Stories from the Colosseum. Epigraphy lessons: the Lampadius inscription

Online event

25 January 2021 - 15 February 2021



Monday 22 January 2021

9 PM

Stories from the Colosseum

Epigraphy lessons

1. The “Lampadius inscription”


Hidden in plain sight: the “Lampadius inscription”, currently at the second tier of the Colosseum, is the first of four epigraphic documents in the Flavian Amphitheater that we’ll be reading together with Silvia Orlandi, Professor of Latin epigraphy.

Joining us from Sapienza University of Rome, Professor Orlandi will help our viewers at home look beyond the letters inscribed into the travertine slab. We will learn how to interpret the small holes drilled into the stone at perfectly calibrated intervals and along precise lines; corresponding to the formulae of public commemorations, these holes were originally used to mount raised bronze letters meant to preserve the memory of an exceptional event.

Archaeological officials Elisa Cella and Federica Rinaldi (supervisor of the monument) will then lead us four centuries into the future: moving along the lines of the same architrave, we will see the inscription that commemorates the restoration of the Colosseum after the 443 AD earthquake, financed by the praefectus Urbis Lampadius, before coming to the monument’s recently rediscovered inaugural inscription, dated to 80 AD.

Starting on 25 January 2021, we’ll talk about all this and much more. Tune in to our social media channels every Monday night at 21:00 to discover the lesser known parts of the Colosseum, where “History becomes word”.