Tombstone of Gaius Julius Alpinus Classicianus
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Roman Britain, 1st century AD
Trinity Square, London
Archaeology meets history: Queen Boudica and the finance minister
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 ... 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.
Height: 0.218 m
Width: 0.23 m
Object reg. no: PY 1935,0712.1(&Others)
Department of Prehistory & Europe