕ  t ā́ nnis. 2  Pikhaus 1994, p. 109, A 191 copied the spelling of the name in l. 1 V[---]na  from Krummrey 1961, 89 n° 15; Gamberale 1998, 362 corrected the name in  L[---]na , integrates  fui(t)  and non(dum ) and notes Pikhaus’ uncritical approach to metrics; Cugusi, Sblendorio Cugusi 2014, p. 107–08, n. 121. 3  ILAlg 1.2221 = CLE 1959 = Cumont 1913, n. 164 = Schmidt 2008, 1902–04 = Hamdoune 2011, 161–62; ILAlg 1.2234, 1.2295, 1.2510, 1.2511, 1.2543, 1.2544, 1.2567. 4  Albertini 1930, 254, n. 15; ILAlg 1.2767, 1.2770 (= CLE 2195 = Hamdoune 2011, 167–68: 4th c., maybe not Christian), 1.2773, 1.2774 (= CLE 1975 = Hamdoune 2011, 165–66, pl. XIX), 1.2781 (= Cumont 1913, 195–96 = Hamdoune 2011, 170), 1.2782, 1.2785, 1.2787, 1.2788, 1.2791, 1.2796, 1.2798, 1.2801, 1.2802, 1.2803, 1.2807, AE 1974.704. 5  For the name Lolliana we can suppose the scansion L ŏ  [ll]  ĭ   ā́ n ă  (Lollianus/a was often pronounced as Lolianus/a, see CIL 8.23811, ILTun 1710.50) as well as L ō  [ll]i ā́ n ă  with -ia considered as a diphthong (cf. Acquati 1971, 174). The - a  of sita  is lengthened before the caesura .     A Revised Christian Epitaph in Verse from Madauros  83 Commentary.  L. 2 is illegible with the exception of the fi rst letters (FVI or TVI).L. 3. The names  Lol(l)ius  and  Lol(l)ianus  are attested 12 times at Madauros. 6  The gentilicium  Lollius is widespread in North Africa (Ibba 2006, 396).L. 4. The commonplace of death as snatching a person from his life is often associated with the motive of immatura mors (Tolman 1910, 34–35 and Janssens 1981, 84–89). The construction with the past participle of eripio  and the temporal sub annis  (quali fi ed by an adjective such as  primus , tenerus ) is frequent in epi-graphic poems see e.g .: ICUR n.s. II 4205 = CLE 1706 o dulcis coniunx teneris erepta sub annis .L. 6. The compound subject mores vitaque  has the singular verb  fuit  . Agreement of the verb with the last member of a compound subject is common in poetry (Pinkster 2015, 1249–50). Also for the nominal part ( contraria ) the solution of agreement with the nearest member ( vita ) is chosen. The text describes the con-trast ( contraria ) between the virtuous behavior of Lolliana ( mores ) and her unlucky fate ( vita ) as explained immediately after: she was  proba  but misera , because she died very young.L. 7. - nda  has been added a posteriori .  Miser  is one of the most recurring terms in carmina   epigraphica  (Cugusi, Sblendorio Cugusi 2014, 19 and 236) but also the form miserandus  is well attested. Que  = quae , with the simpli fi cation of the diphthong - ae  in - e  (Cugusi, Sblendorio Cugusi 2014, 236) introducing a cau-sal relative clause with the subjunctive viveret  . Bibliography A. Acquati, Il vocalismo latino volgare nelle iscrizioni africane, Acme 24, 1971, 155–84.E. Albertini, Quelques inscriptions de Madaure, BCTH 1930, 245–55.L. Brink, D. Green (eds), Commemorating the Dead. Texts and Artifacts in Context. Studies of Roman, Jewish, and Christian Burials, Berlin–New York 2008.C. Carletti, Epigra fi a dei cristiani in Occidente dal III al VII secolo. Ideologia e prassi, Bari 2008.M. Christo fl e, Rapport sur les travaux de fouilles et de consolidations effectuées en 1930–1931–1932 par le Service des Monuments Historiques de l’Algérie, Alger 1935.P. Cugusi, Aspetti letterari dei Carmina Latina Epigraphica , Bologna 1985.P. Cugusi, M. Th. Sblendorio Cugusi, Carmina Latina Epigraphica Africarum provinciarum post Buechelerianam collectionem editam reperta cognita , Faenza 2014.F. Cumont, Catalogue des sculptures et inscriptions antiques (monuments lapidaires) des Musées Royaux du Cin-quantenaire, Bruxelles 1913 2 .L. Ennabli, Les inscriptions funéraires chrétiennes de Carthage III: Carthage intra  et extra muros , Rome 1991.L. Gamberale, I Carmina Latina Epigraphica . Questioni di metodo e di merito, RFIC 126, 1998, 343–63.St. Gsell, Ch. Joly, Khamissa, Mdaourouch, Announa, Fouilles exécutées par le Service des Monuments Historiques de l’Algérie II, Mdaourouch, Alger–Paris 1922.Chr. Hamdoune, Vie, mort et poésie dans l’Afrique romaine d’après un choix de Carmina Latina Epigraphica , Bruxelles 2011.A. Ibba (ed.), Uchi Maius  2, Sassari 2006.J. Janssens, Vita e morte del cristiano negli epitaf  fi  di Roma anteriori al sec. VII, Rome 1981.R. M. Jensen, Dining with the Dead: From the Mensa to the Altar in Christian Late Antiquity, in Brink, Green, 2008, 107–43.H. Krummrey, Interpretationen lateinischer Versinschriften, Halle 1961 (typewritten dissertation).D. Mattingly, The African Way of Death: Burial Rituals beyond the Roman Empire, in: D. L. Stone, L. M. Stirling (eds), Mortuary Landscapes of North Africa, Toronto–Buffalo–London 2007a, 138–63. – The Archaeology of Fazzan 2, London 2007b.D. Pikhaus, Répertoire des inscriptions latines versi fi ées de l’Afrique romaine (I er  –VI e  siècles). I, Tripolitaine, Byza-cène, Afrique proconsulaire, Bruxelles 1994.H. Pinkster, The Oxford Latin Syntax. I: The Simple Clause, Oxford 2015. F. Prévot, Recherches franco-tunisiennes archéologiques à Mactar. V, Les inscriptions chrétiennes, Rome 1984. 6  No one Christian: ILAlg 1.2141, 1.2214, 1.2326, 1.2420, 1.2584, 1.2585, 1.2586, 1.2587a, b and bis.
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