Station: [20] Wine Trade

The funerary monument to the wine trader Publius Tenatius Essimnus is the most important monument to Roman trade in Passau. It was found in 1981 in the river Inn. Essimnus was originally from Trento in northern Italy. He died in Passau aged 57. His son had this monument erected in his memory. The stone was specially imported from a quarry near Melk in Austria. On the two sides of the monument you can see Essimnus himself; he is shown wearing a tunic, a cloak and boots. On the left side, he is carrying a basket, which might have been filled with grapes. On the right, he stands in front of three casks. Using a glass pipette, he appears to be transferring a sample into a two-handled drinking vessel that was known as a kantharos. The inscription tells us that the wine trader brought his wares over the Alps and down the Inn to Passau. From here, the wine was sold down the Danube to other forts and settlements. The high quality of the monument shows that it was a very lucrative business.