Record number: CHEGM: 1999 6 66
Object name: inscribed tombstone
Description: Tombstone broken across the table and also above the inscription. On a mattressed couch with high curved back reclines Donatus, clothed in a high-necked tunic and a cloak spread across the thighs. His left hand holds a roll, probably his will, and his right hand a cup, with which he pledges the beholder. His wife reclines on the left behind him, with folded arms. The heads are both defaced. In the foreground stands a three-legged dining-table, laden with food.
Place found: North Wall (East), Chester
Dimensions: height 46 inches; width 25inches
Inscription: D M / CECILIUS DONATUS B / ESSVS NA / TIONE MILI / TAVIT ANN / OS XXVI VIX / IT ANNOS XXXX
D(is) M(anibus) C(a)ecilius Donatus, Bessus natione militavit annos xxvi vixit annos xxxx
To the departed spirits, Caecilius Donatus, by birth a Bessian, served 26 years and lived 40 years.
Since Donatus gives no praenomen, tribe, or father's name and uses the spelling Cecilius, instead of Caecilius, and as a legionary is recruited from a tribal area and not from a town, a third-century date seems certain. The Bessi were a Thracian tribe. Latin