Tombstone of a young boy, Marcus Cocceius Nonnus
Roman Britain, early 2nd century AD
From Old Penrith, Cumbria
A large memorial for a small boy
This tombstone was found in 1828 about 200 metres north of the Roman fort at Old Penrith. It was lying face downwards near to several cremation pots and so had probably fallen where it had once stood, next to the Roman road leading to the fort.
The simple relief carving shows a boy wearing a tunic and holding what are probably a palm branch and a whip. These signify victory in a chariot race, whether actual or symbolic. The neatly-cut inscription gives a brief epitaph. It translates: 'To the spirits of the departed and of Marcus Cocceius Nonnus, aged 6; he lies buried here'.