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Marco Buonocore (éd.), Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Inscriptiones Calabriae Apuliae Samnii Sabinorum Piceni Latinae. Supplementum. Regio Italiae quarta. vol. IX. Suppl. Pars 1. Fasc. 1 et Fasc. 2

Federico Santangelo
p. 277-279
Référence(s) :

Marco Buonocore (éd.), Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Inscriptiones Calabriae Apuliae Samnii Sabinorum Piceni Latinae. Supplementum. Regio Italiae quarta. vol. IX. Suppl. Pars 1. Fasc. 1, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2018, 418 p., 239 € / ISBN 9783110627961.

Marco Buonocore (éd.), Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Inscriptiones Calabriae Apuliae Samnii Sabinorum Piceni Latinae. Supplementum. Regio Italiae quarta. vol. IX. Suppl. Pars 1. Fasc. 2, Berlin, De Gruyter, 2019, 446 p., 239 € / ISBN 9783110671643.

Texte intégral

1Marco Buonocore (henceforth B.) recounts the story of this project in the preface to the first volume of his Supplementum to CIL IX. He first came up with the idea during a train journey (LXXIII: cum pulcherrimas regionis Aprotinae plagas… e hamaxostichi fenestra contemplatus essem) from Chieti to Rome on 12 September 1979: having worked for some time on the inscriptions from Teate Marrucinorum, he realised the need for a systematic reconsideration of the epigraphy of the Augustan regio IV. Four decades on, the first two instalments of the five-volume project have been published under the auspices of the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, where the CIL has been based since its inception; the whole series should be published by 2022. What has appeared so far would already be enough in itself to bring meaning and distinction to a lifetime’s work: nearly 1,000 pages, 814 new inscriptions from 27 communities, and new readings and notes for hundreds of texts already included in CIL IX. Yet this is very much the crowning achievement of a scholarly career in which B. has set new standards to the study of Roman Italy with a major set of contributions to the ancient history and epigraphy of Central Italy (mostly collected in L’Abruzzo e il Molise in età romana tra storia ed epigrafia, L’Aquila 2002), has led to successful completion a major project on the letters of Theodor Mommsen to his Italian correspondents (reviewed in Anabases 28, 2018, p. 301-306), and has of course had a distinguished term of service as Scriptor Latinus and Director of the Archives of the Vatican Library. It is hard to escape a sense of deep admiration and gratitude for a contribution to the understanding of ancient Italy that has few equals in the last century.

2A detailed assessment of such a rich and complex work would easily exceed the confines of a book review, and would probably be pointless. Like all great reference collections, this is first and foremost a working tool, which must be put to the test of frequent and extensive consultation, and will be a springboard for future research in ways that are now largely impossible to predict. Moreover, this is not a work that provides any synthetic overview. Unlike the two major corpora in whose tradition it belongs – the CIL and the Supplementa Italica – it does not provide any general introduction to the history, topography, and epigraphy of the communities whose material it discusses, but takes its readers in medias res. For each community there is a list of addenda et corrigenda to the entries in CIL IX, followed by the edition of new inscriptions (tituli novi); there are plenty of cross-references, but no summative discussions. That does not remove the fact that each entry rests on and reflects a comprehensive knowledge of the wider picture; it is, however, an outcome of the rules of engagement that B. has set himself, and readers will do well to bear it in mind as they approach this work.

3What may be more usefully be done here is a discussion of the main aspects of what this edition has to offer. For each new text included in the discussion B. provides three crucial sets of information: an account of the archaeological context; an edition; and a strikingly comprehensive bibliography. For the texts that are already included in CIL IX a full new edition is given only in a minority of cases, and the main problems that require attention are discussed in the commentary. Onomastics receives especially careful consideration throughout, and the notes helpfully refer to the contributions on individual names. We are not looking at a new Schulze, but the significance of the information gathered by B. marks a considerable step beyond anything we had at our disposal to date. A similar approach applies to epigraphical formulae: readers are consistently directed to one or more scholarly treatments, which will in turn provide further comparanda and contextual information.

4Whenever he has been able to locate an inscription, B. has inspected it, and has given measurements and paleographic information, which is so often crucial to a tentative dating; he has also printed a considerable number of images. The whole work is in Latin: B. writes in an elegant and precise fashion, and stays clear of polemics; errores sprevi is probably the harshest criticism he will have in store for his predecessors, and only with the specific intention of justifying his own editorial choices. We are presented with a resource that surely only B. would have been able to produce, and one can tell the gusto with which he has been working on this material; yet his editorial voice never stands in the way of the efficient use of this work. Its offerings are incredibly generous, and users of this collection should be prepared to the real possibility of being surprised every step of the way. At any rate, no serious work on Central and Southern Italy will now be possible without making systematic use of this edition.

