Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / The Epigraphic Collection

Stela of Lucius Statorius Bathyllus

The stela, which has a tympanum decorated with a refined Gorgon’s head, was dedicated to L. Statorius Bathyllus by his freedman Trophimus, the wife of the latter, Naevia Secunda, and a friend, P. Messius Calvio.

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In the lower part, the measurements of the tomb – 16 feet wide and 20 feet deep – are incised between a compass and a plumb-rule. These instruments, carved on the stela before the dedicatory inscription, may have had an ancient symbolic meaning connected with the inviolability of the tomb, but they can more probably be considered a specific reference to the profession of the deceased, a mason or architect. Statorius and Trophimus were seviri, minor local officials with civic and religious functions, and thus both were probably freedmen.

According to the custom, the measuremnt of the burial area were indicated by feet (a roman foot =  quite 28 cm), in this way: 
The first part indicates the width, 16 feet, the front side on the street (in fronte). The second part suggest the depth, 20 feet, the side toward the coutryside (in agro).


Provenance: Bologna, from the Reno wall
Datation: 1st century AD
Material: Limestone
Dimensions: height cm 183; width cm 72,3; depth cm 30
Bibliography: CIL XI, 6831
Inventory #: 19131

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