Ash Chest



Double rectangular ash chest of the Peducaei. Double arch on sides. The front is much damaged, with over half of the inscription missing. Because the ash chest is recorded in previous catalogues from the 18th century and the inscription recorded in both Blundell's Account and the Engravings the damage must have been made sometime in the 19th century and well after the arrival of the chest in Blundell's collections. The ash chest is rectangular and decorated on its three sides and stands on four low feet in the shape of a quarter circle. The single cavity is fairly roughtly worked out and the work is rougher at the bottom rather than on the sides. The top edge is not shaped to take the lid but pins may had been used to hold the lid in place. The front according to the illustration in the Engravings and what remains today was divided into two sections by two pilasters, one at each corner and the third in the middle. The inscription had the first line running across the front; the rest of the inscription is divided in two panels separated by the central pilaster. The complete inscription was: T.PEDVCAEVS.T.F. QVIR.FLORVS.V.A.XXI T.PEDVACAEYS T.PEDVACAEO T.L.FAVSTVS T.F.Q.VIR PEDVCAEA.T.L SEVERO FILIO DAPHNE. VXOR VIC.AN.VIII T(itus) Peducaeus T(iti) f (ilius) Quir (ina tribu) Florus v(ixit) a(nnis) XXI left panel: T(itus) peducaeus/T(iti) f(ilio) Quir(ina) tribu/Severo filio/vix(it) an(nis) VIII. Titus Peducaeus Florus, son of Titus, of the Quirina tribed lived 21 years Titus Peducaeus Faustus, freedman of Titus. Peducaea Daphne, freedwoman of Titus(his) wife. To Titus Peducaeus Severus, son of Titus, of the Quirina tribe, son. lived eight years. The ash chest commemorated then a group of people, two of them freedmen and two free born and they all shared the same nomen, but their relationships were not described in detail. Faustus and Daphne may have been freed slaves or maybe from the same houselold as their patron was Titus Peducaeus and they took his name on their manumission. T. Peducaeus Florus could be this patron. Perhaps Faustus and Daphne were the parents of Severus and he was then born after they had been set free and described as freeborn, a Roman citizen enrolled in the Quirina tribe. It is also possible that Severus was the son of Florus, as he is also a Titus. It could also be that Faustus and Daphne were the parents of two sons who were born free: Florus who died at 21 and Severus who died aged 8. Severus who had died first and commemorated in the right hand of the inscription and Florus was added later and that is why the central pilaster capital was removed to add his name. It is impossible to know how the inscription was placed as most of it is missing today. The pilasters at the front stand on low bases and there is simple moulding with three fasciae running the width of the front at the lower edge. The pilaster shafts are fluted and only part of the capital survives at the right corner. The sides are also divided into two sections by three fulted pilasters with an architrave divided into three fasciae above and a plan fascia below. In each panel there is an architectural motif consisting of an arch and is decorated with three fasciae, springing from plain pliasters. the general impression is that of an arcade. The back has not decoration but is smooth. The overall decoration is in low relief and although of carefully execured the lines are not crisply carved.