Gromatici Veteres, ex recensione C. Lachmanni, diagrammata edidit A. Rudorffius, Berolini 1848, 271-272.
The so-called Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum, a late-antique compilation of treatises, texts, and excerpts about or focused on the science of land surveying, contains a handful of texts of a legal nature. The De sepulchris is one of these legal texts. It is transmitted to us, on the one hand, by “Arcerianus A,” i.e. codex Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Guelferb. 36.23 Aug. 2o, element II = ff. 2-83 (early 6th c.); and, on the other, by what is known as the Palatine class of manuscripts, at the head of which stand ms. Vatican, Pal. lat. 1564 (820-30) and ms. Wolfenbüttel, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Guelferb. 105 Gud. lat. 2o (third quarter of the 9th c.). Arcerianus A places the De sepulchris between Nypsus’ Fluminis varatio and the Liber colonoriarum, but it is mutilated at the start; for this part of the text we must rely on the testimony of a descriptus of Arcerianus A preserved in Jena, Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek, ms. Prov. f. 156 (first quarter of the 16th c.). The Palatine class transmits other texts with the De sepulchris; these consist primarily of excerpts, and together appear to function as a handbook on property and the various circumstances that can lead owners to dispute the precise boundaries of their respective tracts. This juridical collection consists of: 1) Theodosian Code 2.26, the De finium regundorum actione, viz. five imperial edicts concerning property boundaries; 2) a short text taken from Paulus’ Sententiae 5, the De poenis, prescribing the penalties for those who move a boundary stone or uproot trees that mark the limits of a farm; 3) the De sepulchris itself; 4) three Constitutiones taken from the Theodosian Novels; and 5) Digest 10.1.1-10.4.5, a selection of the De finium regundorum. The text of the De sepulchris appears under this title across the manuscript tradition of the Palatine class and also in the Jena codex, where we nevertheless cannot rule out the possibility of contamination from the testimonia of the Palatine class (the reading of Arcerianus A is unknown, since the first part of that text—as noted above—has been lost). This provides us with good reason to reject the title ‘Fragmentum de monumentis finalibus,’ a moniker Toneatto used for the De sepulchris in his description of Arcerianus A that found favor among some later scholars (Toneatto 1994: 158). The text is apparently complete, but as Lachmann argued its original form has probably been obscured and in all likelihood rendered unrecognizable by interpolations. The resulting text is not easy to interpret, and from the very start some of its elements may perplex the reader. If its incipit preserves legitimate information, then the De sepulchris is based on a ruling of the triumvirs Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus that was reworked by the emperor Tiberius and issued as a decree during one of his consulships. The likelihood of this scenario cannot be established, however, and certain linguistic evidence seems to argue against it. As is the case for the other works of the Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum, doubt remains about whether our text may have undergone some form of late rewriting. The De sepulchris focuses specifically on the different functions of funerary monuments linked to their unmovable and inviolable status: 1) monuments located next to public roads in order to leave a permanent reminder of the person buried there; 2) monuments erected beside buildings in order to leave to their descendants some evidence or proof of possession; 3) monuments constructed close to buildings, conforming to the Lex Sempronia and the Lex Iulia, with an eye towards delimiting property lines; 4) monuments placed in the ground that are intended to guarantee that their surface remains unchanged; and 5) monuments constructed on roads that attest to their public nature. [D. Paniagua; tr. C. L. Caterine].