Marcus Caelius

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Marcus Caelius's cenotaph

Marcus Caelius (born circa 44 BC, died 9 AD) was a senior centurion in Legio XIIX who was killed in the Battle of Teutoburger Wald.[1] He is known from his cenotaph, which was discovered in 1620 in Birten (now a part of Xanten), Germany.[2] Caelius is depicted wearing his military uniform, with phalerae (a type of military decoration), armillae (a type of bracelet), and a corona civica (an award for saving a fellow citizen's life), while in his right hand, he holds a vitis (carried by all centurions). On either side of his image are his slaves, Privatus and Thiaminus.

The tombstone's lower left corner is damaged, but enough survives to determine that the text below the image once read:

M[ARCO] CAELIO T[ITI] F[ILIO] LEM[ONIA TRIBV] BON[ONIA]

I O[RDINI] LEG[IONIS] XIIX ANN[ORVM] LIII S[EMISSIS]

CECIDIT BELLO VARIANO OSSA

LIB[ERTORVM] INFERRE LICEBIT P[VBLIVS] CAELIVS T[ITI] F[ILIVS]

LEM[ONIA TRIBV] FRATER FECIT

English translation:

To Marcus Caelius, son of Titus, of the Lemonian district, from Bononia

First centurion of the eighteenth legion, 53½ years old

He fell in the Varian War. His bones

may be interred here. Publius Caelius, son of Titus,

of the Lemonian district, his brother, erected (this monument)[3]

The tombstone can today be found in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn.[4]

References[edit]