Aristarchus (A Nomenclator)

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 35 (Wilson 32)
  • Measurements: Height: 14.1 cm, Width: 27.5 cm. Thickness: 3.8 cm
  • Material: Marble
  • Date/Culture: Roman, 1st century CE.
  • Provenance: Porta Salaria, Rome, Italy


“[Here lie] the bones
Of Aristarchus, freedman,
A nomenclator.”


This inscription marked the columbarium niche of Aristarchus. He worked as a nomenclator, an announcer of names. Influential men (patrons) in Rome often employed nomenclatores to announce the names of clients to them as they approached.


H.L. Wilson, “Latin Inscriptions at the Johns Hopkins University IV,” American Journal of Philology 31 (1910), 25-42, 36.

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