Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker, Rome

3.3
#368 of 524 in Historic Sites in Rome
The tomb of Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces the baker is one of the largest and best-preserved freedman funerary monuments in Rome. Its sculpted frieze is a classic example of the "plebeian style" in Roman sculpture. Eurysaces built the tomb for himself and perhaps also his wife Atistia around the end of the Republic (ca. 50-20 BC). Located in a prominent position just outside today's Porta Maggiore, the tomb was transformed by its incorporation into the Aurelian Wall; a tower subsequently erected by Honorius covered the tomb, the remains of which were exposed upon its removal by Gregory XVI in 1838. What is particularly significant about this extravagant tomb is that it was built by a freedman, a former slave.

Three sides of the slightly trapezoidal structure remain largely intact. All have the same form, with over a plain lower storey, now mostly below ground level but exposed, a storey consisting of pairs of engaged columns between flat slabs, all crammed together with no space in between. The effect is far from the classical orders; at the corners the slabs turn to pilasters rising at the top level to unorthodox capitals combining scrolls at the sides with plant forms in the centre. There are unusual circular openings in the topmost storey, now thought to represent kneading-basins or grain-measuring vessels. Below a cornice is the frieze, with continuous scenes in relief showing the operation of the bakery where Eurystaces made what was evidently a considerable fortune. Reconstructions imagine a gently rising roof above this, now lost.
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Tomb of Eurysaces the Baker Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
11 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We read about this tomb in full view in a very busy site next to trams and roads and railways. We walked to the site from our hotel. To see this memorial to a life of baking under the arch in the...  more »
  • This tomb was built by the baker who was a freedman and got rich providing bread to Roman legions. To remind future generations of his achievements he built a tomb for himself and his wife at the...  more »
Google
  • A monument to all bakers.
  • Intersting.

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