Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

12 September, 2008

An epigraphic fragment from the Foro della Statua Eroica at Ostia

Filed under: news — Tom Elliott @ 20:01

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.

1 Comment »

  1. […] This is the second item of epigraphic interest presented online by the team (see our discussion of the first fragment). Luke Lavan’s post yesterday on the main blog gives us hope that we’ll soon see more: The cleaning of the facade has revealed a number of new layers, including a destruction layer which apparently overlies the earliest Trajanic phase of the floor and may give a TPQ date for the building of the facade in its final form.  A well-cut inscription came out this layer and is being identified. Elsewhere on site inscriptions are becoming more comon as parts of the paving are being removed. Such thin inscribed pieces were popularly reused as veneers and paving slabs, and many more likely to have been used, with their inscribed faces down , as Late Roman architects sought to create a paving surface reusing the epigraphic monuments of a previous and perhaps forgotten generation. The re-used material or ’spolia’ is likely to become a key focus of the project. Today Richard Sadler and Diana Everett began to survey the spolia around the forum with some interesting results. We hope to use infomation from the nature of the reuse of stonework to try to phase and date different walls, which often contain similar pieces, suggesting that they were laid down at a similar moment in time. […]

    Pingback by Current Epigraphy » A slate fragment with Greek exercises(?) from the Foro della Statua Eroica at Ostia — 18 September, 2008 @ 17:03

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