Friday, March 26, 2010

piramide cestia

fine print

The tiny inscription on the east facing side of the Pyramid of Cestius below the larger dedicatory one, records the circumstances of the tomb's construction: "This work was completed in accordance with the will in 330 days under order of Lucius Pontus Mela, son of Publius of the Claudia family, heir; and Pothus, freedman."

In his will, Cestius expressly asked his heirs to build his Egyptian-style pyramid tomb in 330 days. If the deadline was not met, the heirs would not benefit from the rich bequeathed inheritance. 

Lucius and Pothus hurried in delivering the testament order, so much so that rumor has it the monument was completed a few days early. 

A freedman is a former slave who has been released from slavery, usually by his owner. 

Hollywood material, if you ask me.


  1. I like your comment about the Hollywood story. Funny!

  2. Beautiful photographs of the Pyramid Eleonora.. I think posting them in B&W compliments them.
    Have a nice day..

  3. They certainly had plenty of incentive to build it on time!

  4. very, very interesting!


  5. I have never made it to that pyramid yet. Maybe next time I'm in Rome.

  6. I love your photos. I want to go back to Rome. I really enjoyed it last year. But, this year, it's Istanbul and Paris. I need more money! Or, una bella signorina who wants me to visit her! (Bad Italian, sorry, can't remember how to spell it.)

  7. Thank you all for your lovely comments!

    Ele xx

  8. Jeff, your spelling is excellent! ;)

  9. Very interesting! «Louis» wonders why the pyramid was specified. We'll never know...

  10. Please inform «Louis» that a pyramid-tomb in the Roman countryside at the time was probably due to the fact that Egypt had recently become a Roman province (30 BC) and the majestic art and culture of this newly aquired province was in great fashion at the time of Cestius.

    See you tomorrow ;)

  11. Excellent post. I didn't know about the Italian pyramid. Do you know if there was any significance to the 330 days? Other than it is made up of three c's and three x's - CCCXXX?

  12. Hey, that's really interesting! I had no idea it existed.

  13. Fascinating - thanks for finding, translating and posting. I love inscriptions on strucutres...and it's such an unusual find.


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