The crucifixion graffito of Alkimilla from Puteoli

I was unfamiliar with this item until today, and I doubt that I am alone in this.[1]

In 1959 a group of eight Tabernae were excavated at Puteoli.  Taberna 5 was a guesthouse, as is clear from the graffiti within it.  These mention various names and cities.

On the west wall of taberna 5, a mass of graffiti included the following graffito of a crucified woman.[2]  The cross is 40 cm high, the cross-piece is 26 cm long, and the figure is 35 cm high.  The graffiti belongs to the reign of Trajan or Hadrian.

A name, Ἀλκίμιλα (= Alkimila, Alkimilla), is inscribed over the left-hand side of the image, above the shoulder, suggesting that this is the name of the person in question. It is also possible that this is a form of curse text, rather than a record of an actual event.  The marks across the body are perhaps from flaying or whipping.

The Crucified Alkimilla. Trajanic-Hadrianic era. Puteoli: Via Pergolesi 146, Taberna 5. West Wall. Drawing by Professor Antonio Lombatti.
  1. [1]Details via John Granger Cook, Crucifixion in the Mediterranean World, 2014, p.203-4, which gives a photograph of the graffito and the inscription, and a good bibliography.
  2. [2]Published in M. Guarducci, “Iscrizioni grechi e latine in una taberna a Pozzuoli”, Acta of the Fifth International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy Cambridge, 1967, Oxford (1971), 219-223.

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