Marcus Popillius Achaicus

Elisabeth Campbell
Elisabeth Campbell is a graduate student in the Classics Department at Johns Hopkins, where she is writing a dissertation on Roman victory cognomina during the Republican period. Through her work with the museum, Elisabeth has further developed a special interest in Roman epigraphy and numismatics.
  • 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


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


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.


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.