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Membra disiecta of a Salona’s Mausoleum

Arsen Duplančić ; Arheološki muzej u Splitu, Split, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 2.335 Kb


str. 71-92

preuzimanja: 569



1930 in Solin discovered was a Roman mausoleum that until now has been known only partially, that is, the available documentation has never been put together and published, and this is being done here. The mausoleum was discovered in the Klanac marl quarry, east of Tusculum. This is known from the note made by the Reverend Frane Bulić,
that is cited here. Besides the mausoleum, in 1931 in Klanac discovered were graves under tegulae and in amphorae, as shown in three photographs, but of which presently nothing more is known.
The mausoleum had thick outer walls, around 1 m thick, as it appears. This, and the fact that in it there was a mosaic made of very small stones that could not have stayed outdoors, indicate that the mausoleum was covered. It was square shaped, 6.70 x 6.70 in
size, 4.70 m wide inside. It was oriented north-south, the entrance being at the southern side. Immediately next to the entrance there were three graves, in particular erected tombs, and behind these there were two more, whereas along the northern wall was a bench (in
the Dyggve’s drawing: Bank). The grave by the western wall (G 1) was 0.90 m deep and 0.55 m wide, the middle grave (G 2) was 1.15 m deep and also 0.55 m wide, whereas the grave next to it (G 3) was 1.20 m deep and 0.94 m wide. Dimensions of the two graves by the bench (G 4 and 5) are not known. While the first three graves were separated from each other, it appears that the two graves behind were mutually connected and covered with a vault a pozzetto, a part of which can be seen in a photograph. Originally, the graves were covered with stone slabs, but at the moment of discovery preserved were only three.
Over the grave number 1 was a stone slab of irregular rectangular shape with an inserted mosaic. Between the slab and the mausoleum wall was a border, also made of mosaic, that, unfortunately, is not preserved. In the space towards the grave number 2 there was no border. The slab is missing its left side and a part of the mosaic. The preserved part of the
mosaic presents a boy sitting on a chair and holding a rotulus in his hand. Next to him are a partridge and a herma. By the edge is the image of a stela with the inscription from which we learn that here is buried the nine-year old Titus Aurelius Aurelianus:
D · M
T(itus) · AVRELIVS · AV
By its colours, symbolic contents and the fact that right now it is the only mosaic with a sepulchral inscription from Salona, the Aurelianus’ mosaic has been constantly attracting the researchers’ attention and there is a vast literature on it. Particularly interesting is the interpretation that the boy in the mosaic is not Aurelianus but a personification of death. Since the mosaic is missing its left part, there is the opinion that there was yet another inscription there, also that there was presented the boy’s old teacher and that the mosaic shows evident influence of the Hellenistic sepulchral iconography, as well as the opinion
that it probably contained the symmetric image of that at the right hand side. Opinions about the herma also disagree. Some scientists deem it presents the boy’s teacher, Apollo or Dionysus, a prominent person from artistic life, a girl, a poetess, or the poetess Sappho. Contrary to this, the monument has been dated almost unanimously to the 3rd, late 3rd or early 4th century, that is, the tetrarchic period. Immediately after its discovery, the Aurelianus’ slab was taken to the Archaeological
Museum in Split, where the mosaic edges were repaired with cement. In order to give it its regular shape, the slab was added the missing left part. It appears that during the Second World War the mosaic was restored by Fulvio Vettraino, who visited Split from Italy at that
time. Over the grave number 2 there was a thick, rectangular stone slab that covered the grave chamber in which two adults and three children were buried. The slab had two round recesses.
Ejnar Dyggve assumed the slab probably had been used as a common sacrificing table for all five graves. However, it is not impossible that the regular round recesses were made to receive small columns that carried the altar mensa, meaning the sacrificing gifts were not placed directly on the floor. This is suggested by the hole appearing like hole for insertion of a fixing iron peg, as well as the regular, symmetrical position of both recesses in the slab. It is also possible that the recess with the peg hole was to receive the table carrier, and that thelower recess was to receive the base of another piece of stone inventory. Presently, nothing
further can be said because the slab has been lost or destroyed. Based on the Aurelianus’ and the Mutianus’ inscriptions, the slab has been dated to the 3rd century. When the mausoleum was discovered, the grave number 3 had no covering slab, which should have been of the same length as that above the grave number 2, and above
the grave 4 no slab was found either. Above the grave number 5, a slab was found, somewhat damaged and mentioning a certain Mucianus:
The inscription is to protect the Mucianus’ grave from desecration, also containing the permission for burying also Clodius Secundus in it. Based on the uncial letter E in the word MEMENTO, it has been dated to the late 3rd century. Between the mausoleum north wall and the graves numbers 4 and 5 there was a bench for liturgical ceremonies, running along the entire width of the mausoleum. Given the grave dimensions provided by Dyggve and the number of the deceased in the grave
number 2, the graves were obviously researched, but we have no information whether there were any offerings in them that would help dating the mausoleum and provide more information on the persons buried in them. After researching the southern part of the mausoleum, its northern part was cleaned as well, the earth and stones from them being thrown into the lower graves. Since the mausoleum was found in a part of a marl quarry from which marl was being extracted, it was
probably destroyed upon completion of the research. Thus, regretfully, disappeared an important monument of the Roman Salona of which today witnessing are just two capstones and a few photographs and notes that we have gathered here.

Ključne riječi

mausoleum; mosaic; inscription; epigraphy; grave protection; Titus Aurelius Aurelianus; Mucianus; Salona; Archaeological Museum in Split

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