ESR 1 The Carmina Latina Epigraphica on Funerary Monuments of Rome

Timo Eichhorn

The project will investigate the non-Christian funerary verse inscriptions in the city of Rome. These carmina epigraphica are an exceptional research field still largely to be explored. They demonstrate a freedom of expression unmatched by most of their prose counterparts. They give voice to social characters not represented in Latin literature and sometimes play with this literary tradition.
The funerary carmina epigraphica of Rome will be published in a critical digital edition with commentary. The study will reconstruct original texts as far as possible and analyse their poetic traditions like figures of speech or quotations of poems in a direct form or adapted to the new inscribed context. The regional analysis, which will provide fascinating new insights in the characteristics of epigraphical verse production in Rome, is to be addressed in the commentary.

In 1998, about 75 % of the material was collected by the Swedish scholar Bengt E. Thomasson as a preparatory study for a Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum volume dedicated to the non-Christian carmina of Rome, that was never published. Despite the great number and extreme diversity (presence of all social strata, content variety, linguistic innovations etc.) of the verse inscriptions in the city of Rome, this pre-collection shall guarantee that the ESR will be able to complete an excellent and coherent edition with commentary in due time. On the other side, this diversity undoubtedly makes this research even more appealing.

More importantly, the work on the city-of-Rome-edition will form an essential basis for discussions within our ESR team and provide key material for comparative studies of all the other ESR projects.

Expected Results
A doctoral thesis on the objectives mentioned above to build up a general expertise in Roman cultural heritage and Latin philology, and professional skills in digital editing.

Host Institution

Sapienza Università di Roma


Prof. Dr. Gian Luca Gregori


Prof. Dr. Concepción Fernández Martínez (Sevilla)
Dr. María Limón Belén (Sevilla)


At Université de Bordeaux, Ausonius-Institut de recherche sur l’Antiquité et le Moyen âge, with Dr. Milagros Navarro Caballero, expert on digital epigraphy, and Natalie Prévôt, director of the Digital Humanities training programme, as supervisors. It will provide expertise in a broad field of managing digital infrastructure and research support (April–May 2022).