Friday, June 30, 2017


Things That Make Life Worth Living

Epitaph of Tiberius Claudius Secundus = Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum VI 15258 (Rome, 1st century A.D.), tr. Brian K. Harvey, Daily Life in Ancient Rome: A Sourcebook (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 2016), p. 256:
He lived 52 years. To the Spirits of the Dead of Tiberius Claudius Secundus. He has everything with him here in his tomb. Baths, wine, and sex corrupt our bodies, but baths, wine, and sex make life worth living. Merope, slave of the emperor, made this for her dear slave husband [contubernalis] as well as for herself and their descendants.
The Latin:
V(ixit) an(nos) LII
d(is) M(anibus)
Ti(beri) Claudi Secundi
hic secum habet omnia
balnea vina Venus
corrumpunt corpora
nostra se<t> vitam faciunt
b(alnea) v(ina) V(enus)
karo contubernal(i)
fec(it) Merope Caes(aris)
et sibi et suis p(osterisque) e(orum)
I don't have access to I. Kajanto, "Balnea Vina Venus," in Hommages à Marcel Renard, ed. Jacqueline Bibauw (Brussels: Latomus, 1969), vol. II, pp. 357-367.

Related post: That's the Life.

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