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A funerary mosaic and inscription found in the Early Christian Necropolis of Tarragona.
It presided over the tomb of the person depicted and referred to in the inscription. Optimus, whose name emphasises excellence and perfection, would —according to the most widely accepted interpretation of the inscription— have been one of the first Christians in Tarragona, the head of this community and its bishop. The mosaic shows him dressed in a "contabulata" toga, giving a blessing and holding a "volum" in his left hand.

OPTIME MAGNARVM [dominus]
CVI MAXIMA RERV(m est cura)
DIVINA CAELI QVAS PROM(isit) [Deus]
ARCES ECCEZ DEDIT : SANCTA CRHISTI (sic)
IN SEDE QVIESCIS

RIT 937

Inventory number: MNAT P-2651

Details

  • Title: The Tombstone of Optimus
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Location: Early Christian Necropolis of Tarragona
  • Physical Dimensions: 162 x 83 cm
  • Type: Mosaic
  • Medium: "Opus tessellatum", Limestone, marble and glass paste

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