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p134 Columna Rostrata C. Duilii

Article on p134 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.


Columna Rostrata C. Duilii: that one of the two columnae rostratae, erected by C. Duilius in honour of his naval victory over the Carthaginians in 260 B.C., which stood 'ante circum a parte ianuarium' (Servius ad Georg. III.29).

Columna Rostrata C. Duilii: the second and more famous of these two columns mentioned above (Serv. loc. cit.; Plin. NH XXXIV.20; Quint. I.7.12). It stood either on or near the rostra, and with its archaic inscription seems to have been restored about 150 B.C. (CP 1919, 74‑82; 1920, 176‑183), and again later by Augustus (CIL I225) or Tiberius (or perhaps Claudius).a Part of this restored inscription (CIL VI.1300 =31591; Münchener Sitz.-Ber. 1890, 293‑321) was discovered in 1565 (LS II.188) and is still preserved in the Palazzo dei Conservatori (HF 890).1


The Authors' Note:

1 Cf. Mitt. 1890, 306; 1891, 90; DR 471, 472; CIL VI.31611 (= I2 p193, xi). The inscription of the column has since been transferred to the Museo Mussolini (Bocconi, Musei Capitolini, 278). There are records of payments for placing it in its niche in 1572 (Arch. Boccapaduli Arm. II. Mazzo iv. No. 52), while Marchionne was not paid till 1574 'per hauer fatto la colonna rostrata di suo marmo et li sei rostri et il capitello et la basa di marmo del po(polo Romano) et ristaurato il piedistallo et messolo insieme co(n) le inscrittioni antique' (ib. Arm. II. No. iv f79).


Thayer's Note:

a Platner, concerned chiefly with topography, did not go into details about just how archaic the inscription actually might be, but other archaeologists did, and opinion is divided. It may be a sort of fake; the emperor Claudius loved everything archaic, and quite possibly someone accommodated him. . . . The journal articles linked above give some inkling of the details; see also a rather unexpected source: J. Eason's note on Sir Thomas Browne's Miscellany Tract "Of Languages".

The edges of the inscription have worn somewhat since the 16c, and the text of the inscription as we have it today is hard to read. Here is Gordon's version, as printed in his Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy (1983), pp125‑126:

Consol Segestanos, socios p(opli) R(omani), Cartaginiensiom

opsidioned exemet legionesque Cartaginienses omnes

maximosque magistratos luci palam post dies

novem castreis exfogiont Macellamque opidom

pugnandod cepet. Enque eodem magistratud bene

rem navebosº marid consol primos geset copiasque

clasesque navales primos ornavet paravetque

cumque eis navebos claseis Poenicas omnis, item ma

xumas copias Cartaginiensis praesented Hanibaled

dictatored olorom in altod marid pugnad vicet

vique naveis cepet cum socieis septeresmom I, quin

quesresmosque triresmosque naveis XXX, merset XIII.

Aurom captom numei ↀↀↀÐCC (?). (space)

Argentom captom praeda numei (a symbol for 100,000) space for 5 or 6 more symbols.

Omne captom aes (8 symbols for 100,000) space for 5 or 6 more

2 symbols for 100,000 (13 more such) space for 5 more.

Triumpoque navaled praedad poplom donavet

multosque Cartaginiensis ingenuos duxit ante

curum space for ca. 24 letters capt —

A very different transcription, and also somewhat truncated, may also be found online, in Chapter I of A History of Roman Literature by Charles Thomas Cruttwell (1877).


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Page updated: 12 Sep 06