Quote of the Day

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.

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One Response to Quote of the Day

  1. […] even to have happened with a gravestone as well. There’s a fantastic parallel for this from a Roman inscription, which I came across in the newly-published and very diverting book A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities […]

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