Almost everyone who has ever seen a Roman grave inscription has seen the phrase Dis Manibus or its abbreviation DM. It starts almost every Roman tombstone I have seen. I know it means "to/for the Manes", but I am not sure how to parse it syntactically as a part of the inscription.
Should I parse D[is] M[anibus] as a separate idiom that is not syntactically tied to the rest of the text? What exactly is given or dedicated to the Manes? Is it the tomb, the deceased, or something else? Is the text perhaps addressed to the Manes?
I would be grateful if someone could show an example or two and explain how the phrase Dis Manibus works as a part of the whole text in an epitaph.
Here are some example inscriptions from this CIL page ("Section: Sepulchrales"):
TI CLAVDIO ISSO
VIX ANN XII D XXXV
L FEC FAVSTO
BENE MERENTI FILIO
QVI VIXIT ANNO
VNO MESIBUS VIIII
FECIT PATER LICINIVS
I can understand these inscriptions otherwise, but I don't see the exact role played by the first lines. This may or may not be a representative sample. I lack the expertise to judge that, but the ubiquity of the phrase is evident from what I have seen.