–Public Lecture: A new fragment of AE 1987, 464 (Pizzighet​tone, March 15th 2014)–

 tabula invito

Posted on behalf of Assessorato alla Cultura- Comune di Pizzighettone

**With apologies for cross-posting. Please forward to interested parties**

Public lecture:  A new fragment of AE 1987, 464, Pizzighettone’s Tabula patronatus. Epigraphical study and archaeological restoration of  the highlight of the municipal Museum collection.

Saturday March 15th, 2014, 4.30 pm, Centro Culturale Comunale di Pizzighettone, Via Garibaldi, 18 – 26026 Pizzighettone (CR) – Italy

Free attendance, all welcome!

You’re  warmly invited (Invito Tabula Patronatus )to the aforementioned afternoon event.

Italy’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Lombardia) and Pizzighettone’s Municipality are delighted to  announce the unveiling of a new piece of AE 1987, 464, a Roman tabula patronatus, restored and again on display to the public, thanks to the generous funding of Pizzighettone Municipal Council.


The lecture will be given by Paola Tomasi, epigrapher at University of Pavia and Genova, who conducted the study of the inscription, and Florence Caillaud, who will be talking to us about the restoration work she performed in her lab in Bologna.

Speakers include Filippo Maria Gambari, Head of Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Lombardia, and Francesco Muscolino, archaeologist at the same government department responsible for archaeological heritage.

The event is organized and funded by Pizzighettone Municipality, and patronized by Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Lombardia.


The lecture will be followed by drinks and nibbles. An exceptional opening to the public on Sunday, March 16th, 3-6 pm, will allow visitors to explore the museum’s collection and appreciate the display cabinet especially made to showcase the tabula patronatus.  


Please feel free to repost and advertise on the other relevant websites.

Italian version of this press release can be found here: COMUNICATO STAMPA TABULA PATRONATUS PIZZIGHETTONE 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to address your enquiries to the following contact details:

Phone (landline): +39 0372 743347

e-mail: cultura@comune.pizzighettone.cr.it

CIL, V 6414- 6415: two bronze tablets bearing medical recipes from Ticinum

bronze tablet from TicinumThe paper presents a new approach to CIL, V 6414-5, two bronze tablets from Ticinum bearing medical recipes, in combination with worship practices in honour of healing and water-related deities such as Minerva, Valetudo, Esculapius and Mars. The investigation has been devoted to all the topics implicated in these multi-faceted texts, namely: ancient medicine and botany, water-related healing cults and mantic practices. In order to shed a new light on the circumstances of the production and usage of the document, the study focused on facets not previously explored in depth by earlier scholarship, such as the botanical analysis of the medicinal plants mentioned in the text, with a comparative perspective towards modern herbalist practices. Combining the information provided by the archival records, the geomorphological features of San Genesio (Pavia), the locus inventionis, and the narrative pattern of the texts, a new interpretation for the abbreviation “fm” has been proposed: f(ontis) m(ei). The tablets should therefore be considered the prescriptions of the numen fontis, given through a priest equipped with some notions of folk medicine, located in a shrine connected to some spring or running water in the countryside of Ticinum.

Download the pdf here: Paola Tomasi, Mea medicina lenietur. Le prescrizioni di un numen fontis in due tabellae medicinales ticinenses ( CIL V, 6414-6415), in Aquae salutiferae. Il termalismo tra antico e contemporaneo, ATTI DEL CONVEGNO INTERNAZIONALE (MONTEGROTTO TERME, 6-8 SETTEMBRE 2012), Padova University Press, Padova 2014

Guide de l’epigraphiste

A tool that can not be missing in your “epigraphic toolbox” is the Guide de l’epigraphiste.

In order to help epigraphers and “uninitiated” audience to approach epigraphy and to deal with the technicalities of such subject, a group of French scholars undertook the project of a Bibliographie choisie des épigraphies antiques et médiévales, as the self-explanatory subtitle clarifies.

Published for the first time in 1986,   updated  in a second edition in 1989 and in 2000 in its third edition, the guide contains a carefully selected bibliographical apparatus, with brief comments on individual works, a methodological introduction and a rich series of indices.

This fourth edition contains 2975 items, with titles published between 2000 and 2010.
Online, among other documents, you can find the available updates on June 2011, June 2012, and recently posted June 2013 too.

Ancient Bronzes in Berlin

It’s a well known fact, especially for antiquists and classicists, that the Antikensammlungen in Berlin are astonishing.

However, I don’t mean to eulogize Berlin’s museums in this post, but I want instead to praise and draw my readers’ attention to a useful on line database of a particular category of objects: bronze artifacts.

