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Tabula Iliaca

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Tabula Iliaca

Tabula Iliaca Capitolina, Roman artwork, 1st century AD

A Tabula Iliaca ("Iliadic table") is a generic label for a calculation of the days of the Iliad, probably by Zenodotus, of which numerous fragmentary examples are now known. The Tabulae Iliacae, of which some examples survive, all in fragmentary condition, are pinakes of early Imperial date, which all seem to have come from two Roman workshops, one of which seems to have been designed to satisfy a clientele of more modest aspirations.[1]

Description of tablets

The term is conventionally applied to some twenty-one[2] marble panels carved in very [5] Michael Squire, in "The Iliad in a Nutshell: Visualizing Epic on the Tabulae Iliacae" (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), reviewed in "BMCR" [6] sees in them a more sophisticated product.

Tabula Iliaca Capitolina

One of the most complete examples surviving is the Tabula Iliaca Capitolina, which was discovered around Bovillae, Rome. The tablet dates from the Augustan period, around 15 BCE. The carvings depict numerous scenes of the Trojan War, with captions, including an image of Aeneas climbing aboard a ship after the sacking of Troy.[7] The carving's caption attributes its depiction to a poem by Stesichorus in the 6th century BCE, although there has been much scholarly skepticism since the mid-19th century.[8] Theodor Schreiber's Atlas of Classical Antiquities (1895) included a line-by-line description of the tablet with line-drawings.[9] The Tabula Iliaca Capitolina is currently in the Capitoline Museums in Rome.


  1. ^ Anna Sadurska Les tables iliaques (Warsaw, 1964), esp. p. 11.
  2. ^ Sadurska 1964 carefully catalogued a corpus of nineteen tabulae; two more had been added to the list by 1985, according to W. McLeod, "The 'Epic Canon' of the Borgia Table: Hellenistic Lore or Roman Fraud?" Transactions of the American Philological Association 11 (1985), pp. 153-65.
  3. ^ The Second Verona Table (Sadurska's 9D, was bordered with two rows of panels.
  4. ^ Horsfall, "Stesichorus at Bovillae?", Journal of Hellenic Studies 99 (1997:26-48) especially pp 33-35; McLeod 1985: 163-65
  5. ^ McLeod 1985:165.
  6. ^ "BMCR" 2013.02.32:
  7. ^ "The Legend of Aeneas and the Foundation of Rome." Accessed 4 November 2007.
  8. ^ "The Aeneas-Legend from Homer to Virgil." Accessed 4 November 2007.
  9. ^ Theodor Schreiber, Atlas of Classical Antiquities (London, 1895), pp. 176-179. This page also links to a very large image of the tablet. Accessed 23 April 2013.
  • Theodor Bergk Commentatio de tabula Iliaca Parisiensi. (Marburg, Typis Elwerti Academicis, 1845).
  • Nicholas Horsfall "Tabulae Iliacae in the Collection Froehner, Paris". The Journal of Hellenic Studies 103 (1983), pp. 144–47.
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