Thursday, June 16, 2022


Epitaph for a Roman Freedwoman

Robert E.A. Palmer, "A Poem of All Seasons: AE 1928.108," Phoenix 30.2 (Summer, 1976) 159-173 (at 159-160, line numbers added in right margin):
C[l]odia P(ubli) l(iberta) - - -                                                                1
(1) Compitalia tu totidem [qui concelebrasti] / hoc                              2
(2) perfer. ut aequa mih[ifuerint Fata aspi]ce. t[um] / dum                  3
(3) tempus et hora [mihi, dum suppeditat] quo[que vita],                    4
(4) concordes animae duo vix[imus anno]s cas[tos].                           5
(5) Tempora cuncta vides. hoc, hospe[s, te monet hora]                      6
(6) quae tulit hoc. aliquo te tempor[e terra tenebit].                             7
(1) εὐφροσύνη, πόθος, οἶνος, ὕπν[ος ταῦτ' ἐστὶ βροτοῖσι]                 8
(2) πλοῦτος· ἀνευφράντων Ταντάλ[ου ἐστὶ βίος].                           9


2 suppl. Palmer totide—et Lugli totide[m] te SEG 3 suppl. Palmer mihi quo Lugli 4 suppl. Palmer ---gas Lugli hora[e---]ga s SEG 5 vix[imus atque perimus Lugli anno]s cas[tos Palmer 6 hospe[s te monet annus Lugli hora Palmer 7 suppl. Lugli 8 ὕπν[ος Lugli ταῦτ' ἐστὶ βροτοῖσι Beazley μόνα ἐστὶ βροτοῖσι Harrison τέρψει σε βιοῦντα De Sanctis 9 Ταντάλ[ου ἐστὶ βίος Beazley τανταλ[ίσει σε κόρῳ De Sanctis

"You who have shared in as many Compitalia, endure this (death of mine). Consider how fair the Fates have been to me. Yesteryear while I (still) had a season and some time, while life, too, was in me, we both lived together in harmony and fidelity."2 "You see all the Seasons (figured here). Time warns you of this, stranger,—Time who brought this. At some season the earth shall hold you. Mirth, love, wine, sleep, these are men's riches; the mournful lead the life of Tantalus."

On the same stone as the inscription a relief of one of the four Seasons (Horae) is sculptured.

2 Duo may modify annos. Hence, "We lived two years in harmony and fidelity."
Palmer didn't translate the first line, i.e. "Clodia, freedwoman of Publius." Palmer also didn't publish a photograph of the stone, so here it is:

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