An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London, Volume 3, Roman London. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1928.
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Inscriptions of Roman London. (fn. 1)
In proportion to the size of the town, the number of extant or recorded inscriptions belonging to Roman London is very small. This is due in great part to the paucity of building-stone in the neighbourhood, which has led to the systematic re-using of every available piece of material. For this reason, of the inscriptions here described, numbering over a hundred, less than one-third are on stone, and most of these are inconsiderable fragments. The great majority are on metal or pottery, and serve less to elucidate the history of London than to indicate the extent to which makers and owners of such objects habitually marked them with their own names. Makers' stamps on pottery (including lamps) have not been included among the inscriptions here dealt with.
The inscriptions discussed in this section belong to the Roman city of London and its surrounding cemeteries. For those discovered at the neighbouring site in Greenwich Park see the separate section on that site (p. 151).
1. Fragment of white marble cornice 15½ in. long by 4½ in. high. (Fig. 70). Matr[ibus . . . .] vicinia de suo res- [tituit . . . . .]. "To the Mother-Goddesses; the district restored [this shrine] at its own expense." The shrine doubtless consisted of a canopy supported on small columns, beneath which sat the three Mother-Goddesses, side by side, with baskets of fruit on their laps.
2. Small sandstone slab, 22 in. by 17 in. (Plate 10). In the centre is a relief of Mithras slaying the bull, with attendant dadophori and dog, snake, scorpion and probably crow; round this group run the signs of the zodiac; in the four corners are the quadriga of the sun (top left), the chariot of the moon drawn by bulls (top right), and two Winds below, Eurus or Boreas (left) and Zephyrus or Notus (right). The material is considered to be of British origin; the workmanship seems to belong to the middle of the 2nd century.
Ulpius Silvanus emeritus Leg(ionis) ii Aug(ustae) votum solvit; factus Arausione. "Ulpius Silvanus, veteran of the Second August Legion, paid his vow; made at Orange." Factus has been taken to mean "made a veteran," i.e., discharged; but we should perhaps expect missus in that sense, and factus may mean rather "initiated" into some grade of the Mithraic community. That it was the sculpture which was "made at Orange" is not likely.
Found in 1889, in Walbrook. Formerly in the Ransom collection, now in the London Museum [Arch., LX, pl. 10; Cumont, Textes et Monuments, II, p. 389; Ephem. Epigr., VII, 816; Journ, Rom. Studies, II, p. 142].
Num(ini) C [æsaris] . . . prov[incia] . . . . Brita[nnia] . . . "To the deity of the Emperor, set up by the province of Britain . . ." The interpretation is not absolutely certain: "To the deity of the Emperor and the province of Britain" has been suggested by a high authority, and the C in line 1 has been taken to stand for Claudius, which is quite possible but ought not to be assumed as in any way certain. It does, however, seem possible that the inscription marked a temple of Emperor-worship erected by the Provincial Council of Britain; though to take it as proving that the Provincial Council met in London would be illegitimate.
Found in 1850, in Nicholas Lane, near Cannon Street [C. R. Smith, Gent. Mag., 1850, p. 114; Coll. Antiq., III, p. 257; Rom. Lond., p. 29]. Lost from the Guildhall Museum by 1859. A drawing by Archer is in the British Museum [Lethaby, Londinium, p. 186]; the Guildhall has a drawing made at the time of discovery [CIL. VII, 22].
4. Tombstone, 6 ft. 4 in. high by 2 ft. 6 in. broad. (Plate 60 and Fig. 71). A. Alfid(ius) Pomp(tina) Olussa; ex testamento her(es) pos(uit); annor(um) lxx; na(tus) Atheni(s); h(ic) s(itus) est. "Aulus Alfidius Olussa, of the Pomptine tribe; set up by his heir in accordance with his will; aged 70; born at Athens; he lies here."
The fifth line is an addition, but seems practically contemporary. Its exact meaning is not certain; na(ve) or na(varchus) followed by a ship's name is possible, but Mommsen's rendering, as given above, is very probable; since the reading ATHENI, though disputed, seems clear. The concluding formula is rare after the end of the 1st century.
5. Small marble slab, 12 in. by 9 in. (Fig. 72). M. Aur(elio) Eucarpo fil(io) pientissimo, vixit ann(os) xv m(enses) vi, Aur(elia) Eucarpia ma(ter) possuit. "To Marcus Aurelius Eucarpus, my most devoted son; aged 15 years 6 months; set up by his mother, Aurelia Eucarpia."
