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A Roman Legionary Veteran at Teucheira

  • Joyce Reynolds

Extract

Among the inscriptions of ancient Teucheira copied by R. Pacho during his visit to Cyrenaica in 1825 is a Latin funerary text for a Roman legionary veteran named M. Aurelius Apollonius. Traditionally his legion has been interpreted as XV Apollinaris – reasonably enough on the basis of Pacho's drawing. W. Rossberg, who was the first to discuss the text, recalled that a veteran might well have come to Cyrenaica as one of the colonists settled there by Hadrian after the Jewish Revolt of A.D.115/7; and when it became known that XV Apollinaris was in fact one of the legions from which those colonists were drawn the idea was, rightly, revived by S. Applebaum. It must, however, be rejected, for rediscovery of the inscription shows that it has been misread, that the legion is II Adiutrix and the veteran probably a Cyrenaican himself.

The inscription is to be found in Quarry IX to the east of the ancient city and has been for many years masked by a palm tree. It occupies an approximately rectangular area above the door of a rock-cut tomb in the west wall of the quarry. Its letters are 0.035–0.04 m. high in lines 1–4, 0.05 in line 5, and are very unevenly spaced throughout since the cutter had to avoid holes in the surface of the stone. There are superscript bars above the abbreviations in lines 1, 2 and the figure in line 3.

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Notes and References

1. Relation d'un voyage dans la Marmarique et la Cyrènaique (Paris, 1827/1829) plate LXXXV; whence CIL III.6.

2. De Rebus Cyrenarum provinciae Romanae (diss. Frankenberg, 1876) p. 57.

3. JJS II (1950) p. 182.

4. Cf. Domaszewski, A. Von, Die Rangordnung des römisches Heeres (2nd ed. Brian Dobson, Köln/Graz, 1967) p. 46.

5. SEG IX.235 from a tomb in the North Necropolis of Cyrene, Cassels, no. 173 (PBSR XXIII (1955) p. 1.f).

6. Latin is comparatively rare in Cyrenaican inscriptions of the Roman period.

7. PW XII, s. v. legio, col. 1450.

8. Cf. Goodchild, R. G. and Reynolds, J. M., PBSR XXX (1962) p. 39 f.

9. CIL III.10516, with the title doctor fabrum.

A Roman Legionary Veteran at Teucheira

  • Joyce Reynolds

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