Quote of the Day

September 9, 2009

In many cases the components of epitaphs will have been taken by the letter-cutter from ‘manuals’ or collections of formulae or books of poetry. This is the only explanation for the inscription from Annaba in Algeria that reads: Hic iacet corpus pueri nominandi (Here lies the body of a boy, name to be given/inserted). The letter-cutter followed the manual quite literally ‘to the letter’, without noticing that he was to insert a specific name in the space provided.

– Maureen Carroll Spirits of the Dead: Roman Funerary Commemoration in Western Europe (2006) page 106.

Review of Patterns

September 1, 2009

My review of Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor is now available here.