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In Search of Epigraphs of the Papalić Collection: The Sarcophagus of Iulius Cyranus and Varia Flavia Salonia (ad CIL III 2584)

Dino Demicheli orcid id ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 2.584 Kb

str. 145-156

preuzimanja: 582



This paper describes the inscription CIL III 2584, which once belonged to the collection of Marulić’s friend dmine Papalić. The collection is celebrated because, as far as we know, it is the first of its kind in the country. It is well known to us because Marko Marulić included the inscriptions in it into his epigraphic treatise In epigrammata priscorum commentarius (Commentary on inscriptions of the ancients, around 1503-1510). It has not been noticed in the literature that CIL III 2584 also belongs to the small group of epigraphs from the Papalić Collection that are still in existence.
The epigraph with which we are concerned here is carved on a sarcophagus that was found only in the middle of the 20th century in the Church of St Clare in Split. At that time it was ascertained that at the beginning of the 17th century it was incorporated as a grave into the floor of the church. The versions of the inscription to date had been unreliable for the reading could not be tested out against the stone. In this work for the first time a full and accurate reading of the epigraph is given, as well as an onomastic and linguistic analysis. Our reading of the text runs as follows:
Varius Valentinus et Flavia Licen/tina Iulio Cyrano et Vari(a)e Flaviae Salo/ niae fili(i)s infelicissimis qui vixet (sic): Iu/lius annso (sic) XXVIII me(n)ses II et Salonia an/nos XVI me(n)ses VIII. Parentes infelicissimi/ fili(i)s caris posuerunt.
The epigraph can be dated to the end of the 3rd or the first half of the 4th century. On a detailed examination of the surface of the sarcophagus, traces of alterations were determined, which means that it had previously been used for some other decedent.
Some features of the epigraph tell us that it had been carved by a not very skilful and probably only slightly literate carver. At the orthographic and linguistic level, the text shows some signs of Vulgar Latin.
The wording mentions four persons: a married couple (Varius Valentinus and Flavia licentina) had erected a monument for their son and daughter (Iulio Cyrano et Variae Flaviae Saloniae) who had died at the ages of 28 and 16 years. Onomastic analysis shows that the children had different parents, in other words, that Flavia Licentina had been married twice and borne two husbands at least two children. The gentilicium Flaviuis/Flavia in Late Antiquity is on the whole an indication of high social status (status designationis) and is borne by nobles and persons of senatorial rank from Emperor Constantine on. There is not always an indication of a lineage in the original gentilicium Flavius for it is also used as an honorific, and it perhaps appears here in this quality.
As for Marulić’s transcription, it can be seen that he left out the phrase fili(i)sinfelicissimis. The copy differs from the stone original in some other details, but considering the nature of these differences we would not mark them as errors, but would think that as a humanist Marulić would have wanted to polish up the orthography and language of the text. Apart from the two missing words, the only real mistake is the transcription of the gentilicium, which in the manuscript runs Elavia and not Flavia; here, however, Marulić’s mistake should be ascribed to the carver’s having written the letters E and F in almost the same way.
The conclusion of the paper suggests that all the still surviving epigraphs from the Papalić Collection (11 of them in all) should be brought together in one place; in this way the first collection of epigraphs in Croatia could be at least partially reconstructed.

Ključne riječi

Marko Marulić, Papalić Collection, Salona, Split, epigraphy, Late Antiquity, Renaissance humanism, onomastics, Vulgar Latin

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