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greater. We cannot arrive at accurate results with regard to the mean age at death of the upper classes as compared with the lower classes in Rome, but we should expect to find a greater difference than that here indicated. The difference between the mean length of life of the rich and poor in our modern cities has been given at 15 years and upward. That the difference in Rome was probably much less may suggest that the immorality and excesses of the wealthy shortened the average length of life of these as compared with the poor. We will give for the different volumes of the C. I. L. the mean age at death for all those over 10 years of age, although the averages are relatively nearly the same when all the recorded ages are included. Giving these in the order of percentage, beginning with the lowest, we have the following:
(1) VI, Rome, 29.3.
(9) II. Spain. 37.8.
We thus see that the crowded city of Rome presents the lowest average. This is folowed by Latium, which, in spise of the elaborate and extensive system of drainage pengene bry recent investigations, tr. ist baie been useainet in ane jent times, thouz'ı nst unitab table, as a large extent "f this ?*. ritory is in our day. The mater provinces as a Pref, 397 the highest arezza. Te aterata for AS , W,473 17 pared with the aretages for tie t'er $413 (£ *-*, Rimin Empire, occasicng worse Secel, Wsty, 23 I hiyo, MAAR tioned, tabcazer the 173 sf the ****, A3F VI. VIII, does not doust the cracy of the 5*** mine ", volume, tacugt ie its 3.1. Pre i" 21%, Over I'd, y**** of age, wisk i naz 11:11 13 16:55. Tam" w“, p1, 302,1A 41A1'**} volunres reduce this per ataca si 2-4), wit incare #1
epitaph of one who is represented as dying at the age of 160, and of another at the age of 170. As a rule, the epitaphs containing such records seem to belong to the ignorant and lower classes, and, among these, there has been noticed in all periods a tendency to exaggerate old age. It may well be true that the average length of life was greater in Africa, and especially in Numidia, in which a large part of these fabulous ages occur, than in other parts of the empire, as this province was healthful, and its inhabitants were chiefly engaged in agriculture. This view is strengthened by the figures before us, though we acknowledge that they show great exaggeration. When Cicero, in his De Senectute, seeks an illustration of great physical strength combined with great age, he mentions Masinissa, king of Numidia.
The marked difference between the usage of Africa and of the rest of the empire in recording ages, illustrates the fact that the civilization of Africa was more independent of the influence of Rome than any other part of the empire. It strengthens the view which we obtain also from other sources, that Carthage, a city second only to Rome in the Latin part of the empire, was the centre of culture for Africa and made this province somewhat independent of the influence of the metropolis. Here an ambition at least to appear cultured pervaded even the middle classes, and gives to the inscriptions of Africa a variety and interest surpassed only by those of the city of Rome.
My tabulation of the ages at death, as presented in the C. I. L., while not yielding the definite results which might have been hoped for, shows that the inferences drawn by such scholars as Nissen and Zimmermann, are not justified by a careful study of all the facts in the case. These figures, with their preponderance of records of early deaths, are not without bearing on the views of life and death entertained by the ancients. They suggest, as they record the length of life of children even to the hour, that the Romans did not regard their children as a burden rather than as a blessing, as has been so often maintained. They suggest, too, that while the death of the young was so full of sadness to the Romans, calling forth some of the most pathetic and touching epitaphs which can be found anywhere, that the death of those who had reached old age was regarded, not as caused by the cruelty of fate, but as brought about by natural law, or by the kind hand of Providence.
In C. I. L. VI, 4, Fasc. I, we meet with the following oftquoted epitaph :
D.MM.VLPIVS CERDO TITVLVM . POSVIT | CLAVDIAE .
Orelli includes this in his collection of Latin inscriptions (II, 4636). His only comment on it is the exclamation “mirum dicterium,” but this clearly shows the meaning which he attaches to the words. Prof. A. Zimmermann, in an article entitled “Der kulturgeschichtliche Werth der roemischen Inschriften,” after speaking of the genuine grief which monuments raised to husbands and wives so generally display, adds (page 9): “Vur eine Inschrift unter so vielen ist in einem unpassendien Tone abgefasst, es ist eine der Stadt Rom. Hier sast der ueberlebende Mann: "Am Tage ihres Todes habe ich meinen tiefsten Dank aussprachen vor den Goettern und von Menschen,' nachdem er sie kurz, vorher seine theuerste Gattin genannt."