Found 1911, in Moorgate Street, in the bed of Walbrook [Ephem. Epigr., IX, 1371, where it is pointed out that though the material is foreign the workmanship suggests a provincial work rather than one brought in modern times from Italy]. [London Museum].
6. Part of a large and handsome altar-shaped tomb (Plate 54), of which one "bolster" and most of the inscribed panel survive. Dis[M]anibus.....[F]ab(i) Alpini Classiciani. "In memory of . . . . Fabius Alpinus Classicianus " (or Fabius Alpinus, formerly of the navy).
Four or five letters at most are lost before FAB in line 3; not enough to permit the deceased a nomen before a tribename Fab(ia). Fabius is therefore his nomen, and Roach Smith was obviously wrong to think of connecting him with Julius Classicianus in Tacitus, Ann., XIV, 38. (fn. 2)
Found 1852, in a bastion of the city wall at Tower Hill [Antiquarian Etching Club, IV, Fig. 47; Arch. Journ., 1853, p. 4; Journ. Brit. Arch. Assoc, 1853, p. 241; Smith, Rom. London, p. 28, pl. 3; CIL. VII, 30; British Museum (Guide to Antiq. of Rom. Brit., p. 16)].
7. Small slab, 15 in. by 12 in. (Fig. 73). D(is) M(anibus), Fl(avius) Agricola, mil(es) leg(ionis) vi vict(ricis), v(ixit) an(nos) xlii d(ies) x; Albia Faustina coniugi inconparabili f(aciendum) c(uravit). "In memory of Flavius Agricola, private of the Sixth Victorious Legion, aged 42 years and ten days; erected by Albia Faustina to her matchless husband."
8. Tombstone. D(is) M(anibus), Iul(ius) Valens, mil(es) leg(ionis) xx v(aleriae) v(ictricis), an(norum) xl, h(ic) s(itus) e(st); c(uram) a(gente) Flavio Attio her(ede). "In memory of Julius Valens, private in the Twentieth Valerian Victorious Legion, aged 40; he lies here; set up by his heir Flavius Attius" . . . . This legion formed a permanent garrison at Chester after about A.D. 50; the stone probably dates from the late 1st century.
Found 1776, in Church Lane, Whitechapel, towards Rosemary Lane [Gent. Mag., 1784, pp. 485, 672, Fig. 5]. Lines 2 and 3 are corrected from a MS. at Oxford (cf. Ephem. Epigr., IX, p. 515), the stone having been lost. In 1784 it was at the Old Bailey [CIL. VII, 27. Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 134, pl. 46; Rom. London, p. 23, pl. 2].
Found 1777, on Tower Hill, in the foundations of the Ordnance office [Arch., 1779, p. 304; Gent. Mag., 1785, p. 332, Fig. 2; Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, 140; Rom. London, p. 25; CIL. VII, 32; there described as lost; in Ephem. Epigr., IX, p. 515, it is said to have been rediscovered, but we cannot ascertain its whereabouts].
10. Fragment (Purbeck marble) 7 in. by 6 in. of a tombstone (Fig. 74); [Dis] Ma[nibus] Prim . . . . vix [it annos . . . .]) "In memory of Prim . . . . ., aged . . . . . years." From Cloak Lane [CIL. VII, 34a; Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, 139, pl. 48a].
11. Fragment of tombstone, 14 in. by 12 in. (Plate 61). [Sat]urni[no, mil(iti)] leg(ionis) xx [y(aleriae) v(ictricis)] C. Aci[lius] M . . . "[In memory of] . . . . Saturninus, private in the Twentieth Valerian Victorious Legion, [set up by] Gaius Acilius M . . . . [his heir ?]."
Found in 1842, on the eastern side of Maiden Lane, Battle Bridge [Gent. Mag., 1842, p. 144; Smith, Coll. Antiq., i, p. 139, pl. 48; Rom. London, p. 29; Archer, Vestiges of Rom. London, No. 1; CIL, VII, 26. British Museum (Guide to Ant. of Rom. Brit., p. 17)].
12. Slab, broken, 13½ in. by 10½ in. (Fig. 75). [D(is)] M(anibus) [Semprd]nio Sempro[niano cen]turioni leg(ionis) . . . . [vi]xit annos It, [et fratrib]us Semproniis . . . . et Secundo; [liber]ti eius [patronis bene me]ren[tibus pos]u[e]runt. "In memory of Sempronius Sempronianus, centurion in the -th Legion, aged 51, and his brothers Sempronius . . . . and Sempronius Secundus; erected by his freedmen to their deserving patrons."
