Key to Umbria: Spello

The collection is split between Palazzo Bianconi (below), and two locations in Palazzo Comunale:

  1. the Lapidarium (below); and

  2. Sala Zuccari - see the page on Palazzo Comunale.

Palazzo Bianconi

Grave Goods

The collection includes a display of grave goods from what seems to have been a large necropolis that extended from Portonaccio towards the railway station.  The necropolis was first excavated in 1977.  Many of its graves had been disturbed, either by earlier clandestine excavation or by natural phenomena.

The excavation was carried in two phases:

  1. In 1977, attention focused on two inhumation tombs (designated tombs 1 and 10) near Portonaccio which were essentially undisturbed. 

  2. The grave goods in Tomb 1 included a pair of dice and two coins produced in 217-5 BC.

  3. The grave goods in Tomb 10 belonged to a noble lady, and included three coins, one of which has been dated to 179 BC, as well as her mirror and perfume flask (below)

  4. A fibula (7th century BC) was found nearby.

  5. An older inhumation tomb (ca. 300 BC) was discovered  1979, during the excavation of a Roman villa in Via Baldini (to the south).  Some of the grave goods had been imported from Etruria.

Mirror (ca. 200 BC)


This bronze object is made up of the mirror itself and a decorated cover.  This depicts the drunken Dionysus held up by a winged figure, while a lady on his left plays the zither.

Perfume Flask (ca. 200 BC)

This bronze flask is incised with a decorative design and has a top with a representation of a bird.  It contains an inscription below the cylindrical neck (illustrated on the site of the Associazione Culturale Istituto di Ricerche e Documentazione sugli Antichi Umbri, Gubbio):

num [i]u

perhaps “Numisius Iunius”

The inscription is, and is also described on this site in the page on Umbrian Inscriptions  after 295BC.


This funerary inscription (CIL XI 5316, 1st century BC) commemorates Hilarus, a freedman of Caius Helvius.

This inscription (AE 1948, 0102, 30-14 BC), which was found near Porta Venere, records a public project undertaken by the duoviri (the principal annual magistrates of the colony) with the consent of the ordo decurionum (Council).  The duoviri are named as:
  1. Quintus Statius, son of Publius; and

  2. Publius Safena, son of Titus.

This inscription (CIL XI 8011, 1-30 AD), which was found in the road in front of San Lorenzo, records that C[aius] Mimisius had financed the construction of a portico.   The gens Mimisia was among the most prominent family at Asisium, both before and after the Perusine War.

This funerary inscription (CIL XI 5322, 1-30 AD), which was found near San Lorenzo, commemorates Cilus, a freedman of Caius Lanuvius.

Lapidarium of Palazzo Comunale

Ferdinando Passerini established a lapidarium in the atrium of Palazzo Comunale Vecchio in the 18th century, in order to house a number of Roman and medieval fragments found in and around Spello.

Inscriptions Commemorating Magistrates


CIL XI 5282: Titus Laterius      CIL XI 5288: Lucius Turius

quattuorvir iure dicundo              quattuorvir aedillis 

Two funerary inscriptions (illustrated above), which both date to the 2nd half of the 1st century BC) commemorate quattuorviri:

  1. CIL XI 5282 (on the left), which came from an unknown location in Spello and which had been reused in casa Donnola there, commemorates Titus Laterius, son of Titus, who had been quattuorvir i(ure) d(icundo); and

  2. CIL XI 5288, which came from an unknown location in Spello and which had been reused in the collegiata di San Lorenzo there, commemorates Lucius Turius, son of Lucius, who had been quattuorvir aed(illis)

The third inscription (CIL XI 5276, 25 BC - 25 AD), which came from Santa Maria del Mausoleo, records four duoviri (members of a magistracy of two men that was introduced at colonisation).  Specifically, it records a decree of the decurions, led by the duoviri Gnaeus Aequasius and Lucius Aelius, directing an investment in road improvement using money that would otherwise have been spent on games: 

Cn(aeus) Aequasius C(ai) f(ilius) Calvo[s]

L(ucius) Aelius L(uci) f(ilius) IIvir(i) i(ure) d(icundo)

ex d(ecreto) d(ecurionum) viae latitudin(i) 

diecer(unt) substruction(es) 

et erismas fac(iundum) loc(averunt)

in id opus ex d(ecreto) d(ecurionum) pecu(nia) 

                               lud(orum) HS LXXX(milia) [...]

                    Cn(aeus) Aequasius C(ai) f(ilius) Calvo[s]

            L(ucius) Aelius L(uci) f(ilius) IIvir(i) i(ure) d(icundo)

                           M(arcus) Suestidius L(uci) f(ilius)

          C(aius) Arrenus M(arci) f(ilius) IIvir(i) i(ure) d(icundo)

                        deder(unt) idemq(ue) proba(ve)r(unt)

The decree was additionally approved by another pair of duoviri:

  1. Marcus Suestidius; and

  2. Caius Arrenus;

who presumably held office in the following year.

Titus Valerius  (4 - 19 AD)

An inscription (CIL XI 5289) in the deposit of collection, which was found at an unknown time near Porta Consolare, records:

T(itus) Valeriu[s ---]/ praef(ectus) Germ[anici Caesaris ---]

At Foligno, Ludovico Jacobilli apparently had a very similar inscription (CIL XI 5224) in his atrium, which was probably (like other inscriptions in his collection) from Spello.  It read:

[p]raefecto ex s(enatus) c(onsultato/ [Germanici Caesar[is]

Ti{beri) Augusti f(ilio), divi Augu[sti]/ n(epos) quinq(uennali) po([t(estate)]

Maria Carla Spadoni (referenced below, at pp. 93-4, entry 107) observed that these inscriptions:

  1. “... presumably relate to the same person, who was praefectus quinquennalis of Germanicus at the colony of Hispellum” (my translation).

