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The Tombstone of Optimus

Highlights of the collection

4th – 5th century AD

162 x 83 cm

Limestone, marble and glass paste. Opus tessellatum

MNAT P-2651

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.

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