Ennius family tomb

(Roman Necropolis)

The Ennius family tomb is reputed to be the most beautiful. Having a form of a small chapel, it was built for Quintus Ennius Liberalis, Ennia Oppidana and their daughter Kalendina. The tomb was supposedly erected when Kalendina died, and the name of her brother Vitulus was chiselled out later. The inscriptions do not reveal the exact date of tomb’s manufacture, but the visual characteristics of statues and reliefs imply that the tomb was created in the Antonine dynasty(138–161), before the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

Rich and elaborate reliefs adorn the tomb. The relief on the front side of the ash container depicts the bull-transformed God Zeus that carries the priestess Europe across the sea. Details, such as a dolphin above the waves and Europe’s veil fluttering in the wind add up to the elaborateness of the relief. Right to the ash container, a relief depicts Ganymede being carried away by Zeus transformed into an eagle. On the left, there are images of a satyr and a nymph symbolizing the afterlife.

The relief portraits of the three family members can be seen on the top of the tomb. The father, wearing tunic and toga, is holding a document in his hands. The mother is wearing a Celtic robe and a cape. Her jewellery is rich, she holds a handkerchief and is covered with a Noricum cap.

Interactive panoramic image of the Roman Necropolis