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Fragments of painted plaster

 

Length: 20.000 cm

Gift of B.W. Pearce

P&EE 1928 10-11 1

Room 49: Roman Britain

    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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    On display: Room 49: Roman Britain

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