About this object

Rectangular ash chest with an inscription in a tabular ansata on the front:
D.M
AVRELIA HERMIO
NE FECITAVRELIO IN
GENVO CONIVGI
KARISSIMOITEMAV
RELIVSPHILANDER
LIBERTVS PATRO
NO MERENTI
To the Shades. Aurelia Hermio made this for Aurelius Ingenuus, her very dear husband. Also Aurelius Philander, his freedman, for his deserving patron.
There are no gaps or interpuncts between the words and the there is little regard for the text in the spacing with the words broken up across lines to a great extent that usually. The letters are scratched rather than carved on the surface. Other odd features include that none of the men mentioned are given a praenomen and the name Philander is very unusual. There is no bene following merenti. All these features raise suspictions as to how ancient the inscription is although it is included in early publications such as the Monumenta Matthaeiana.
The decoration of plain moulding is very simple and it is therefore very difficult to date the ash chest. The unusual features of the inscription may also be an indication of a late Roman date. Davies noted that tabula ansata were not popular as inscription panels for ash chests but sporadically used at different periods. For early Roman chests the tabula ansata is part of the decoration and it is surrounded by other motifs. 2nd century AD urns can have tabular ansatae. The family name Aurelius would suit a late 2nd century AD date if the three freedmen mentioned here were descended fromimperial freedmen.
The chest is made of serevaral pieces, the front and part of the sides from one piece and back and the sides from another piece. On the right side two additional pieces may be restorations. At the bottom of the chest there is an area where the front and back sessions do not join well together.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    2nd Century AD late; Modern
  • Materials
    Marble
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date collected
    1789
  • Measurements
    275 mm x 355 mm x 235 mm
  • Note
    Davies(2007) concluded that the inscription was not ancient although it did appear in earlier collections of inscriptions.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Antonio d'Este ( Previous owner); Ferdinando Lisandroni ( Previous owner); Giuseppe Mattei ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

Explore related

Publications

  • Ancient Marbles in Great Britain

    Michaelis, A

    Author: Michaelis, A
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Date: 1882
    Description:

  • Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum

    Author:
    Publisher: Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften
    Date:
    Description:

Ownership

Previous owners

  • Joseph William Col Sir Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: 1789
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Ferdinando Lisandroni

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1789
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Antonio d'Este

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1789
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
  • Giuseppe Mattei

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Humanities
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