Aristarchus (A Nomenclator)

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 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.