Inscription of Primitiva

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Inscription of Primitiva
Inscription of Primitiva

Inscription of Primitiva

The marble slab that bears this inscription was discovered in the eighteenth century in Trastevere, reused in the Church of the Santi Quaranta Martiri; its size mandes it plausible that it could have constituted the stone closing a “loculus a forno” (kokh), a type of burial niche very common in Jewish catacombs, distinguished by the depth of the shaft in relation to the tunnel wall. Its discovery in Trastevere leads to the assumption that it originated from the Jewish catacomb of Monteverde. The inscription, which begins with the typical formula "Here lies ...", bears the name of Primitiva, buried along with her nephew Euphrenon, and concludes with the usual blessing, "May their rest (be) in peace". At the sides of the inscription there are two symmetrical engravings depicting various liturgical objects: as well as the seven-branched candelabrum (menorāh) and the amphorah for oil, there is also the etrōgh (citron) and the lulāv (palm branch with myrtle and willow), typical of the feast of sukkōt.