Marcus Popillius Achaicus

By
Elisabeth Campbell
Elisabeth Campbell is a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology, based in the Classics Department. Her interests include Roman history and archaeology, and she is currently working on her dissertation on the commemoration of victories in the Roman Republic.
  • Accession Number: JHUAM 27 (Wilson 109)
  • Measurements: Height: 17 cm, Width: 34.5 cm, Thickness: 3 cm
  • Material: Marble
  • Date/Culture: Roman, 1st century CE.
  • Provenance: Rome, Italy

Translation

“Marcus Popillius Achaicus Quietus
son of Spurius,
Is buried here.
[He lived] 11 months.”

Description

This columbarium slab marked the tomb of a young boy who died before reaching his first birthday. It was found in Rome and is dated to the first century CE. His name illustrates the use of names in Rome: Marcus was his first name (praenomen), Popillius was the name of the family (gens) he was born into (nomen gentile), and Achaicus was his cognomen, a name that probably distinguished his family from other branches of the Popillii. Quietus might have been given to him as a nickname, maybe because he was a quiet child.

Just as most of the inscriptions on this wall, this one was found outside the Porta Salaria in Rome and is dated to the first century CE.

References

H.L. Wilson, “Latin Inscriptions at the Johns Hopkins University VII,” American Journal of Philology 33 (1912), 168-185, 182-3.

The inscription is described in the US Epigraphy Project hosted by Brown University.