The inscriptions of the Isola Sacra cemetery

The inscriptions of the Isola Sacra cemetery form a very interesting entity, because many of them are still in situ and the place of origin is known for several other examples. The cemetery grew along the road that led from Portus to Ostia. In the excavations about 150 monumental tombs were found as well as many more modest burials. Still only a part of the cemetery has been excavated.

A reseach group of the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae in Rome is preparing a new edition of the Latin inscriptions from the Isola Sacra cemetery. The earlier edition was published by Hilding Thylander in 1952. The group is led by Anne Helttula from the University of Helsinki and the other members are Tryggve Gestrin, Maijastina Kahlos, Reija Pentti-Tuomisto, Pekka Tuomisto, Raija Vainio and Risto Valjus from the universities of Helsinki and Turku.

A thorough rereading of all the remaining inscriptions has brought up many corrections and additions to the readings. To the edition we will include articles concerning various topics like ortografy and other linguistic matters, formulas used, paleografy, onomastics, matters concerning the right of burial and the social standing and relations of the people. The purpose of the articles is to gather together and analyse the information that the inscriptions contain.

Risto Valjus
University of Helsinki