Marcus Caelius

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Marcus Caelius's cenotaph

Marcus Caelius (born circa 45 BC, died 9 AD) was the senior centurion (Primus Pilus) 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]

T[RIARIO] 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

Triarius of the eighteenth legion, 53 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.