Funerary altar



Funerary altar

Place of execution unknown
Roman, late 2nd century – early 3rd century
White marble from Almadén de la Plata
49 x 28 x 21 cm
From Mérida (Badajoz)
MEV 3218

A moulded altar topped by a triangular pediment. On the top there are rolls at the sides and a circular focus. On the left-hand side there is a 'simpulum', or cup for the ritual libations, and on the right an 'urceus', or jug in relief. The 'cognomina' appearing in the text are Greek in origin and not all that usual. The altar is dedicated to the Manes, who were the subject of family and public worship and were venerated with twice-yearly offerings of milk, honey and wine. Among the Romans the Manes, the spirits of ancestors, were considered deities that could exert an influence on the living.

1 History of the Museum
2 Archaelogy
3 Lapidary