Germanicus, who was actually Tiberius’s nephew, became his son by adoption in 4 AD and died in 19 AD, which allows the dating of the inscription.

Caius Matrinius Aurelius Antoninus (4th century AD)

This inscribed base of a statue, which commemorates Caius Matrinius Aurelius Antoninus, has its own page on this website.

Other Inscriptions

This inscription (CIL XI 5328, 1st century BC ), which was embedded in the facade of Santa Barbara in the 16th century, commemorates Caius Otacilius, son of Lucius.

This funerary inscription (CIL XI 5280, 1 - 25 AD) from an unknown location in Spello, commemorates Titus Epidius Auctus, a freedman who served as a Sevir Augustalis.  (The gens Epidia, which had freed Auctus, is known from a funerary  inscription from Asisium (CIL XI 5473, 1st century AD), now in the Museo Comunale there, which commemorates the young Epidia Prisca.

This is the surviving fragment of an inscription (CIL XI 5261, 1st century AD) that was discovered in the forum of Hispellum.   A larger portion of the original text is recorded:

Apollini sa[crum ---]

ob honor[em] [Iviratus?]

Vetrov(ius?) D̲[---]


Linda Baiolini (referenced below, at p. 98) suggested that this inscription possibly related to a temple dedicated to Apollo, which might have stood on a podium that has been excavated at the southern end of the forum.

A fragmentary inscription (CIL XI 5272) that was re-used in the pavement of Santa Maria Maggiore might commemorate Pliny the Younger and date to the last year of his life (112 AD), when he was the governor of the province of Bithynia et Pontus as legate of the Emperor Trajan.


                            CIL XI 5267                                                    CIL XI 5268

These fragments relate  to imperial inscriptions:

  1. The fragment of CIL XI 5267 on the left was discovered in 1790 in the orchard of San Filippo.  The surviving text reads:

  2. ...ADRI.../ ... TEST X

  3. It probably commemorated the Emperor Hadrian and dated to the 10th year of his tribunician power (120-1 AD)

  4. The two fragments of CIL XI 5268 on the right are from an unknown location in Spello.  The surviving text reads (respectively:

  5. ... M ... / ... DIV ...

  6. ... DIVI ...

  7. These probably belonged to an imperial inscription of the 2nd century AD.

This funerary inscription (CIL XI 5294, 2nd century AD) from an unknown location in Spello commemorates Appuleia Spolentina, who died before her 20th birthday.

This inscription (CIL XI 5269) from an unknown location in Spello commemorates the  Emperor Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius (Gordian III) in the year in which he was also Consul (239 AD).

A funerary inscription (CIL XI 5273) from Santa Maria del Mausoleo, which dates to the 2nd century AD, commemorated Caius Appius Adiutor, son of Caius, member of the Lemonia Tribe, who had held the post of  “Princeps” of the 22nd (Primigenia) Legion.  (The cognomen “Adiutor” means batman and “Princeps” was used in the Roman military for the head of an administrative unit). The dedication was made by the freedman, Caius Appius Eutyches.

A funerary inscription (CIL XI 5270) that was found in 1640 near the amphitheatre at Villa Fidelia commemorates Licinia Vittorina, daughter of Caius and wife of Caius Hispella Gavius Saturninus, both of senatorial rank.  This was on the base of a statue that had been dedicated by a decree of the ‘splendidissimus ordo colon(iae) Hispellatium’ because of her chastity and munificence.  Given the find spot of the inscription, it seems likely that this munificence involved the financing of games here.  The EAGLE database (see the CIL link) date the inscription to the period 285 - 325  AD (i.e. a period of only a few decades before the Rescript of Constantine, when Hispellum received the name Flavia Constans).  Note that the base of a statue of Caius Matrinius Aurelius Antoninus (above), which slightly post-dates the Rescripti and uses the new name of Hispellum, was found in the same location in 1581.

Other Roman Remains

Fragments from the Theatre (late 1st century BC)

These fragments from the Roman theatre formed part of the “scaenae frons” (the backdrop to the stage).

Figure in a Toga

Text ??

Sarcophagus (3rd century AD)

This side panel from a sarcophagus contains an image of the deceased with winged spirits and garlands.

Remains from Rocca Baglioni

An inscription from Rocca Baglioni  reads:

Anno Domini M CCC LVIII

Philippus de Antilla, episcopus Florentius

rector ducatus Spoletani

fecit hedificare istam roccum

tempore domini Innocentii pape VI

This records that Bishop Filippo dell’ Antella of Florence (whom Pope Clement VI had appointed as rector of the Duchy of Spoleto in 1353) had commissioned this fortress in 1358.   In fact, Filippo dell’ Antella left the duchy in January 1358 to take up his appointment in Florence, so the commissioning of this fortress must have been among his last acts as rector.

Other remains from the Rocca include the arms of Pope Innocent X and the papal governor Valerio Vitelleschi, together with an inscription (1649) commemorating them. 

Read more:

S. Sisani, “I Rapporti tra Mevania e Hispellum nel Quadro del Paesaggio Sacro della Valle Umbra”, in

  1. G. Della Fina (Ed.), “Il Fanum Voltumnae e i Santuari Comunitari dell’ Italia Antica”, (2012) Orvieto (pp. 409-64)

P. Bonacci and S. Guiducci, “Hispellum: La Città e il Territorio”, (2009) Spello

M.C. Spadoni, “I Prefetti nell' Amministrazione Municipale dell' Italia Romana”, (2004) Bari

L. Baiolini, “ La Forma Urbana dell' Antica Spello”, in:

  1. L. Quilici and S. Quilici Gigli (Eds), “Città dell' Umbria”, (2002) Rome, pp 61-120

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