MI·10 Milano

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Classification: slab

Material: stone
Size: length unclear, height max. 10.2 cm
Condition: broken
Autopsy by: Corinna Salomon
Date of autopsy: Apr 26 2022

Archaeological culture: unknown
Date: unknown

Site: Milano (Milano, Lombardia, Italy)
Coordinates (approx.): 45° 27' 34.17" N, 9° 10' 59.93" E
Find date: before 1986
Current location: in situ


Alternative sigla: Solinas 1995: 104
Morandi 2004: 140

Sources: Morandi 2004: 615–617 no. 140



Images in Tibiletti Bruno 1986: 100, fig. 1 (photo of a cast), Morandi 2004: tav. XXI.140 a, b, c (photos), Zavaroni et al. 2014: 281, fig. 2 (drawing).

Slab of stone immured horizontally in a preserved section (ca. 4 m long, ca. 2 m thick) of the Roman city wall of Milano in the cellar of Via S. Vito 18, where it still remains today. A concrete pillar supporting the ceiling of the basement room has been put right in front of it, but the inscription appears to have been noticed, as a recess was created through which the slab can be seen. The slab is usually considered to be ca. 60 cm in length, broken into a small (on the left) and a large piece already before (or during) the immuration, but built into the wall with the correct alignment (as shown by inscription MI·10.8, which runs across the break). The examination of the slab by Dott.ssa Francesca Roncoroni of the Soprintendenza Milano and myself strongly suggests that the left-hand side edge of the smaller piece is not the end of the slab, but only a ridge on its surface, and that the seemingly small piece is in fact only the right-hand side part of a piece of roughly the same length as the large piece on the right. Unfortunately, this is difficult to verify, as access to the spot in question is impeded by the pillar. If we are right, the slab was considerably longer than thought so far, and broken roughly in half. The section on the left does not bear any inscriptions, but traces of what may have been one (two chevrons) can be seen in its lower area (see photo above).

Zavaroni et al. 2014: 280 assume that the visible side of the slab is the narrow side of a large flat stone, suggesting that at least one of the hidden large sides may be inscribed as well. The damaged inscription MI·10.3 at the lower edge certainly shows that the use of the slab as an inscription-bearing object in the wall is secondary, as do the inscriptions (MI·10.2, probably MI·10.4 and MI·10.5) which are inverted, though it cannot be excluded that some of the inscriptions, which were applied by different hands and presumably at different times (Tibiletti Bruno 1986: 100), were added after the immuration. No clear inscriptions can be seen on any other part of the preserved wall, but faint traces of what may have been letters can be detected on the stone right below MI·10.3 (see photo above). It is not clear to me where the slab was located on the wall in its original state; it is now only in the second row above a skirting of bricks around the lower part of the wall (original? the foundation?) above the modern concrete platform. The stone's original location and use are unknown; the material is not local (Morandi p. 615). See further on MI·10.1 and MI·10.2 for a discussion of the slab's original function. Tibiletti Bruno 1986: 99 mentions two casts (of the inscribed section), one of paper and a better one of "materiale plastico", the latter probably the one kept by the Soprintendenza Milano.

A terminus ante quem for the slab is provided by the dating of the secondary context, the Roman wall, to 40/35 BC (Morandi p. 615, n. 54 with literature). See the inscription pages on datings for individual inscriptions.

Corinna Salomon