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Funerary Inscription for Euodia Cipara, CLE 1518, CIL 6.40*

Portrait bust, late Augustan

This tombstone is no longer extant; said to have been found in Rome, it may well be a hoax concocted in the 15th century (the name Claudia Cypare appears in two attested funerary inscriptions). Nevertheless, the epitaph captures Roman cultural expectations for females of all classes, even at so young an age. In the inscription, the tombstone rather than a grieving relative or master addresses passers-by, mournfully praising the deceased child for those qualities prized in a young girl being trained for marriage and family: chastity and goodness. The stone is dedicated to a six year old whose status as a slave may be conjectured from her name (see slave names). The text is in hendecasyllabic meter (Phalaeceans).

d[is] m[anibus] s[acrum]
sum castae cinerum lapis puellae
custos. me relegens pius viator,
huius cognita si tibi fuisset
virtus, lachrymulis tuis rigares.
euodiae ciparae
ann[os] vi [vixit]

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Ann R. Raia and Judith Lynn Sebesta
Return to The World of Childhood
October 2006