5The first section of the work is devoted to the Samnite communities of the regio IV. We are presented with a splendid set of material from Telesia (p. 849-903), which provides essential foundations for the history of the city’s magistracies (especially its praetores duouiri) and for its position in the late Republican period: B. does not provide a firm view on Mommsen’s theory that regarded it as a Sullan colony, but provides all the necessary tools for a reconsideration of the problem. The edition of the evidence from Allifae (p. 903-950) required extensive use of epigraphic manuscripts; a craft in which B. is an established master. Some of the inscriptions included in this Supplement are classic pièces de résistance of the epigraphy of Roman Italy, and B. provides wonderfully thorough summaries of the scholarship on documents of major importance like the Saepinum edict on transhumance (CIL 9.2438) and the law on the temple of Jupiter Liber from Furfo (9.3513); in those instances, and in a few carefully selected others, he also provides a working Italian translation, briefly deflecting from his main linguistic choice. Some of the material from Fagifulae (e.g. 2573, 2623) is claimed back from the neighbouring territories of Bovianum Undecimanorum and Terventum to reflect the advancements in our understanding of the boundaries of those communities – a front of investigation that remains especially fruitful for this part of Italy.

6The second part is devoted to the Frentani: Iuvanum has yielded mostly funerary material, but there are interesting dedications by the local seuiri and some honorary inscriptions. The third one, on the Marrucini, is opened by Teate, where B.’s interest in the epigraphy os this region was first kindled (the funerary dedication to L. Poditius by his mother Aufidia Minata, no. 7017, is a piece of arresting beauty; and those who look for an illustration of B.’s working method in this edition will find a crisp and very effective example here). The fourth section is devoted to the Paeligni. The edition of no. 7086, a long and remarkable funerary inscription found at Torre dei Passeri, is especially rewarding. The most substantial dossiers, at least in quantitative terms, are those of Sulmo and Corfinium, where the evidence for the priestesses of Ceres receives a valuable reconsideration that historians of Italic religion will consult with profit. Superaequum presents a sizeable set of documents from the Christian cemetery, to which B. devotes especially close attention, building on the work of Father Antonio Ferrua.

7The fifth section, on the Vestini, focuses the attention on smaller communities, in which the pagus structures play a more prominent role: Aternum, Angulus, Pinna (with the remarkable offer to Iupiter Victor from four magistri fani, no. 7454: a document that would deserve a free-standing study; and the two funerary monuments set up by families of freedmen, with their proud portraits, no. 7476 and 7481), Furfo, Pagus Fificulanus. An inscription from neighbouring Aufinum is known thanks to the testimony of Ranuccio Bianchi Bandinelli, who wrote about it in a letter to Valerio Cianfarani: B. publishes the drawing he located in the Bianchi Bandinelli Archive in Siena (no. 7515). The ample deployment of illustrations enables readers to weigh up the significance of the many funerary inscriptions presented here: in the large set of material from Peltuinum, for instance, the monument for the slave Onesimus (no. 7566) deserves special attention, and not just for the carmen that is inscribed on it. The inscriptions of Aveia include both attestations of the time-honoured cult of Feronia, who had her own collegium there (3602, 7624), and of the presence of the cult of Mithras (3608, 7622).

8As even this most cursory and inadequate survey shows, we are looking at a body of material and scholarship that will significantly change the way we go about studying and teaching Roman Italy. It is a work in two large volumes, written in Latin, published in hard copy only, and for which no bespoke external funding was ever secured: it is candidly unzeitgemäß. And yet it is hard to think of a more timely, inspiring, and lasting contribution to our knowledge and debate.

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Federico Santangelo, « Marco Buonocore (éd.), Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Inscriptiones Calabriae Apuliae Samnii Sabinorum Piceni Latinae. Supplementum. Regio Italiae quarta. vol. IX. Suppl. Pars 1. Fasc. 1 et Fasc. 2 »Anabases, 33 | 2021, 277-279.

Référence électronique

Federico Santangelo, « Marco Buonocore (éd.), Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum. Inscriptiones Calabriae Apuliae Samnii Sabinorum Piceni Latinae. Supplementum. Regio Italiae quarta. vol. IX. Suppl. Pars 1. Fasc. 1 et Fasc. 2 »Anabases [En ligne], 33 | 2021, mis en ligne le 10 avril 2021, consulté le 16 mai 2022. URL : ; DOI :

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