13. Sarcophagus 6 ft. 10 in. by 1 ft. 6 in. (Plate 57). Memoriae Valeri Amandini, Valeri Superventor et Marcellus patri fecer(unt). "In memory of Valerius Amandinus, made by Valerius Superventor and Valerius Marcellus for their father."
Found 1869, in the churchyard of Westminster Abbey; now in the vestibule of the chapter-house of the Abbey. It appears to have been re-used for a post-Roman burial [Arch. Journ., 1870, p. 103; Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ., 1870, p. 76; CIL. VII, 33].
14. Fragment of tombstone, 22 in. by 13 in. (Plate 61). [Dis Mani]bus . . . . er. L(ucii) f(ilius) G[al(eria)] Celsu[s], spec(ulator) leg(ionis) [ii A]ug(ustae); An[to]n(ius) Dardanus, cu[r(ator)], Rubrius Pudens . . . . Probis, spec(ulator) leg. . . . "In memory of . . . . Valerius ? Celsus, of the Galerian tribe, son of Lucius, speculator in the Second Augustan Legion; [set up by] Antonius Dardanus, curator, Rubrius Pudens, and . . . . Probus, speculator in the same legion, [his heirs]. . . ." This was the legion in garrison at Caerleon-on-Usk.
Found 1843, in Playhouse Yard, Blackfriars, near Apothecaries' Hall [Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 125; Arch. Journ., 1846, p. 115; Rom. London, p. 26; CIL. VII, 24; British Museum (Guide to Ant. of Rom. Brit., p. 17)].
15. Large tombstone; 83½ in. by 31½ in.; (Plate 60 and Fig. 76), inscription above; below, full-length figure (much defaced) of a soldier in tunica and paenula, girt with a cingulus and holding a staff in the right hand and a roll (?) in the left. D(is) M(anibus) Vivio Marciano leg(ionis) ii. Aug(ustae), lanuaria Martina coniunx pientissima posuit memoriam. "In memory of Vivius Marcianus, of the Second Augustan Legion: Januaria Martina, his most devoted wife, set up this monument."
Found 1669, when Wren re-built St. Martin's Church, Ludgate Hill. Now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford [Chandler, Marm. Oxon., III, pl. 2, 10; Horsley, Brit. Rom., p. 330, Middlesex, No. 1; Gough's Camden, II, p. 92; Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 127; Rom. London, p. 22; CIL. VII, 23].
16. Hexagonal column, 3 ft. 11 in. high. (Plate 62 and Fig. 77). On one face, 2 ft. 7 in. by 1 ft. 1 in., is the inscription D(is) M(anibus) Cl(audiae) Martinae, an(norum) xix; Anencletus provinc(ialis) coniugi pientissimae; h(ic) s(ita) e(st). "In memory of Claudia Martina, aged 19; set up by Anencletus, slave of the province, to his most devoted wife; she lies here."
Found in 1806, near the London Coffee House, Ludgate Hill [Gent. Mag., 1806, II, p. 792; Roach Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 130, pi. 45; Rom. London, p. 23; CIL, VII, 28; Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 105].
17. Small slab, 12½ in. by 11½ in. (Plate 61). D(is) M(anibus), Grata Dagobiti fil(ia), an(norum) xl; Solinus coniugi kar(issimae) (aciendum) c(uravit). "In memory of Grata, daughter of Dagobitus, aged 40; erected by Solinus to his dearest wife."
A 2nd-century monument. Found 1837, in London Wall, near Fins bury Circus [Gent. Mag., 1837, p. 361; Arch. Journ., 1846, p. 115; Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 134, pi. 46; Rom. London, p. 26, pl. 2; CIL. VII, 31; Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 105].
18. Sarcophagus, 6 ft. 9 in. by 21 in. (Plate 57). On the front is a bust in relief, in the style of the late empire, within a medallion; beneath the medallion is a small inscribed panel; on either side are flutings. The inscription is very much weathered, and, as is often the case with these late inscriptions, was never well cut. The first line contains a name which cannot be read with certainty; the rest reads carissima[e] sua[e] meritis eius, "to his dearest . . . . for her deserts." The first line probably contained a man's name and the word fil(iae) daughter.
19. Fragment, 32 in. by 14 in. of a tombstone (Fig. 78): [Dis Manibus] et memoriae [T]ulliae Numidi[ae . . . . pie]ntissimae femin[ae] . . . . is reliqua cau .... "In memory of Tullia Numidia . . . . a most devoted woman. . . ."
