One of the most famous funeray monuments to have survived from ancient Rome, that of the baker Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces and his wife Atistia, stands just outside the Porta Maggiore.
The cognomen, Eurysaces, is of Greek origin and it is thought that the baker was most likely a wealthy freedman (ex-slave). Eurysaces was clearly very proud of his profession and the frieze at the top of the tomb shows his bakery at work: grinding and sieving the flour (south side), mixing and kneading the dough, shaping the loaves and placing them in the oven (north side), stacking the loaves in baskets and carrying them to be weighed (west side).
The cinerary urn containing the ashes of Atistia took the unusual form of a panarium (bread basket).
The tomb dates back to circa 30 BCE.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private walking tours of Rome.
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