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Flavius Aemilianus - ducenarius of Cornuti
#1
I've been having another look at inscription AE 1977, 00806, from Nakolea - the tombstone of a soldier called Flavius Aemilianus, who apparently served as ducenarius in the numerus ioviorum cornutorum seniorum.

The only survey of the inscription I can find is 'A Fourth-Century Latin Soldier's Epitaph at Nakolea' by Thomas Drew-Bear (Harvard Studies in Classical Philology Vol. 81 (1977), pp. 257-274). Drew-Bear provides the following rendering of the text:

   

The consular dating at the end is specific to AD356. Aemilianus served 27 years, and so must have enlisted in AD329. The inscription says he was born in 'Dacia' (apparently the diocese of Dacia is meant), at the city of Flavia Singidunum. This would presumably make him a Roman citizen, which conflicts with the general idea that the auxilia units were raised from barbarians.

What interests me in this case is the name of the unit. There is no Numerus Ioviorum Cornutorum Seniorum (or Iovii Cornuti Seniores) listed in the Notitia Dignitatum, although there are auxilia units called Iovii and Cornuti Seniores. One possible option might be that this unit was destroyed or disappeared prior to the ND's compilation. Or, perhaps, that this extra title was for some reason never mentioned anywhere else... But could the reading of the inscription be wrong?

Here's the part of the stone that mentions the unit (from Drew-Bear) - it's a bad photo, but I've highlighted what I take to be the unit name:

   

1. Might the text refer to two separate units? First the Numerus Ioviorum (ie the ND's Iovii) and then the (Numerus) Cornutorum Seniorum? Aemilianus could have served first in one and then the other... Although in the ND the Iovii are also Seniores, so surely that would be mentioned here?

2. Might the letters that Drew-Bear and others read as I O actual be E Q? That would make the unit the Numerus Equitum Cornutorum Seniorum - in other words, the Equites Cornuti Seniores of the ND. The tombstones from Concordia have other auxilia numeri equitum written this way. Could Aemilianus actually have been a cavalry trooper?

Any thoughts much appreciated!
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#2
Honestly... I can't tell. The "O" is positioned perfectly with the "X" below so it's hard to tell if that's a "Q" or if that's just part of the "X."

Do we have evidence for Ducenarii in other cavalry units? It certainly seems possible.

Furthermore, there's only two letters "I" and "O" so that doesn't automatically imply it was "Ioviorum" does it?
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#3
Flavivs Aetivsit's hard to tell if that's a "Q" or if that's just part of the "X."

Yes, we'd need a better picture of the inscription really. There's certainly a deep oblique cut on the upper left arm of the X (in XXVII), but that might conceal a more shallow oblique in the line above. The text is very uneven in places, and some of the lettering seems to be either vague or irregular.


(02-20-2017, 02:29 AM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: Do we have evidence for Ducenarii in other cavalry units?

There are a few: CIL 03, 14704 (Fl(avio) Victorino ducenar(io) ex vexillation(e) equitum Valentinianen(sium)), CIL 05, 08777 (ducen(ario) qui mil(itavit) in nu(mero) equi(tum) VIII / Dalm(atarum)) and AE 1890, 00147 (Fl(avius) Fasta duce(narius) de Batavis / equ(itibus) sen(ioribus) )

CIL 05, 08760 (Fl(avio) Saum(a)e biarc(h)o de numero equitum bracchiatorum) ) has the unit title written in a similar way.


(02-20-2017, 02:29 AM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: there's only two letters "I" and "O" so that doesn't automatically imply it was "Ioviorum" does it?

I did wonder what else it could be - but 'Io' almost always seems to be an abbreviation of Iovii or Ioviarum. Unless it's actually some other word altogether - there's quite a large gap between the 'O' (or 'Q') and the next letter... but the peculiarities of the inscription appear to leave a lot to interpretation!
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#4
I don't think that what has been read as 'IO' can possibly be read as 'EQ'. The 'O' might just be read as a 'Q', although I think it unlikely. The photograph does not cover the whole inscription but there a couple of 'Q's visible and these do not have prominent tails. However, there are numerous 'E's and the horizontal elements of these letters are very clear. The 'I', on the other hand, shows absolutely no sign of such horizontals and the stone gives no indication of damage at that point that could have destroyed or obscured them. I believe that the reading 'IO' has to be accepted. Whether this can be interpreted as anything other than Ioviorum, I leave to those more skilled in epigraphy than I.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#5
(02-20-2017, 11:53 PM)Renatus Wrote: there are numerous 'E's and the horizontal elements of these letters are very clear. The 'I', on the other hand, shows absolutely no sign of such horizontals

Ah yes, you're probably right - now I come to look at the other letters it does seem that the carver has an idiosyncratic E, heavy on the three short horizontal strokes. That's a shame - the EQ reading would be so neat!

I've tried to discern the letter shapes for the top three lines or so of the inscription. Some are not so easy. There does look to be something odd about the end of 'numerum' and the 'I O' phrase, but perhaps I'm seeing something that isn't there?

   
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#6
(02-21-2017, 12:08 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: There does look to be something odd about the end of 'numerum' and the 'I O' phrase, but perhaps I'm seeing something that isn't there?

I noticed that myself but can't make anything of it. It may just be damage to the stone.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#7
When photographing stone I wish the person taking the photo would apply water on the stone as that makes whatever is on the stone much clearer to see.

I've seen quite a few Archaeologists doing this to read texts that have been cut into the stone, not to be recommended if there is traces of paintwork on the stone though!
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#8
(02-23-2017, 03:47 PM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: When photographing stone

Yes - although it looks like that photo was taken back in the 1920s or something! I wondered if there's a more recent pic - probably not...
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#9
Where is the stone kept now, any idea? (If in Turkey I'm off to there the end of March for a couple of weeks)
Adrian Coombs-Hoar
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#10
(02-23-2017, 04:15 PM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: Where is the stone kept now, any idea? (If in Turkey I'm off to there the end of March for a couple of weeks)

Will you continue the search for the 'Suppliant Soldiers' (I hope)?
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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#11
(02-23-2017, 04:15 PM)ValentinianVictrix Wrote: Where is the stone kept now, any idea?

None, I'm afraid - and I wouldn't know how to find out. Does anyone?
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#12
Thread spilt off: http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-...#pid343760
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