Friedlaender, wo has dernier more attention to inu rips tions than has ary 6 -7 W: "57 on Konan life, in proferring to women of the '5*er ciasses in kone says ("!,1467199 schichte," I, 515. ed. 5:"V (:aarina von fra in chiazo Staende sini erba', 140,4n bire biropnjaya Spain (1,890.00 ihre Tugenden rims; non fth eht arch on Witwer mit naiver A .128, in 146 (1x",34b, ift strap Frau: 'An dem Taza 1-23 Tries ta";* in Byty do so (11,4 stopni und den Menschen mens. 114.
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This epitaph, though regarded as an unparalleled exception, may be compared with V, I, 3122, which might as readily suggest a tone unfriendly to the dead. This monument bears the names of two wives. To the first the husband applies the expression “uxori sanctissimae post obitum” in contrast to the second, who is addressed as “coniugi carissimae.” A similar interpretation applies to both epitaphs, and though they are somewhat awkwardly worded by those who raised these humble monuments, still they contain no element of satire. In fact, though the Roman thought the tomb not an improper place to record plain truths about the dead, even though these truths were not always complimentary, and even to indulge in puns and jest, still he never displays the spirit of satire or ridicule. There may be words of indignation 1 occasioned by the ingratitude of the one to whom the monument was raised, or pity 2 for the weaknesses of the departed, but epitaphs, unlike all other departments of Roman literature, bear no trace, it seems to me, of the element of satire.
In the case of the epitaph under consideration it would indeed be strange, and with Orelli we should exclaim, “mirum dicterium,” if the husband, after inscribing the epitaph to his “coniugi carissimae,” and after mentioning the length of their married life even to the hour, — that which is extremely rare and which almost in itself implies that every hour of their married life had been dear to him, — had in the next sentence thanked heaven that she was dead. Of course no one would deny that we must interpret the language of inscriptions by the usage of inscriptions, that we cannot expect in these epitaphs composed by the illiterate the logical clearness which characterizes Roman literature as a whole. We here meet with a boldness and license and a lack of propriety in the use of language which we do not elsewhere find. Expressions which, judging from the form, would seem directly opposed in thought are used to convey a similar meaning. For example, in VI, 2, 10703, we meet with the words “filiae pater non merenti feci”; though the literal meaning of these words is the opposite of 10696 of the same volume, “coniugi bene merenti fecit,” it is intended to convey a similar idea. Again, in VI, 2, 6686, we find “ fecit libes animo,” and in VI, 4, Fasc. I, “titulum tibi feci libenter," but the meaning is not the opposite of the “dolens posuit ” of XI, 557.
1 C. I. L. VI, 3, 20905.
2 C. I. L. XIV, 636.
Though the writer of the epitaph under consideration has perhaps expressed himself awkwardly and with too great brevity, yet he used language whose meaning could hardly be misunderstood by his fellow-countrymen who were familiar with the usual brevity employed in epitaphs. The meaning appears perfectly clear to us when we compare the language here used with similar expressions which set forth the same thought more fully. C. I. L. VIII, Supp. I, 13134, is an epitaph inscribed by the wife in honor of her husband. The last sentence is as follows: “Sed ago superis gratias, quod, dum e[g]o viver[em], nil voluptatibus meis negavit, quia et ipsa meruera(m).” In C. I. L. VI, 4, Fasc. I, 29186, the husband returns thanks to his wife, “ cui semper gratias.” Here the verb is omitted. In VI, 2, 14537, the form of expression used is, “ago memoriae vestrae gratias.” X, 1, 3162, is a fragmentary inscription which according to the restoration of Mommsen, and there can be little doubt with regard to the general correctness of his interpretation, reads as follows : “cui ma[ritus] in die [funeris pia men]te grat[ias di]cit.”
The epitaph we are considering differs from these last quoted simply in omitting some such expression as “memoriae tuae ” or “pia menta,” or some clause stating the reason for rendering thanks which would remove all obscurity even in the outward form. Other epitaphs of similar import might be added, but those already quoted are doubtless sufficient in number to remove any doubt with regard to the meaning which the writer intended to convey. We must accordingly acknowledge that this epitaph was intended as a genuine tribute of love and that its tone is far more pleasing than that of IX, 5813, “quod fas non fuit monimentum feci : quod inprecabo (or increpabo) superos et iferos.” These two