Inscribed tombstone

Record number: CHEGM: 1999 6 38

Object name: inscribed tombstone

Description: Tombstone of Legion XX Valeria Victrix. Broken horizontally across the knees of the figure. In a niche, with right spandrel decorated by a single flower, stands the bearded optio Caecilius Avitus. His right hand holds erect a tall knob-headed staff, while his left hand grasps the handle of a square tablet-case. His head is bare and he wears over the tunic a heavy cloak (sagum) of which the ends cross and hang down his front in two tails. A sword, with massive round pommel, hangs on his right side. Below the cloak a kilt reaches to the knees. The lower legs are thick and stumpy. Below there is an inscribed panel.

Period: Roman

Place found: North Wall (West), Chester

Date: 3.1891

Material: stone

Dimensions: height 49 inches; width 23 inches

Inscription: D M / CAECILIVS AVIT / VS EMER AVG / OPTIO LEG XX / VV STP XV VIX / AN XXXIIII / H F C
Dis Manibus Caecilius Avitus Emer(ita) Aug(usta) optio leg(ionis) XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) st(i)p(endiorum) xv vix(it) an(nos) xxxiiii h(eres) f(aciendum) c(uravit)
To the spirits of the departed, Caecilius Avitus, of Emerita Augusta, optio of the Twentieth Legion, Valeria Victrix, served 15 and lived 34 years. His heir had this erected.
An optio was a junior officer, second in rank to a centurion, whose duties included some of the book-keeping for the century. Emerita was a colonia in Lusitania, now Merida in south-western Spain. Latin


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