Bury St Edmunds: Charnel House

IMG_0742The charnel house at Bury St Edmunds lay within the precinct of the abbey, just to the south of the west end. It lies in what is now the Great Cemetery. This structure was built by Abbot John Northwold (d. 1301) [see ODNB]. This was constructed to take the bones of the dead recovered from the construction of new graves.

Brougham Castle: Latin Inscription

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Latin inscription, Brougham Castle © David Gill

The 13th century keep of Brougham Castle, Cumbria incorporates reused masonry from the Roman fort (Brocavum). A Latin funerary inscription is built into the ceiling of the second floor (RIB 787). The person named is Tittus M[..] who died around the age of 32 (‘[pl]us minus’). The monument was set up by his brother.

The Tomb of Classicianus

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Tomb of Classicianus, British Museum © David Gill

Two parts of the inscription from this funerary monument of Classicianus were found reused in the bastion of the Roman wall just to the north of the Tower of London in 1852 and 1935 (RIB 12). The bolster from the top of the tomb was found in the same location. This suggests that the monument was erected on the eastern side of the Roman settlement. The Roman wall dates to the 3rd century AD.

G. Iulius Alpinus Classicianus is described as the procurator of the Roman province of Britannia. He was appointed in AD 61, as a successor to Catus Decianus, in the wake of the revolt by Boudicca (Tacitus Annals xiv.38). Classicianus seems to have originated in Gaul. It appears that he died in office.

The monument was erected by Classicianus’ wife Iulia Pacata, daughter of Indus. Julius Indus is noted as a key person who countered the revolt of the Treveri in AD 21 (Tacitus Annals iii.42).

A revised reconstruction of the tomb and reconstruction is presented by Grasby and Tomlin.

Bibliography
Hawkes, C. F. C. “The Sepulchral Monument of Julius Classicianus.” The British Museum Quarterly, vol. 10, no. 2, 1935, pp. 53–56., www.jstor.org/stable/4421794.
Grasby, R. D., and R. S. O. Tomlin. “The Sepulchral Monument of the Procurator C. Julius Classicianus.” Britannia, vol. 33, 2002, pp. 43–75., www.jstor.org/stable/1558852.

Kerameikos: archaic stele

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Archaic stele, Kerameikos Museum © David Gill

This stele of a male with a stick and a sword was found in the Kerameikos cemetery at Athens. The two parts were found in 1935, and in 1937/38. It probably dates to the mid-6th century BC, and is considered to be one of the earliest Attic examples (Richter, no. 23; Knigge, fig. 24). It was associated with a mound on the west side of the Sacred Way. The stele may have been placed over the shaft grave that was found in the mound (Knigge, p. 105 under no. 15).

The stele appears to have had a sphinx mounted at the top.

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Mound to the west of the Sacred Way, Kerameikos © David Gill

London: monument to Claudia Martina

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Monument to Claudia Martina, Museum of London © David Gill

The hexagonal base of the funerary monument to Claudia Martina was found in 1806 on the site of the London Coffee House on Ludgate Hill (RIB 21). This implies that it came from the cemetery to the west of the Roman settlement of Londinium. There is a dowel hole on the top, perhaps for mounting a statue. The find included a lifesize female head, perhaps to be associated with this monument.

The inscription gives the age of Claudia Martina as 19. The monument was erected by her husband, Anencletus, ‘the slave of the province’.

The monument features in Anthony Birley, The People of Roman Britain (London, 1979), 145, and pl. Birley suggests that Anencletus was associated with the council , concilium provinciae, associated with imperial worship in the province. He reminds us that Claudia Martina was freeborn.

The inscription was published by Charles Roach Smith, Illustrations of Roman London (1859), 23 [online].

Londinium: tombstone of Vivius Marcianus

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Vivius Marcianus, London © David Gill

The tombstone of Vivius Marcianus was found during the rebuilding of St Martin’s Church on Ludgate Hill in 1669 (RIB 17). (The church itself had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.) The gravestone was then placed in the Ashmolean Museum (that opened in 1683); it is now displayed in the Museum of London (since 1974). It is likely that this came from the cemetery outside (and to the west) of Ludgate.

Vivius Marcianus is described as a centurion of the II Augustan Legion. He is shown in the relief holding the centurion’s stick, vitis, in his right hand. The legion was based at Caerleon in south Wales. There is a possibility that he was attached to the staff of the governor.

The monument was set up by Januaria Martina, his wife.

The 9th Legion in Lincoln

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Tombstone from Lincoln, British Museum © David Gill

One of the pieces of evidence for the 9th legion stationed in Lincoln comes from the funerary marker of Gaius Saufeius, son of Gaius (RIB 255). The absence of the cognomen should be noted. He died aged 40 and after 22 years of service. He came from Heraclea, in Macedonia.

The tombstone was found in 1865 at the corner of Salthouse Lane. John Parkinson sold it to the British Museum in 1873 (inv. 1873.05-21.1).

The 9th legion appears to have been replaced at Lincoln around AD 71, and then moved north to York.