'Cut These Words into My Stone: Inscribing Verse in Ancient Rome as Cultural Practice'
Department of Classics, University of Reading
Dr. Maria Limon currently works as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Classics at the University of Seville. From the beginning of her career, Dr. Limon has focused her research on the Latin verse inscriptions. Engraving words into stones is difficult, and, as the modern term ‘lapidary’ implies, it is for that reason that Roman inscriptions are usually short and pithy. Verse inscriptions, however, make the exception from this rule.
Spanning the Roman Empire from the third century B. C. onwards, geographically and chronologically, this form of verbal art is increasingly understood as a cultural practice typical of Rome’s lower classes. As part of Dr. Limon’s Visiting Fellowship she will carry out a project entitled ‘Cut these words into my stone: inscribing verse in ancient Rome as cultural practice’.
Dr. Limon’s aim is to analyse what meaning and significance was assigned to the production of an inscription in verse; what judgements were passed by society on encounters with poems on stone; and how did individuals justify their engagement with this genre. Dr. Limon expects the result of the project to be a substantially enhanced understanding of Rome’s epigraphical habit as well as of Rome’s lower-class aesthetics.