Home > Catalogue > Venezia Arti > 25 | 2016 > Reuse of Roman Steles in the Jewish Cemetery of the Lido of Venice

Reuse of Roman Steles in the Jewish Cemetery of the Lido of Venice

Licia Fabbiani    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Six stelae situated in the new Jewish Cemetery on the Lido (Venice), but actually belonging to the Old Cemetery, make up a peculiar group of gravestones of their own kind. They are of parallelepiped shape, with an upper polished section carved with Hebrew inscriptions, which date back to the end of the Fifteenth century, and a lower rough section which shows a hole of about 7,08-8,66 inches in diameter, since this part was meant to be buried. The holed tombstones echo the funerary Roman stelae of the post-Roman Republic era, which were used as territorial markers to bound burial areas (loci sepulturae). We suggest two possible explanations thereof: (a) adaptive reuse of Roman ruins, which was a regular and well-documented practice in Venice since the early Middle Ages, or (b) imitation of antiquity.

Dec. 20, 2016
Aug. 24, 2016
July 11, 2016

Keywords: Jewish cemeteryVenice’s Lido

Copyright: © 2016 Licia Fabbiani. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.