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Funerary altar of Titus Flavius Athenaeus

Roman Art

2nd century AD
Italic marble
96,5 cm (height); 59,2 cm (width); 29 cm (depth), 3,8-4,5 cm (letters height)
1914 no. 1745

Found in Rome in the church of Santo Stefano degli Ungheresi, the altar was transferred first to the Germanic-Hungarian College and then to the Vigna Torre near the Porta Salaria, where it remained until the beginning of the seventeenth century  (CIL, VI 18004; EDR 111203)

The artifact became part of the Ludovisi collection until the twentieth century, when it was acquired in the Heikamp collection to be finally donated to the Uffizi in 1994.

It is a funerary altar which resembles a small temple without a crown. The dedicatory inscription is placed inside a sophisticated frame, and is enclosed by two twisted columns with Corinthian capitals and sphinxes that support a high tympanic entablature. On the pediment stands a winged figure with arms outstretched to hold two vegetable spirals in his hands. Two winged erotes are inserted in the plumes that converge in flight towards the center. On the sides are represented the dedicant on the left, the deceased on the right.


On the right side

T(itus) Flavius Athenaeus


On the front


T(iti) Flavi T(iti) f(ili) Fab(ia)


vixit annis XXII,

5 menses III,

dies V,

horas III,

Nicostratus lib(ertus)


The libertus Nicostratus (did)

To the memory

of Titus Flavius Athenaeus

Son of Titus Fabia

Who lived 22 years,

3 months,

5 days,

3 hours


On the left side

T(itus) Flavius Nicostratus

The altar was dedicated to the memory of a boy who died at the age of 22. He must have been the son of an imperial freedman of the Flavii family. The dedicatee was the freedman Tito Flavio Nicostrato whose name and effigy are placed on the side of the sculpture together with those of the deceased.


D. Gionta, Epigrafia umanistica a Roma, Messina 2005, tav. XVIII (4)

Text by
Federica Calabrese
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