THE NAME OF THE CITY
Lucius Tetienus Vitalis
Hail to thee! My name is Lucius Tetienus Vitalis, born at Aquileia and raised at Julia Emona; then I lived here, to Julia Augusta Taurinorum and in front of my eternal dwelling place I set up this inscription:
“I never ceased to gain nor to lose. Then death came along and free me from both these worries.
Take it from me, when you are born under a particular star not a shred of hope remains. I have crossed lands and seas alike and have also experienced the fury of the muddy waters of both the Po and the Sava. Even so, I achieved what I always desired.
Now I ask to be left in eternal peace”
I spent my youth at Julia Emona, now Ljubljana in Slovenia, a town then engaged in routing merchandise to the Balkans.
It was there that, living in the condition of a freedman, like most merchants in those days, I first embarked upon the business that resulted in my enrichment from the carriage of goods along the Sava, the Danube and the Po, on a route that linked the Black Sea with the western regions of the Roman Empire: amphorae filled with oil, wine, pickled fish; baskets of dried fruits and other foodstuffs from the eastern Mediterranean and Adriatic regions
My witness offers a glimpse of business relationships and economic life of the Empire in keeping with the information gleaned from what has emerged from digs in Turin and from the enormous refuse dumps beside the city walls.