Encyclopedia Ichnographica

the last imperial artifact of ancient Rome

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Latin and Italian entries for the
Sepulcher of Maria, wife of the emperor Honorius
within the
Catalogo delle ppera descritte nella granda icnografia del Campo Marzio coll'aggiunta degli autori, e de' monumenti. da' quali se n' e presa notizia.
Catalog of works deliniated within the large ichnographia of the Campo Marzio with the addition of the authors and monuments which the information has been taken.


Sepulcher of Maria wife of the emp. Honorius. From bk. 5 ch. 10 of Luca Fauno on the antiq. of Rome. "A few years ago," he says, "in the chapel of the King of France which is in the Church of S. Peter's, as the [construction] project put forth by Julius II was being implemented, a marble chest was found, which, from what was found of it, appears clearly to have been the Sepulchre of Maria the wife of the emperor Honorius. There remained nothing in it of her corpse, except for her teeth, hair and shinbones [amusingly, that's pronounced "stinky"]. From her clothes, since they were woven of gold, were recovered many pounds [your text should have "libbre'] of gold, since they were incinerated [here the text reads ambiguously: either in Antiquity, or, and I give this an edge, by the discoverers]. A silver chest was found in it a foot and a half long and one palm high, and many vases of crystal and of that material called agate, excellently worked. In addition there were there was [sic] an emerald on which a head was engraved. It is thought that the head is that of Honorius, and is worth five hundred gold sequins. There was a seal inlaid with gems, that had these letters encircling it == Maria nostra florentissim. == In addition a thin gold plate with these words in Greek, == Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel. == Among the other earrings, necklaces and other women's ornaments in this chest, there was a kind of knot of emeralds a various gems, and an ornament of pure gold, called a "rizza". Furthermore on one side there were these words extending to one palm in length: DOMINO NOSTRO HONORIO; on the other DOMINA NOSTRA MARIA. A ["sorce": mouse??] of chelidonium [almost certainly: a specific type of agate with marking like tortoise-shell]. A shell, and a cup [,] of crystal. A round gold ball very much like those you play with, that could be very easily opened, divided into two compartments like a walnut. Innumerable other gems, most of which, however, were ruined by age, yet some retained their ancient splendor as if they were new and recent."
translation: Bill Thayer

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