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 freedmen (ex-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

[LIBERTORVM] 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 voting tribe, from Bononia

First centurion of the eighteenth legion, 53½ years old

He fell in the Varian War. His freedmen's bones

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

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

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Goldsworthy, Adrian. "The Complete Roman Army". Thames & Hudson Ltd., p. 49.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 8 March 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "The Romans". Kalkriese-varusschlacht.de. Retrieved 2015-03-05. 
  4. ^ "The battle in the Teutoburg Forest". Livius.org. Retrieved 2015-03-05.