- Museum number
Marble funerary relief (originally part of the funerary monument) of Lucius Antistius Sarculo, master of the Alban college of Salian priests, and his wife and freedwoman (former slave) Antistia Plutia. The relief was dedicated by two freedmen, Rufus and Anthus, in recognition of their patron's good deeds.
- Production date
Height: 64.77 centimetres
Length: 95.25 centimetres
- Curator's comments
On freedmen reliefs see:
P. Zanker, "Grabreliefs römischer Freigelassener", JdI 90 (1975), 267-315 [this relief pp. 296-298 fig 34].
The relief is of very high quality. Another inscription (CIL VI 2171), probably from the same monument but now lost, records that the freedmen Rufus and Anthus were buried together with their former master Antistius Sarculo and his wife Plautia and other liberti of the family in the same tomb monument.
Antistius was a member of the local Salian priesthood at Alba (which carried modest prestige), not the one in Rome.
The couple's hairstyles indicate a date towards the end of the first century BC. Antistius' hair is cut close to his head. Antistia's hair, drawn back into a small bun, with some curls brought forward and a small topknot at the front of the head.
*For a second inscription to the same persons (now lost), see CIL VI 2171.
* Smith 1904, 289-290:
Relief with portraits of Antistius Sarculo, and Antistia Plutia, erected by two of their freedmen. Within a moulded frame are two deeply sunk circular recesses, containing medallion portrait busts in high relief. On the left is the bust of an old man, with scanty hair, thin cheeks, firmly shut mouth, and marked individuality. On the right is the bust of an elderly woman, also of marked character. Her hair is brought back over the ears, and up from the back to the top of the head, in the fashion of the beginning of the third century A.D. The ears are perforated for metal earrings. Each recess is framed by a wreath of laurel, and fluted in conventional imitation of a shell. Between them is a vertical staff (?) with laurel leaves in relief, and tied about the middle with two cords. A rosette is in each spandrel round the medallions. Below is a tablet with moulded frame, and with wings at the ends, containing the inscription, which states that Antistius was master of the Alban College of the Salian priesthood.
The nose of Antistius had been restored, but the restoration has since been removed. This relief was attached to the wall of a house in Trastevere, about 1510. In 1545 it was in the collection of Bruto della Valle ; thence apparently it passed to the collection of the Palazzo della Valle-Capranica, but if this was the case, it was not included in the sale of the della Valle collection to the Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, in 1584. In 1801, the relief was in the collection of Lord Bessborough at Roehampton. Purchased, 1858.
The Alban Salii were a college of the Salii, or priests of Mars, so called after the Mons Albanus, or Alban Mount near Rome, the place of their residence. They lived as a community and formed a college governed by a Magister, whose job was to lead the singing of the hymn of the Salii.
- On display (G70)
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number