Notes to Funerary Inscription for Urbanilla

See Victor Guerin (1862), Voyage archeologique dans la regence de Tunis vol. 1:288-290, and Amos Perry (1869), Carthage and Tunis: Past and Present, p. 451.

mihi: dative of possession; note the repetition of mihi below, used differently in ll. 4 and 5.
coniunx, -iugis f. m.
wife, husband, spouse, in apposition to Urbanilla. The word connotes a valid marriage, its value to Lucius revealed by its repetition in the poem (see ll. 5 and 8).
verecundia, -ae f.
modesty, shyness; plena is usually construed with the genitive or ablative, either of which impacts his 5th foot dactyl. Lucius first gives traditional praise for his wife, then celebrates her as his comes negotiorum.
hic sita est
This formula is often found on burial monuments: sita est (from sino) = she has been laid in the grave, is buried. Although the phrase must have appeared on the mausoleum wall at the end of line 1, it doesn't belong there; scansion reveals that the hexameter ends with plena.
Romae = locative case.
comes, comitis f. m.
companion on a journey; partner, sharer; in apposition to Urbanilla.
negotium, -i n.
business; commercial activity.
socia, -ae f.
female associate / partner (with reference to marriage); in apposition to Urbanilla. Since he lists this relationship separately, Lucius must be referring to their close and equal bond as husband and wife. Lucius repeats the word in line 4.
parsimonium, -i n.
savings. It is probable that Lucius meant instead parsimonia, which means thrift.
fulcio, -ire, fulsi, fultum
strengthen; support; sustain; the subject is Urbanilla. Supply erat.
gero, -ere, gessi, gestum
transact (business), conduct; perform; bear; govern. The ablative absolute (bene gestis omnibus) is neuter, referring to Lucius' business dealings.
patria, -ae f.
native land, place of birth. Lucius' homeland is Africa Proconsularis (click on SPQR link at the end of the line). As the object of in after a verb of movement, it should be in the accusative, but patriam would have lengthened the last syllable (which needed to be short). Nevertheless, the line is hypermetric.
mecum = cum me.
redeo, -ire, -ii, -itum
come back to, return; imperfect subjunctive in a clause following cum that is circumstantial, in that it describes the situation under which the main act took place.
au interjection
oh! an expression of surprise.
Carthago, -inis f.
Carthage, the largest city in North Africa (click on SPQR link at the end of the line).
eripio, -ere, -ripui, -reptum
sieze, snatch, take away by force; a verb of separation, followed here by mihi, the dative of person after a verb of taking away.
spes, -ei f.
hope. Supply est; it is followed by the gerund vivendi and the dative of reference mihi.
talis, -is
of such a character, of such a kind; modifies coniuge, in the ablative after sine.
servare (1)
preserve, keep. A historical infinitive (as also iuvare, best translated in the past tense with illa, repeated for emphasis, as subject and domum meam as object. Note the mid-line juxtaposition of meam illa.
consilium, -i n.
advice, counsel; ablative of means; note the postpositive et.
iuvo (1)
help, be of use to, assist; historical infinitive, best translated in the past tense with illa as subject and domum meam as object. Note the end rhyme with servare.
lux, lucis f.
light; life (metaphor); ablative of separation after privata. Lucius uses the metaphor again in l. 9; note the play on words between lux and Lucius (l. 8.)
privo (1)
deprive, rob (of); the participle modifies misera, a substantive adjective referring to Urbanilla.
quiesco, -ere, quievi
sleep, rest, repose; be silent; the i is omitted, perhaps to accommodate the scansion. The subject is the substantive adjective misera.
marmor, -oris n.
marble, marble monument.
cl(a)udo, -ere, cl(a)usi, cl(a)usum
close up; shut in, shut up. The participle modifies misera, a substantive adjective referring to Urbanilla, whose repetition highlights Lucius' pity and grief at her death.
hic adverb
here. In this line Lucius introduces himself by name, completing his final duty as coniunx.
tego, -ere, texi, tectum
place a cover over; bury. In this line Lucius directly addresses his wife (te), the object of the verb; marmore is an ablative of means.
anc = hanc (= Urbanillam)
nobis = mihi
sors, sortis f.
lot; lottery; destiny; ablative of means. Lucius refers here to the destiny that Fate (in Greek and Roman myth, the three women Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos who spun, twisted, and cut the thread of life) apportioned randomly to individuals as they were born (see the SPQR at the end of the line).
cum conjunction
when; followed by the imperfect subjunctive daremur in a circumstantial cum-clause (see above rediret). The line may signify that Lucius knew his Urbanilla from birth, but it clearly asserts that she was his soul mate.

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