Fragments of painted plaster

Roman Britain, 1st or 2nd century AD
From Otford, Kent

Virgil in Kent

These fragments appear to have been part of an inscribed frieze which decorated a corridor at a Roman villa. The frieze showed scenes from Virgil's Aeneid. The incomplete painted inscription (dipinto) reads BINA MANV L[...], which translates as 'Two [spears] in hand...' and an associated fragment shows a figure holding a spear. The reference is to one of two passages in the Aeneid, either Aeneas exploring the land around Carthage (i, 313), or Turnus in his chariot confronting Aeneas (xii, 165).

This is one of several finds from Britain that show that knowledge of classic Roman literature was quite widespread in the province.

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Length: 20.000 cm

Museum number

P&EE 1928 10-11 1


Gift of B.W. Pearce


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