Found in Castle Street, and placed in the Guildhall museum; now lost. The sketch here reproduced is a rough pencil note made by Haverfield in 1889–90 [Arch. Journ., vol. 42, p. 156; Ephem. Epigr., VII, 819, noting the late date of the work].
20. Small slab, 13 in. by 8 in., of limestone: Dis Manib(us). "In memory of the departed." Found in London Wall [Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 106]. From its appearance, it has been brought from abroad in modern times; but the collection which included it was formed, so far as is known, exclusively of objects genuinely found in London.
21. Fragment, 12 in. by 8 in., of tombstone (Plate 62) of Flavius ? . . . . from Antioch? aged 70 or more. From the Castle Street Bastion; in the Guildhall Museum [Arch. Journ., vol. 42, p. 156; Ephem. Epigr., VII, 818].
23. Fragment, 14 in. by 9 in., of a tombstone. Found M in Houndsditch; placed in the Guildhall LIV Museum and now lost [Arch. Journ., Vol.38, TVS p. 289; Ephem. Epigr., VII, 822, where the VI-ANL reading of the Arch. Journ., is corrected]. CA-SERT . . . NNAC
24. Fragment (oolite), 7 in. by 6 in., of a tombstone (Fig. 80); in line 2 the phrase [b]ene m[erenti] in line 3 fi[lius] or fi[lia], and in line 4 the age xvi, are visible. From London Wall [CIL. VII, 346]. [British Museum].
26. Fragment, 13 in. by 8 in., from the Camomile Street bastion; later in Guildhall Museum; now lost. Found 1876 [Price, Excavations in Camomile St. I.V (1880), p. 31; Arch. Journ., (1877), p. 131]. A F.V tracing, dated Oct. 30, 1876, is in W. T. Watkin's M box at the Cheetham Library, Manchester [Ephem. Epigr., VII, 823].
28. Fragment, 4 in. by 4 in. (Fig. 82), of Purbeck marble, from the tombstone of someone whose name began CAV . . . . Found somewhere in London [Ephem. Epigr., VII, 824; Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 104].
29. Marble tombstone, 24 in. by 14 in. (Plate 13). Above is a group of a mourning woman, seated, in front of whom stands a boy, nude, representing the deceased. Below is a panel 9½ in. by 1½ in., with the inscription in two lines: Δέξιε Διοτίμου χρηστὲ χαίρε. "Good Dexios, son of Diotimos, farewell."
Found in Drury Lane. Now in the London Museum. Doubt may be felt whether it is a genuinely British object; but it hardly resembles the works of art brought to England by 18th-century collectors, and it may be a real relic of the Roman province.
30. Marble tombstone, 22 in. by 15 in. (Plate 13), with relief of gladiator standing, holding a trident in his right hand and a dagger in his left; on his left shoulder is a shield. Above is the inscription ... ωνία Μαρτιάλ(ε)ι τῲ ἄνδρι. "[? Ant]onia to Martialis her husband."
31. Tombstone of Purbeck marble, 23 in. by 11 in. (Plate 12). Above is a relief of a standing half-draped male figure, leaning on a staff; below are three lines of text, of which onlv the ends are now visible: . . οσ . . . τιου [χρρηστ]ὲ χαριε "So-and-so, son of . . . . tios; good So-and-so, farewell."
Described as found in Lamb's Conduit Street; but Archer made a drawing of it in 1850, now in the British Museum, on which he describes it as found at Islington. It was probably lost again and rediscovered in Lamb's Conduit Street. Now in the British Museum.
34. Silver ingot, 4 in. long, 2¾ in. broad at ends, 1¾ in. in middle; 3/8 in. thick; weight 1 lb. troy. (Fig. 84). In the middle is a stamp EX OFFE HONORINI "from the workshop of Honorinus." The sixth letter is hard to read; it has been read E, I and L; if L, it makes ex of(ficina) Fl(avi) Honorini, and many have preferred this reading; Haverfield, however, seems right in reading E.
Found 1777, at the Tower, with coins of Arcadius and Honorius. [Arch., V (1779), pi. 29; CIL. VII, 1196; Ephem. Epigr., IX, p. 640; Num. Chron., 1915, pp. 508–510; B.M. Guide Antiq. Rom. Brit., p. 72.] At the British Museum.
