Image Map for WLGR (12k)

Public Life

196. Eumachia. Pompeii, 1st cent. A.D. (CIL X. 810=ILS 3785; CIL X. 813=ILS 6368; Maiuri, 1965, 83. L)

Eumachia was priestess and prominent citizen of the city of Pompeii. She was patroness of the guild of fullers (cleaners, dyers, and clothing makers), one of the most influential trade-guilds of the city because of the importance of the wool industry in Pompeii's economy. Although her ancestry was humble, the fortune she inherited from her father, a brick manufacturer, enabled her to marry into one of Pompeii's older families. She provided the fullers with a large and beautiful building which was probably used as the guild's headquarters.

Over each of the two entrances to the Building of Eumachia in the Civil Forum (the dedication refers to the Emperor Tiberius and his mother, Livia, whose statue was found inside the building):

Eumachia, daughter of Lucius (Eumachius), public priestess, in her own name and that of her son, Marcus Numistrius Fronto, built with her own funds the porch, covered passage, and colonnade and dedicated them to Concordia Augusta and to Pietas.

On the base of a statue (now in the Museo Nazionale, Naples) of Eumachia, with her head veiled as a priestess:

To Eumachia, daughter of Lucius, public priestess, the fullers [dedicated this statue].

On her tomb in the cemetery outside the Porta Nuceria:

Eumachia, daughter of Lucius, [built this] for herself and for her household.