Tuesday, November 22, 2022


Epitaph of Lucius Runnius Pollio

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XII 5102 = Carmina Latina Epigraphica 188 = Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae 8154 (from Narbonne, now lost; my translation):
Lucius Runnius Pollio, son of Gnaeus, of the Papirian voting tribe.

For this reason I drink to the dregs more greedily (than ever) in my tomb,
because I must sleep and remain here.

L(ucius) Runnius Pap(iria) Cn(aei) f(ilius) Pollio.

[eo] cupidius perpoto in monumento meo,
quod dormiendum et permanendum heic est mihi.

eo vel hoc suppl. Ritschl
Franz Cumont, After Life in Roman Paganism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1922), p. 54 (footnote omitted):
An epitaph of Narbonne jokingly expresses the vulgar idea as to the participation of the deceased in the banquet: "I drink and drink again, in this monument," says the dead man, "the more eagerly because I am obliged to sleep and to dwell here."
See Maria José Pena, "Sur quelques carmina epigraphica de Narbonnaise," Revue archéologique de Narbonnaise 36 (2003) 425-432 (at 426-427).

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