Tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus


British Museum

British Museum

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.

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  • Title: Tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus
  • Date Created: 1/99
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 2.18m; Width: 2.30m
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1852,0806.2
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Trinity Place
  • Period/culture: Romano-British
  • Material: stone
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Donated by Hall, W J


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