Tombstone of Gaius Saufeius
Roman Britain, 1st century AD
The death and burial of a Macedonian soldier in Lincoln
The short epitaph on the tombstone gives us quite a lot of information about Gaius Saufeius, a soldier in the Ninth Legion of the Roman army. He originally came from Heraclea, a town in Macedonia. He died and was buried in Lincoln shortly before completing his 25 year period of military service. The Ninth Legion Hispana came to Britain as part of the invasion army in AD 43. It was based at Lincoln by the AD 60s before moving to York in the early 70s. It remained there until it left Britain early in the second century. It is possible therefore, that Saufeius experienced not only the invasion of AD 43, but also perhaps the uprising led by Queen Boudica in AD 60-61, in which the Ninth Legion lost about 2000 infantry. he may even have been a casualty of that conflict.
The inscription reads: 'G(aio) Saufeio / G(ai) f(ilio) Fab(ia tribu) Her(aclea) / militi legio(nis) / VIIII / annor(um) XXXX / stip(endiorum) XXII / h(ic) s(itus) e(st)' ('To Gaius Saufeius, son of Gaius, of the Fabian voting-tribe, from Heraclea, soldier of the Ninth Legion, aged 40, of 22 years' service; he lies here')