Crispia Salvia’s Hypogeum

THE HYPOGEUM OF CRISPIA SALVIA

Crispia Salvia.
In Lilybaeum,
in this holy place
Julius Demetrius,
your beloved spouse,
stood by you with his love.
In Lilybaeum
dwells your beauty.
In Lilybaeum
you lie in ceaseless sleep.

Hipogeum - open


CRISPIA SALVIAS HYPOGEUM

 It is included in the ancient Lilybeum necropolis. It is a funerary chamber of trapezoidal form: four tombs are excavated in the cave ground  three metres beneath the floor and are surrounded by fully hand-painted  walls.  This is one of the few examples of wall painting dating back to the 2nd and 1st century B.C.

The floral patterns recall the Roman funerary art that employed decorative motifs:  petals, buds, garlands, festoons, and elements that recall the Elysium.

Julius Demetrius  dedicated it to his wife Crispia Salvia with whom he lived for 15 years with libenti animo (with great pleasure).  She died at the age of 45.

CRISPIA SALVIA
VIXIT ANNOS
PLUS MINUS XLV
UXORI DOLCISSIMAE
IULIUS DEMETRI
US MARITUS QUAE
VIXIT CUM SUO
MARITO ANN XV
LIBENTI ANIMO
(Epigraphy)

 The hypogeum decorations were probably made in different periods over a two-century span. 
They may be attributed to the 2nd and beginning of 1st century B.C.  on the basis of the inscription graphic characters and excavation data.