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Originally it was syntactically tied to FECIT as a normal dative expressing the recipient/beneficiary, parallel to the name of the deceased - monuments were originally erected and dedicated to honour the supernatural, and in a way this commemorated the fact that the deceased had joined the ranks of the Ancestral Spirits. In the course of time it became ...


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The phrase is often DIS MANIBUS SACRUM. I.e. "Sacred/Dedicated to the spirits of the departed". So the "sacrum" is understood. Treat it as a separate sentence, indicating what the nature of the inscription is. Abbreviated D.M. or D.M.S. There are 19,000 plus examples in Clauss-Slaby. E.g. CIL 7298. D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum) / Vera ...


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