The tombstone of Longinus Sdapeze

Contributed by Colchester Castle

The tombstone of the Roman auxillary cavalryman Longinus Sdapeze

Longinus, originally from Bulgaria, was part of the Roman army that invaded Britain in AD43Workmen found the tombstone of Longinus Sdapeze in 1928 near Lexden Road in Colchester. It dramatically portrays a Roman, auxillary, cavalry soldier riding over the cowering, naked figure, of an enemy. In relation to the small number of similar tombstones from this country and, in terms of artistic merit and execution, it is the finest. The one thing that marred the tombstone was the fact thatthe face of the soldier was missing. A dramatic discovery in 1996, however, took place when the find-spot was re-excavated. The face, as well as other pieces, was discovered.

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