TURIA, LEPIDUS, AND ROME






TURIA, LEPIDUS, AND ROME

Peter Keegan

STUDIA HUMANIORA TARTUENSIA, vol. 9.A.1 (2008)

Abstract

This paper discusses the episode in the laudatio ‘Turiae’ of an elite Roman woman’s interaction with the triumuir M. Aemilius Lepidus (LT 2.13–17). Scholarship of the last century has discussed this element of the LT from a variety of standpoints. None of these treatments has approached the description of the experiences and actions of the laudata from the perspective of the ancient consumer of information and meaning within the complete epigraphic environment of the inscription. I will look at the ways in which a contemporary audience perceived and understood the details of this episode in the life‐history of the laudata in relation to the wider sensorium of visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic cues comprising the funerary monumentum.



This is a brief study of historical female representation in the discourse of epigraphic laudatio. The funeral inscription best known as the laudatio ‘Turiae’ (LT) contains, among a great deal of important political, social, and cultural information, a descrip‐ tion of the commemorated woman’s interaction with the triumuir M. Aemilius Lepi‐ dus (LT 2.13–17):

[13] … ad eius] [14] pedes prostrata humi [n]on modo non adleuata, sed tra[cta et seruilem in] [15] modum rapsata, liuori[bus c]orporis repleta, firmissimo [animo eum admone] [16] res edicti Caesaris cum g[r]atulatione restitutionis me[ae auditisque uerbis eti] [17] am contumeliosis et cr[ud]elibus exceptis uolneribus pa[lam ea praeferres] …

‘… prostrate at his feet, you were not only not raised up but were dragged away and carried off by force in the manner of a slave. Although your body was full of bruises, your spirit was very strong, and you kept reminding him of Caesar’s edict with its manifestation of joy at my reinstatement; and although you heard insulting words and suffered cruel wounds, you placed these things before him openly …’

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