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Adriatic Influence on the Production of South-Pannonian stelai: Dalmatia or the North Adriatic?

Branka Migotti ; HAZU Odsjek za arheologiju

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 777 Kb

str. 231-246

preuzimanja: 112


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 777 Kb

str. 231-246

preuzimanja: 168



In this contribution two Roman funerary stelai from northern Croatia are discussed: one from Sisak (Roman Siscia) and another most probably from the village of Ščitarjevo (Roman Andautonia). Both stelai were published preliminarily a long time ago; the former was subsequently discussed by the present author, why the latter remained slightly neglected in the subsequent literature. In this work the stele from Sisak is discussed shortly in relation to its workshop origin, while the stress is on the stele from Ščitarjevo. The latter was described as one of the most attractive Roman portrait stelai from northern Croatia by Nenad Cambi, who noticed its structural traits similar to those of some Dalmatian monuments of the same kind.
When first published in 1935, the stele from Sisak was reported to have been carved from the limestone sourced from the quarry of Hrastovica in the surroundings of Sisak. However, the characterization made in 2017 established its most probable origin from the quarry of Aurisina near Trieste in North Italy, which is further corroborated by the structural typology of the stele and the fact that its owner came from the Roman colony of Tergeste (modern-day Trieste). In spite of the fragmentary preservation, the structural typology of the stele from Ščitarjevo is clear. It contained (from bottom to top): probably a very low socle; a shaft composed of the inscription panel and the portrait niche, divided between themselves by an ornamental band of scrolled rosettes flanked by columns decorated with longish scaled leaves tied with a ribbon, which run continually along their whole height; an anthemion frieze topped by a lion pediment with a finial, featuring a lying lion with the paws on a ram’s head along each of the sides and a Medusa head flanked by acanthus leaves in the middle. The deceased (oval face, nose chipped off, eyes and lips obliterated through wear, short curly hair and beard styled in the Hadrianic fashion) is portrayed as a togatus bust set against the background of a wide-ribbed scallop shell. The stele was dated to the second fourth of the 2nd century on account of Hadrianic portrait features of the deceased. The inscription runs as follows: D(is) M(anibus). / L(ucio) Egnatuleio / L(uci) f(ilio) Florentino /[a]n(norum) XXX pater /5 [f](aciendum) c(uravit)]. H(ic) s(iti) s(unt).
It says that the father of 30-year-old Lucius Egnatuleius Florentinus made the stele for his son, and that they were apparently both buried in the same grave. Curiously, the monument in question is the only of its type in northern Croatia and most likely in the whole Norico-Pannonian region. Its overall iconographic and structural traits point towards a mixture of North-Italic (structure, decoration of the columns) and Pannonian characteristics (lion pediment). This means that the monument was carved in the local workshop, as results from the characterization of the stone, but was inspired by a North-Italian prototype. Such interpretation is further suggested by the onomastic data, which point to Pannonians of North-Italic stock: the otherwise quite rare gentilicium Egnatuleius was typical of Italy and the African provinces, while the cognomen Florentinus was frequent everywhere, but particularly in Pannonia. Judging from their funerary stone, two Siscian Egnatulei obviously maintained business and cultural connections with their homeland.

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