Roman Lapidary | Hungarian National Museum

These stone relics supplement our historical and art historical knowledge relating to the Roman province of Pannonia, in a period from which few data from other sources have survived.

The Lapidarium – the Hungarian National Museum’s collection of Roman stonework – is housed in an exhibition space under the south courtyard of the Museum’s main building and in a room belonging to the system of cellars that is connected to this space.

The exhibition presents the most characteristic relic types from the collection, which is considered rich in international comparison, too. These are urn-holding stone vessels, tombstones, sarcophagi, elements from sepulchral monuments resembling small temples (aediculae), votive altars dedicated to deities, and inscriptions relating to construction projects.

The stone relics supplement our historical and art historical knowledge concerning the Roman province of Pannonia and are from a time for which we have few data from other sources. Inscriptions on the stone relics yield information about the make-up of the province’s indigenous population, the structure of Roman settler society, and the offices held by the newcomers. They also contain data relating to economic life, places where soldiers were stationed, and the origins of these soldiers. Events in warfare and in politics, too, may be inferred from the inscriptions (the construction of military guard points along the Danube boundary and visits by the Emperor to a number of towns and military bases in the province).

On the basis of the uninscribed stone relics that are worked in relief, visitors can acquaint themselves with Roman funerary customs, the attire of the age, and other elements of the everyday lives of the province’s inhabitants.