35. Ingots of pewter (Fig. 85) with the following stamps upon them: (a) SYAGRI (the R retrograde); (b) a chi-rho monogram round which SPES IN DEO is arranged in a circle; (c) SYAGRIVS in two lines, the G and R retrograde; (d) a chi-rho monogram with α and ω on either side. Eight of these ingots have been found in the Thames near Battersea Bridge; two are at York, the rest at the British Museum. Six have the stamps (a) and (b), two have (c) and (d).
40. Bronze prow of a ship in minature (Fig. 86): Ammilla Aug. felix, inscribed (retrograde) in niello, commemorates a ship called Ammilla (Greek ἅμιλλα a contest) of the imperial fleet, and some victory won by her [Proc. Soc. Antiq., XVI, 306; Ephem. Epigr., IX, 1319. Found c. 1850]. [British Museum].
52. Barrel-staves, stamped T.C. P A C A T I. (a) Found 1914 on the site of the old General Post Office [Arch., LXVI, 246] now in the Guildhall Museum, (b) Found 1926 in a well beneath the Bank of England (Plate 38), which had been steyned with barrel-staves [Antiq. Journ., VI, 186; Journ. Rom. Stud., XV, p. 250]. Bank of England.
55. London has yielded a large number of tile-stamps containing references to some official or body whose title is abbreviated as P. PR. BR or the like. This title is explained by Mommsen as referring to the Publicani of the Province of Britain; it is often followed by L O N, for Londinium. But it is very difficult to get any warrant for the contraction p(ublicani), and one would not expect to find them in such a context; and on the other hand a reference to procuratores is ruled out by the harshness of the abbreviation p(rocuratores). Mr. G. H. Stevenson suggests p(ortitores), the officers of the portoria, and to the present writer this seems the best suggestion. The following variants are well attested or have been seen by ourselves; fragmentary forms are ignored.
58. Tile with graffito (Plate 63 and Fig. 87), done with a stick when the clay was wet. From Warwick Lane, Newgate Street [Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 72; Ephem, Epigr., VII, 1141]. "Austalis (i.e., Augustalis) has been AVSTALIS going off by himself every day for these DIBVS XIII 13 days." The Latin is unclassical, but VAGATVRSIB the sense is clear; a workman is calling COTIDIM attention of the continual absence of a fellow-workman.
60. Pavement (Fig. 88), found 1887 between Pudding Lane and Botolph Lane, and destroyed. The inscription, as recorded, contains obvious references to the name Egnatius and "the laying of a tesselated paveWUNANI ment." [pav]im[e]nt(um) tessel(atum) NIIISTGNA+VS strat(um). [Proc. Soc. Antiq., XII, IMNTESSELSTRAT 1888, p. 128; Arch. Journ., XLV, SEMDSTD P. 184].
61. Oculist's inscription on the bottom of a Samian vessel. (Plate 63), L. Iul. Senis crocod. ad aspr. "Lucius Julius Senis's ointment for roughness (of the eyes)." Stamps bearing such inscriptions were used to impress a maker's name and description on cakes of ointment for the eyes. Here a Samian vessel has been stamped [Smith, Cat. Lond. Antiq., No. 208, p. 47; CIL. VII, 1314]. [British Museum].
62. Fragment 4 in. by 4½ in. of a shale tablet (Plate 63) with an ornamental border and an inscription lightly scratched. At the top is PA . . . . or the like, the A uncertain; below, and at right angles to this, is [L]ENTVL MANV, and in another line what seems to be XI NONI [Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 114].
Under this heading a few objects are mentioned which have been wrongly taken for examples of Romano-British inscriptions and published as such. They are included here merely to warn readers against them.
105. Altar found at Goldsmith's Hall (Plate 12), and now preserved there. On the front is a good relief of Diana; on the back Archer thought he saw traces of an inscription, but this was certainly an error; the altar has never been inscribed [Archer, Vestiges of Old London; Smith, Coll. Antiq., I, p. 130, pl. 45; CIL. VII, 21].
106. Small marble slab, 17 in. by 19 in. said to have
been found in Basing Lane in 1852.
ONESIMO VIX AN XIII
DOMITIVS ELAINVS PATER
FILIO B M
There is no record of its discovery, and in character and workmanship it is exactly like the many small inscriptions brought from abroad in modern times and wholly unlike any British work. It probably comes from Rome [Guildhall Museum Cat., p. 105, No. 3].
In Brit. Arch. Assoc. Journ., Vol. IX, p. 91, it figures in a list of antiquities said to come from excavations in Basing Lane, but consisting mostly of evidently imported objects; in the same vol., p. 199, it is stated to have been offered for sale in London some years before the date of its alleged discovery.