Section VI.1., The funerary stele of the mime Bassilla
Stele della mima Bassilla, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia | Foto: © Slowphoto.studio
“Be of good cheer Bassilla, no one is immortal”, says a verse engraved on a funerary stele in the Archaeological Museum of Aquileia. Who is the recipient of the epigraph? The inscription in Greek indicates that the woman was of oriental origin, like many doctors, teachers and artists active in ancient Aquileia. In the 3rd century AD city Bassilla must have been a celebrity: she was a virtuoso of dance and the art of mime, she was known as "the Tenth Muse". Her verses on her stele help us get to know her better, remembering her theatrical successes and her applause for her versatile talent.