Stone fragment of Marcus Caelius
Playing, crafting and many details worth knowing are unified in this Roman stone fragment set!
The cenotaph of Marcus Caelius
This tombstone was meant to preserve the memory of centurion Marcus Caelius, who fell during the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. The sacrifice of Caelius belongs today to one of the most meaningful evidence for the existence of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. Marcus Caelius hailed from modern Bologna and served in the 18th legions, where he received countless military awards and honors. Aged 53 ½ years, he fell during the Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Together with him tied both of his freedmen, which are mentioned in name and image on the cenotaph.
Stone fragments of the tomb of Marcus Caelius
This Roman stone fragment set reproduces the inscription of a cenotaph. A cenotaph is not a tombstone in the original sense, but rather served as a memory and memorial, similar to the monuments for fallen soldiers. This cenotaph is one of the most important archaeological proofs that the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest did indeed happen.
The following was engraved in the stone:
M(arco) Caelio T(iti) f(ilio) Lem(onia tribu) Bon(onia)
[I] o(rdini) leg(ionis) XIIX ann(orum) LIII
[ce]cidit bello Variano ossa
[lib(ertorum) i]nferre licebit P(ublius) Caelius T(iti) f(ilius)
Lem(onia tribu) frater fecit
To Marcus Caelius, son of Titus, of the Lemonian voting tribe, from Bononia (Bologna)
First centurion of the 18th legion, aged 53 ½.
He fell in the Varian War. His freedmen’s bones
May be interred here. His brother Publius Caelius, the son of Titus,
Of the Lemonian voting tribe, erected (this monument).
This Roman stone fragment set is delivered in seven single, blank pieces. The assembly is similar to a three-dimensional puzzle and suited for children aged seven years and older. You can take a look at the photographs to determine the original coloring. This coloring was inspired by the analysis of traces of color on other cenotaphs and should be close to reality. This Roman stone fragment set can be used as a practical example in class in the following way:
- Reconstruction (painting)
- Transcribing the text and solving the abbreviations
- Translation of the Latin text
The Roman stone fragment set “Marcus Caelius”
- Sized 20 x 10 cm
- The original is located in the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn since 1820
- 7 blank pieces for re-coloring
- Suitable for the ages: 7+
The Battle of Teutoburg Forest
In the year 9 CE occurred one of the most famous and important battles of the ancient world. The Battle of Teutoburg Forest, also known as the Varian disaster. Under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus, three legions, their auxiliary forces and cavalry, were ambushed several times and almost completely obliterated by an army of unknown size – consisting of several tribes of Germania. The defeat caused Rome to abandon its provincialism efforts in Germania Magna and to concentrate on the areas of Germania Superior and Germania Inferior. In opposite to the received opinion, it is not true that the Romans didn’t dare touch German territories anymore.
Rather, in the following years, decades and centuries, further (punitive-) expeditions were sent to German territories. To some extent, whole swaths of land – even far in the north – where occupied and economically used – at least during spring and summer, just to leave them again at the start of winter. Nonetheless, the Battle of Teutoburg Forest is a break of the Roman and German history and rightfully one of the most well-known battles.
Recommendations to the set
This Roman stone fragment set of the Caelius-tomb is a good way to combine doing handicrafts with a learning effect. During assembly and painting of the single fragments, children learn that antiquity was not only grey, but colorful. Even for older children and youths this Roman stone fragment set is a suitable learning aid.
Students of Latin can try translating the short inscription and increase their knowledge about grammar and vocabulary of classical Latin.
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