Whithorn: The Latinus Stone

IMG_4133_Latinus

The Latinus Stone, Whithorn © David Gill

The Latinus stone was discovered in 1891 during the clearances of the site. It appears to have been reused in the later medieval church. It was probably part of an early Christian cemetery.

The worn inscription reads (based on C.A. Ralegh Radford’s transliteration and translation):

TE DOMINV(M) / LAVDAMVS / LATINVS / ANNORV(M) / XXXV ET / FILIA SVA / ANN(ORUM) IV / (H)IC SI(G)NUM / FECERV(N)T / NEPVS / BARROVA / DI

We praise you, the Lord! Latinus, aged 35, and his daughter, aged 4. The grandson Barravados set up the monument here.

Historic Scotland supplies an alternative translation:
We praise you, the Lord! Latinus, descendant of Barravados, aged 35, and his daughter, aged 4, made a sign here.

Ralegh Radford dated the stone to the mid 5th century. He observed the allusion to Psalm 146, part of the liturgy used at funerals.

The stone is displayed in the Museum and curated by Historic Scotland (HES). It is one of the oldest pieces of evidence for Christianity in Scotland.

 

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