As we can read on the project’s webpage, it has been compiled and published a database of images of ancient bronze artefacts preserved in Berlin, encompassing the   objects published in the bronze collection of C. Friederichs (Antike Bronzen und Geräte im Alten Museum, 1871) and further acquisitions until 1945 (stocks and losses).

The project, advertised also on the AIEGL website by Dr. Manfred Schmidt, has been run by Antikensammlung der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin in 2004-2007 and 2008-2011 and has been carried out with the support of the DFG – German Research Foundation by Norbert Franken, led by Wolf-Dieter Heilmeyer and Andreas Scholl.

As an epigrapher, the interesting and very useful section is the online searchable database, in which I suggest to select, as  querying criteria in the Datenbank, “Inschrift” from the drop menu called “Gattung”.

In this way, you’ll retrieve 76 objects, Greek and Roman as well, that you can browse in different pages. Each item has a picture (at least  the majority of instances does) and by clicking on every record the user is provided with a detailed information on the artefact as a bronze object (inventory, provenance, preservation status) and as an inscription, with a detailed list of publication regarding that text (Literatur).

A paradigmatic example that illustrates the information retrievable in this online catalogue on a single object is the

Inv. Nr.: Fr. 2502, i.e. Tessera paganica. Tafel mit lateinischer Inschrift, von einer Büste der Juno bekrönt .

also known as CIL, II 2633 = ILS 6101.

In this case not only can you find the aforementioned data, but there are also “Weitere Abbildungen“.

And now, your turn to explore the database!

Abbreviations, acronyms and good practice

” Please don’t invent your own system, but use one that has found common acceptance”.

This golden rule is provided by Prof. Van Njif in his website, in the self-explanatory section Abbreviations of corpora and publications.

I couldn’t agree more and I redirect my readers to the list of the abbrevations for general Classics or Archaeology  journals on his website.

Dizionario Epigrafico di Antichità Romane

Better known as “De Ruggiero”, this useful dictionary is now retrievable, since the copyright expired, at this URL,  digitized by Google from the library of the University of Michigan. Another tool to bookmark among your websites!


mesmerising owl
Mesmerising owl

Don’t let be misled by the OWL… This post is about a software for Latin students, made by Scot Mcphee.

I quote from his website:

Owl is an iOS app that, by using data from the Perseus Latin Word Tool, allows a user to lookup any Latin word, locate the root (i.e. the nominative singular for nouns and adjectives or the 1st person singular present active indicative for verbs), and parse the entered form. It gives all possible forms for the word entered. The tool then links the root(s) to the online Lewis & Short dictionary from Perseus, and also from that dictionary, provides links to the works in the Perseus database that are quoted in the dictionary.


I didn’t try it, because I’m not a Mac user, but I thought I’d spread the word 😉


CIL, V 7345: Aebutia, Asprilla or Attia?

CIL, V 7345- museum
CIL, V 7345


Aebutia, Asprilla or Attia? Which one is the right (or at least more likely) restoration of the first line of this fragmentary titulus operum publicorum?
In order to answer this question, it can’t be discarded the beginning of the third line, missing as well.
To discover the answer, check out my paper: Tomasi offprint CIL V 7345 in bargnesi–scuderi_paesaggio-esperienza-2012-no-pwd!

Dripsinum: a new old Roman city

Old and new at the same time: archaeologists shed light on a Roman settlement, whose location was previously unknown.

The site, known before just from literary sources, has been discovered by Paolo Visonà, a native of northern Italy and adjunct associate professor of art history at the UK School of Art and Visual Studies at the UK College of Fine Arts, and George Crothers, an associate professor of anthropology at the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

Let’s hear from their own voice something about this exciting discovery!

More general information can be found here, while here you can retrieve more details on the archaeological techniques.



Londinium…is back!

wood writing tablet
wood writing tablet 

Archaeologists of MOLA working in a waterlogged trench at the Bloomberg Place1  have recovered more than 10,000 objects from Roman London, including writing tablets (more than 100 fragments!), amber, a well with ritual deposits of pewter, coins and cow skulls, thousands of pieces of pottery, a unique piece of padded and stitched leather, and the largest collection of lucky charms in the shape of phalluses ever found on a single site.

To find more about this “Pompeii of the North”, as the site has been nicknamed, check these articles from the Guardian, The Indipendent , the Telegraph, the Journal.ie, and the news on BBC and the CNN.

An interview to  Sadie Watson (site director) by Erin McLaughlin clarifies the importance of this exciting discovery, broadcasted on April 10th.

For more information in Italian, a gallery of pictures related to findings and a video on that, take a look at the links from the Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera”.  The news has had a wide echo in local newspapers, from North (Friuli) to South (Sicily: ViviEnna).

Once again…Romans are back! 🙂

  1. already known for the Temple of Mithras []