This contribution examines an unpublished inscribed marble slab fragment stored at the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto. The stone shows only three extant lines of text, with a few readable letters in each line, belonging to an inscription in Greek Doric dialect. Despite the fragmentary condition of the text, not allowing for an easy restoration of the document, the inscription can be identified as a funerary epigram datable to the 2nd century AD. The epigram, perhaps in memory of a mature woman who is praised for her aretaì, is rendered elegantly in both its material and literary features (carefully cut letters and refined use of the Greek language), as also the presence of lectional signs, uncommon in this kind of inscriptions, suggest. The document shows how, even in the Imperial period, wealthy families from Tarentum drew on Greek poetic modules and the Doric dialect, and argues that, for the use of the latter in particular, the epigram can perhaps be read as an expression of the cultural milieu of the city in the 2nd century AD, when, in the climate of Panhellenic cohesion promoted by the emperor Hadrian, ties with Sparta, the mother city of Tarentum, were renewed and enhanced.
Fabiani, R. (2020). Un frammento di epigramma funerario inedito da Taranto. In G. Maddoli - M. Nafissi - F. Prontera (a cura di), Σπουδῆς οὐδὲν ἐλλιποῦσα. Anna Maria Biraschi. Scritti in memoria (pp. 207-219). Perugia : Morlacchi editore.