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Tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus

  • ¾ view facing left

    ¾ view facing left

 

Height: 0.218 m
Width: 0.230 m

Gift of W. J Hall (1852.8-6.2) and the London Passenger Transport Board (1935.7-12.1)

P&EE 1852.8-6.2;P&EE 1935.7-12.1

Room 49: Roman Britain

    Tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus

    Roman Britain, 1st century AD
    Trinity Square, London

    Archaeology meets history: Queen Boudica and the finance minister

    This is the reconstructed tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus. His name shows him to have been a member of the Gallic aristocracy, but we know more about him from the Roman historian Tacitus, an unusual instance where we can link a documented person to a burial monument. Nero (reigned AD 54-68) appointed Classsicianus as the procurator (finance minister) of Britain after the revolt of the Iceni led by Queen Boudica in AD 60-61. His job was to correct the financial abuses that had been an important cause of the rebellion.

    The incomplete inscription can be restored as follows: DIS/[M]ANIBUS/[G(AI) IUL(I) G(AI) F(ILI) F]AB(IA TRIBU) ALPINI CLASSICIANI /.../.../ PROC(URATORIS) PROVINC(IAE) BRITA[NNIAE]/ IULIA INDI FILIA PACATA I[NDIANA(?)]/ UXOR [F(ECIT)]. ('To the spirits of the departed (and) of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus, son of Gaius, of the Fabian voting tribe ...Procurator of the province of Britain. Julia Pacata I[ndiana], daughter of Indus, his wife, had this built..')

    In late Roman times (fourth century AD), pieces of the tombstone were re-used in the hurried construction of one of the bastions that protected the walls of Roman London. The first surviving pieces came to light in 1852; further sections were discovered in 1885, when an underground railway was cut through the site, and in 1935.

    R.D. Grasby & R.S.O. Tomlin, 'The sepulchral monument of C. Julius Classicianus', Britannia 33 (2002), 43-76.

    T.W. Potter, Roman Britain, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

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