previous next


5. Cestius Severus, an infamous informer under Nero. (Tac. Hist. 4.41.)

The name Cestius is chiefly remarkable on account of its connexion with two monuments at Rome, the Pons Cestius and the Pyramid of Cestius, both of which are still remaining. This bridge, which connects the island of the Tiber with the Janiculum, is supposed by some writers to have been built by the consul C. Cestius Gallus, in the reign of Tiberius; but as it seems improbable that a private person would have been allowed to give his name to a public work under the empire, its erection is generally referred to the time of the republic. The Pyramid of Cestius, which was used as a burial-place, stands near the Porta Ostiensis, and part of it is within and part without the walls of Aurelian. From an inscription upon it we are told, that it was erected, in accordance with a testamentary provision, for C. Cestius, the son of Lucius, who had been Epulo, Praetor, Tribune of the plebs, and one of the seven Epulones; and from another inscription on it, in which the names of M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus and M. Agrippa occur, we learn, that it was built in the reign of Augustus. Whether this C. Cestius is to be identified with one of the persons of this name mentioned by Cicero [see above, No. 1], as some modern writers have supposed, cannot be determined.

The name of L. Cestius occurs on two coins, together with that of C. Norbanus; but who these two persons were is quite uncertain. A specimen of one of these coins is given below: the obverse represents a female head covered with an elephant's skin, the reverse a sella curulis with a helmet on the top of it. (Eckhel, v. p. 169.)

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: