London Mithraeum

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Mithraeum, Walbrook, London © David Gill

The Mithraeum was excavated by William Francis Grimes on Walbrook in London. This has now been repositioned in the basement of Bloomberg Space. Visitors experience the darkness of the space and light levels are increased so that the remains can be seen.

Some of the sculptures are displayed in the nearby Museum of London. They include a relief of Ulpius Silvanus, formerly of the II Augustan legion (based at Caerleon). He appears to have been initiated to the cult at Orange in modern France.

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Mithras Tauroctonos, Walbrook Mithraeum, Museum of London © 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.