Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2012.08.22

Carl Deroux (ed.), Corolla Epigraphica: hommages au professeur Yves Burnand (2 vols.). Collection Latomus, 331.   Bruxelles:  Éditions Latomus, 2011.  Pp. xiv, 743.  ISBN 9782870312728.  € 115.00 (pb).  

Reviewed by Andreas Gavrielatos, University of Leeds (

Table of Contents

The Hommages au professeur Yves Burnand is a collection of papers on epigraphy and related fields, where Y. Burnand has proved to be a profound researcher. The contributions cover a wide range of topics.

The collection consists of two volumes, the first focused on inscriptions from Gaul (‘De inscriptionibus ad Galliam pertinentibus’, 24 papers) and the second on inscriptions from other Roman provinces (‘De inscriptionibus ad imperii Romani partes alias pertinentibus’, 32 papers). Pages are numbered without break from the first to the second volume. At the end of the second there is a helpful ‘Index nominum propriorum et rerum praecipua mentione dignorum’ (pg. 735-740), compiled by M. Vannesse.1

Contributions are mainly in French with the exception of eight papers, all in the second volume. Bibliography is included either in the footnotes or at the end of each contribution. The discussion here will focus on some of the most noteworthy contributions. The contribution of M. Christol (pg. 76-87) is a notable discussion of the development of the local elite of Nîmes. Written from a historical point of view, the paper examines the development in local anthroponymy with a particular focus on the formation of gentilicia to produce tria nomina. The latinisation of names is apparent in the formation of gentilicia from Gaulish names, e.g. Adgennius with the suffix –ius.2

A. Daubigney follows current trends in epigraphic research in discussing the problems of identity of the individual (pg. 88-98). In particular, he examines the cultural and political identity of bearers of Celtic names under the process of Romanisation from the area of Sequani. The author introduces the material and then evaluates the distribution of the names, their Celtic character, possible familial relations recorded in the inscriptions and finally religious aspects. The most revealing part is undoubtedly the discussion of the relation between a linguistically Celtic name and the indigenous identity of the bearer. The linguistic characters of the names are examined here with regard to the effects of the contact between the two languages (Latin and Celtic) in the area. The importance of the Decknamen in the evaluation of the distribution of the names is stressed, but it is not the main target of the paper.

For the study of the bilingual situation of Roman Gaul the research on the inscriptions of the area is essential. Drawing on J. N. Adams’ study of the graffiti of La Graufesenque,3 P.-Y. Lambert (pg. 157-173) contributes to the subject from a more “Gaulish” point of view, exploiting the previous scholarship, especially the edition of the graffiti by R. Marichal.4 Lambert presents the function of gallicisation revealed in the graffiti. In particular he contributes to the use of the theory of ‘code-switching’ and to scholars’ debate on the origin of the name Vindulus and the identity of the potter bearing it. As regards the names on potters’ stamps, Lambert stresses two basic problems, namely the absence of simple names with Gaulish inflection and the fact that among the stamps not all the names of the graffiti can be found (pg. 167), a problem not addressed by Adams. In general, the contribution of Lambert is an essential supplement to Adams’ work and a sine qua non for a study on bilingualism of Roman Gaul.

The contribution of J.-P. Petit, also dealing with names of potters of Gallo-Roman terra sigillata (pg. 274-300), offers a good guide for the onomastics of this small group, with a complete and very informative bibliography for each name.5 The analysis that follows the presentation of the names offers important information and suggests further research on some aspects, e.g. the justification for the absence of stamps with tria nomina in the catalogue.

H. Solin (pg. 318-322) offers a new interpretation of CIL VI 40550. His comments on an old copy of the inscription and its value as a source pose interesting and worthwhile questions relating to palaeography and the interpretation of context in different periods. Other papers offering new approaches in their interpretations of specific inscriptions include H. Lavagne on CIL XIII 597* (pg. 188-199) and R. Turcan on CIL XII 1524 (pg. 323-329). In the second volume, C. Castillo discusses the character of CIL VIII 7070 from the province of Numidia (pg. 401-405). Further in the same volume, with a focus on the use of amicus and hospes M. Reali comments on CIL V 5693 (pg. 612-620), which follows his previous work on the use of inscriptions for the study of amicitia.

