BMCR 2008.05.04

La collezione epigrafica di Camillo Pellegrino a Casapulla

, , La collezione epigrafica di Camillo Pellegrino a Casapulla. Roma: Quasar, 2007. 45 pages : illustrations, map ; 15 x 22 cm. €16.50.

Table of Contents

This brief booklet catalogues the collection of inscriptions assembled by Camillo Pellegrino (1598-1664) at Casapulla, a small town between Caserta and Capua, north of Naples. Pellegrino came from a well-established Capuan family, and during a sojourn in Rome he developed a fascination for antiquities. He proved to be a competent and respected ancient and medieval historian, as well as an epigrapher: Theodor Mommsen, who was in a position to know, judged him to be “inter antiquarios Neapolitanos non suae tantum aetatis facile princeps.” On Pellegrino’s return south, he collected various objects, including at least 62 inscribed monuments. Of those, 43 survive today: one in the Museo Provinciale at Capua; one in the Vatican Museums; thirteen in the Museo Archeologico, Naples; and 28 immured in the courtyard adjoining the Palazzo Pellegrino. Of these Laura Chioffi examines the last group, all of which Mommsen saw in 1849 and edited in CIL X.1

For each monument, Chioffi includes a careful description of the object, with dimensions, references in previous studies, Latin text, précis of the text in Italian, and commentary. There is a diagram of where the monuments are now immured in the courtyard and a small photograph of each example, usually very clear, although in some cases the shadow makes one wish that the photographer had waited for a cloudy day. Through close examination of the inscribed texts Chioffi is able sensibly to add occasional letters to the readings in CIL; more substantively she confirms the reading STATIAI for the SIATIAI of CIL X.4417, and EPICI for the EPICH of CIL X.4319. In most cases, the inscriptions’ place of discovery is unknown, but it is fairly clear that Pellegrino acquired his objects locally: the texts mention several Capuan officials and gentes, and, while Pellegrino had the contacts to help import material from elsewhere, he does not seem to have had the money or desire to do so. As a result, there are no great surprises in the contents of his collection of funerary monuments and dedications, and it seems a typical example of a provincial early modern collection.

Chioffi includes a bibliography, and full indices and concordances. Her work is a convenient and effective reference for Pellegrino’s inscription collection.


1. They are: CIL X. 3830, 3850, 3866, 3906, 3911, 3944, 3952, 3962, 3996, 4020, 4028, 4043, 4063, 4090, 4093, 4155, 4187, 4235, 4236, 4265, 4291, 4292, 4306, 4319, 4338, 4391, 4417, 4439.