Representations of scrolls on funerary reliefs in the Danubian provinces

Agócs Nándor ‒ Grüll Tibor ‒ Szabó Ernő

Time(s) of transition and change. 17th International Colloquium on Roman Provincial Art, Vienna / Carnuntum

ABSTRACT: This presentation addresses the issues and problems that arose during the analysis of the scroll representations on the sepulchral monuments of the Danubian provinces (Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia, Moesia, Dacia) and Dalmatia. The above provinces are particularly suitable for comparison because even according to the Romans they formed a kind of a unit, since they were regarded as parts of a unified customs system (publicum portorium Illyrici). Due to their location (apart from Dalmatia) they had to face similar external challenges on the one hand, and on the other hand they had different influences from inside the Empire, viz. in Raetia the influence of the Rhineland provinces prevailed much more than in Moesia Inferior, which can hardly be mentioned as a part of the Latin-speaking Western Roman Empire. As for the numbers of stone monuments: among the provinces of the Danubian region, most of the scroll representations are known in Pannonia (250-300 occurrences); Noricum is also above 200 scroll-monuments, while in the other provinces the number of scroll-representations barely reaches 50. After a brief introduction of the database created by our research group, we will examine the similarities and differences between provinces and regions and their possible causes. It can be stated with certainty that the separate examination of the material of each province can answer only detailed matters: for instance, it can also be asserted on the basis of Pannonian representations that the scrolls cannot be documents of Roman citizenship. At the same time, representations of scrolls together with the gesture of dextrarum iunctio occur in a relatively small number to be able to confirm or refute the interpretation of these documents as marriage contracts. Our presentation will briefly cover other possible solutions as well.

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