The contribution of B. Rémy (pg. 301-317) explores the information for Mons Seleucus revealed by the inscriptions of the area. The paper has an introduction to the site and the previous scholarship, a section devoted to the documentation under examination and two more on the deities and the peoples recorded on the inscriptions. The section on the deities consists of an account of the indigenous god Allobrox, three Gallo-Roman deities, two oriental deities, a divine abstract and three undetermined deities. This serves as a brief, yet very informative survey of the development of Gallo- Roman deities and the significance of the oriental deities for the area. The peoples are usefully discussed with a focus on their status and their nomenclature.

The second volume has more on onomastics. The study of African provinces of the Roman Empire by J.-M. Lassère (pg. 526-536) develops ideas suggested in the past by A. Chastagnol and answers questions mainly on Roman citizenship, the legal character of tria nomina and in particular of the gentilicium, and the reference to tribus in nomenclature. The author concludes that the expression of citizenship in African provinces is different from that in Gaul (Narbonensis in particular), illustrating the diversity in administration within the Roman Empire. Similarly, the study of Y. le Bohec (pg. 537-548) reveals the importance and examines the use of tribus in nomenclature, underlining the limited attention paid to elements of tria nomina other than the gentilicium.

The contribution of P. Simelon (pg. 659-670) is also concerned with onomastics in the Roman empire, in particular the Germanic provinces. His initial question addresses the relative rarity of the nomen Aurelius after the edict of the emperor Caracalla, in contrast to its frequency in other provinces. There are several explanations offered, but the contribution of Simelon is more revealing regarding the effects of the edict on nomenclature and on different social strata and, of course, the process of Romanisation in the area. For the names drawn as examples the author comments on their origin with an essential bibliography for each one; thus the chapter can be used for an examination of provincial cognomina as well.

Carl Deroux (pg. 427-448) offers a very interesting look at Petronius’ Satyricon, based on two inscriptions from the Cena Trimalchionis scene (Sat. 28, 7 and 29, 1). The inscriptions are discussed in their satiric context, with comments on their use and form. The author also discusses the inscriptions in relation to the status of Trimalchio (a freedman), the description of the house and pet-keeping.

The papers of this collection do not focus on a particular subject but address topics in epigraphic research that clearly reflect the questions posed in Y. Burnand's major work, the three volumes of Primores Galliarum— the methodology of prosopography, the origins of the upper classes, their nomenclature, the distribution of their names, among others. Nonetheless, the focus of the first volume on inscriptions and relevant studies about Gaul makes it a coherent edition for the epigraphic material of the area. Scholars interested in epigraphy and related subjects will find many thorough treatments. The authors cover a wide range of subjects and make this edition a valuable support for current research and a useful tool for a research library.


1.   As the title states, it is not a detailed Index. This is perhaps the only difficulty the reader will face, since a more inclusive Index would be more helpful and it would support a more effective cross-reference, e.g. a second Index with all the personal names discussed in the edition. However, the edition does not focus solely on one aspect of epigraphy and from that point of view, the provided Index is adequate.
2.   The contribution is strongly linked to previous work of the same author on the latinisation of personal names in the area: Christol, M., and Deneux, C., La latinisation de l’anthroponymie dans la cite de Nîmes à l’époque impériale (début de la seconde moitié du Ier siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.): les données de la denomination peregrine, in Dondin-Payre, M., and Raepsaet-Charlier, M.-Th. (eds.), Noms, identités culturelles et romanisation sous le Haut-Empire, Brussels 2001, p.39-54.
3.   Adams, J.N., Bilingualism and the Latin Language (Cambridge 2003) pg. 687-724).
4.   Marichal, R., Les graffites de La Graufesenque (GALLIA Suppl. 47), Paris 1988.
5.   There are also references to Hartley, B.R., and Dickinson, B.M., Names on terra sigillata. An Index of makers’ stamps and signatures on Gallo-Roman terra sigillata, vol. 1-9 (BICS Suppl. 102), London 2008-ongoing.

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