Coelia Athenaïs

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 74
  • Measurements: Height: 31.5 cm, Width: 59.2 cm, Thickness: 36.9 cm.
  • Material: Marble
  • Date/Culture: Roman, 1st century CE
  • Provenance: Rome, Italy.


“To Coelia Athenaïs, freedwoman of Quintus
Quintus Coelius Primus
Patron [dedicated this].”


This cinerary urn, dated to the first century CE, was dedicated to Coelia Athenaïs. Coelia appears to have come from Greece, as indicated by her second name. When she was freed she took the name of her former owner as a first name. The same man, Quintus Coelius Primus, also dedicated this urn. The urn still contains burned human bones, presumably those of the two individuals named in the inscription.

The funerary remains in this urn were the subject of an undergraduate thesis by Monika Lay.  Hear a presentation on her findings as delivered at the Museum Symposium in April 2013.



H.L. Wilson, “Latin Inscriptions at the Johns Hopkins University VI,” American Journal of Philology 32 (1911), 166-187, 176-7.