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Viatorinus' tombstone



The fourth-century tombstone of Viatorinus was found near the Gereonskloster in Cologne. In the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, it is 13.8274; the stone, which contains a writing error in the second line, was made by an inexperienced sculptor. Today, it can be seen in Cologne's Römisch-Germanisches Museum .

The soldier's rank was that of protector, which originally meant something like bodyguard, but had become an officer's title. The monument is remarkable because it records that the man was killed in action by a Frank. Between the lines, we might read that the officer who erected the monument admitted that his unit, the Cohors II Italica Divitiensium, had failed.
Ancient-Warfare.com, the online home of Ancient Warfare magazine

Tombstone of Viatorinus. Römisch-Germanisches Museum, Köln (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier.
Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier (order; review)

VIATORINVS  PROT-

ECTOR  MILITAVIT   AN-
NOS  TRIGINTA  O-
CCISVS  IN  BAR-
BARICO  IVXTA  D-
IVITIA  A  FRANCO
VICARIVS  DIVITiEnSIvm POSvit  (more...)

The protector Viatorinus served thirty years and was killed by a Frank in the country of the barabarians, near Divitia. The deputy commander of the Divitian garrison erected this monument.
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2007
Revision: 24 Dec. 2007
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