Vatican Museums/Photo by A. Bracchetti

“I have had this monument made,” Avercius explains in the opening lines of his funerary epitaph, “that I might here have a prominent place for my body.” In this reconstruction of Avercius’s tombstone, in the collection of the Vatican, the lines highlighted in red replicate the few readable lines from the ancient fragment discovered by Ramsay (see photo of Greek poem engraved on marble block). The altar-like design is borrowed from typical Phrygian tomb monuments from Avercius’s day (as seen in the drawing of Alexander’s tomb). The laurel wreath that helped Ramsay identify the tombstone would have been on the left face of the altar.