Ash Chest



Rectangular ash chest of M. Clodius Castor. Most of the back of this chest was restored and a large U-shape insert held in place with iron pns. The ash chest is decorated at the front while the sides are worked smooth, apart from the front corner recessed panels containing the Ammon heads and baskets. The back and the interior cavity are roughly worked and the upper edge is not shaped to hold a lid and there are no clamp holes. The inscription is: D. M. M. CLODIO CASTO R()I.MATER FECIT FILIO PIENTISSIMo The translation is: To the Shades. To Marcus Clodius Marcus (His) mother made (this) for (her) most dutiful son. The name of the mother is not included in the dedication and neither is the age of the son but the adjective pientissimo for the son is a standard one. The first letter of the third line was obliterated by damage but reads as R in the Monumenta Mattaeiana. There is not enough room within the inscription panel for the final O which is carved in smaller size on the frame.Otherwise the spacing is good and the letters are clear and uncluttered though rather large for the size of the panel. The decoration at the front corners is of the Ammon heads above baskets or vases full with pieces of fruit which cannot be defined. A laurel garland hangs from the horns of the heads in the space under the inscription panel. No other motifs are around the garland which fills the space. The frame for the inscription is a simple fascia and cyma moulding and a plain fascia at the top and bottom of the front. The head of the Jupiter Ammon was popular at the upper corners of the ash chests but the combinations of baskets at the lower corners is unusual. The garland details are schematic and there are no berries or refinements, such as leaves while in between the leaves there is visible drilling.