An Ancient Archaeological Discovery – Gravisca

In Etruria a colony called Gravisca was settled in 181 BC on land which used to belong to the last royal family of Rome, the Tarquinii. Each man was given some land but that year was a difficult one. A scrivener (scribe) called Lucius Petilius had men working on his land when they found two stone chests. Each was eight by four feet and secured with lead. They had Latin and Greek inscriptions which revealed that King Numa Pompilius was buried there along with his books. The box which was supposed to contain the body was empty but the other contained, “…two bundles tied round with cords steeped in wax.” Each bundle had 7 books which appeared new; seven in Latin about pontifical law and seven in Greek on philosophy.


As news of the discovery spread the city’s praetor urbanus, Q. Petilius, wanted to see. They’d known each other before and after Quintus reviewed the books he decided that they needed to be destroyed because they would destroy the religion of the republic if they were made public. Lucius wanted to keep the books but also his relationship and referred the matter to the tribune of the plebs who gave it to the Senate. They agreed with Quintus to burn them in the comitium (an open air assembly) and pay Lucius the amount they thought the books worth. Lucius refused to accept but the books were still burned by the victimarii. We are thus left with only loss in an ancient archaeological discovery. Quintus would die a few years later in a war in Liguria.

Livy, The History of Rome – Book 40, Chapter 29

Thanos Bust by Sideshow Collectibles

The best way to support this website is to share and let me know how you found it.

For questions or submissions contact this e-mail account:

Buy Photography, Phone Cases or Stickers! Support The Website!

Chocolate-Covered Pretzel Mountain Tray
Long Distance Love Map USA Three States
Push Pin Travel Maps
Have the Chresis at your office or home
Keep the skeleton mosaic close by

Speak Your Mind

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.