An epigraphic fragment from the Foro della Statua Eroica at Ostia

Axel Gering and Luke Lavan have just opened up access to the Finds section of their Berlin-Kent Ostia Excavations blog, where they are providing a chronicle of their team’s work-in-progress on “a square porticoed plaza on the main street in front of the main baths” at Ostia, known as the “Foro dell Statua Eroica” (here’s a more-or-less correctly placed, third-party photo with map from Panoramio of a statue on the perimeter; KML of same for Google Earth).

Among the small finds recovered during initial devegetation and cleaning of the excavation site, the team recovered an inscribed marble fragment broken on all sides (scroll down the Finds page to the heading “inscription”). From their photo, I think I see the remains of four lines of text, as follows:

– – – – ]++[ – –
– – ]+IGEN[ – –
– – ]OCVLVS?[ – –
– – – – ]+[ – –
The N in line 2 and the O and S in line 3 are fragmentary by virtue of damage to the stone. Assuming a list of names, we might venture — Pri]m?igen[ius — for line 2 and — Pr]oculus?[ — for line 3.
In the description accompanying the photo, dated 8 September 2008, Richard Sadler writes:

Opinions vary concerning its original function, some think it may have been from a grave that fell out of use from the city’s necropolis, others think it may have formed part of some sort of secular decree, list of permissions or other public notice. Whatever the exact function may have been, it is still an impressive and beautiful find, dating to the 2nd century A.D.

Thanks to Bill Caraher and Troels Myrup Kristensen whose blogs alerted me to this blog.

About Tom Elliott

Tom is Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University. Tom holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from UNC. His master's thesis treated a class of late Roman census documents from the Aegean islands and Asia Minor. His dissertation assembled and analyzed the epigraphic evidence for boundary disputes in the early Roman empire.
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One Response to An epigraphic fragment from the Foro della Statua Eroica at Ostia

  1. Pingback: Current Epigraphy » A slate fragment with Greek exercises(?) from the Foro della Statua Eroica at Ostia

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