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Do we know if there was an abbreviation for primus pilus, like "leg" for legio or "coh" for cohors? For that matter do we have a list of any abbreviations for ranks? I am especially interested in primus pilus, but have an overall interest as well.
PIL. PR. i think...

M.VIB.M.
On inscriptions it's usually just PP. Sometimes it turns up as PRIM PIL - but this might have been an earlier (Julio-Claudian?) form.

The best way of tracking down abbreviations on inscriptions is to use the Epigraphic Database - just type the phrase you're looking for into the search bar and you'll get a listing of inscriptions with the missing letters given in brackets. Square brackets are reconstructions of missing sections, as far as I know. Unbracketed bits of the word form the abbreviation.

So PP LEG XV V S L M becomes p(rimus) p(ilus) leg(ionis) XV v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito), for example.

Most abbreviated words have variations, but here are a few others that turn up quite frequently:

TR / TRIB COH - tribunus cohortis
TRIB MIL / MILIT - tribunus militum
COH V VIG - cohortis V vigilum
COH V PR - cohortis V praetoriae
PR / PRAEF EQUIT - praefectus equitum
PR / PRAEF ALAE - praefectus alae
PR / PRAEF LEG - praefectus legionis
LEG AUG PR PR - legato Augusti pro praetore
PR CASTROR - praefectus castrorum
PR / PRAEF PRAET - praefecto praetorio
PP BIS - primus pilus bis (ie primus pilus for the second time)
C - centurio (often written like a backwards number 7)
CCC - trecenario (ie held three successive centurionates in the Rome cohorts)
Thank you so much! This is incredilbly helpful! I love the epigraphic database. I was not aware of it, but will find many other uses for it.
Quote:C - centurio (often written like a backwards number 7)

A slight correction: the symbol for centurio is usually similar to > or C (reversed) or similar to number 7 (the correct way round).
The last one listed, CCC - Trecenario, wasn't just three centurionates in the Rome cohorts, it designated a man who had held three centurionates, one of which was often in the Rome cohorts. This from a doctoral thesis exploring centurions' careers with a particular interest in both the men who held multiple centurionate posts and the ones who made it to primus pilus, including how many previous centurionate posts did the men reaching PP hold. Reference: Summerly, James Robert, "Studies in the legionary centurionate". Available via the British Library's EthOs - Electronic Theses Online Service - GREAT resource.
Quote:A slight correction: the symbol for centurio is usually similar to > or C (reversed) or similar to number 7 (the correct way round).

Ah, you're quite right - thanks! I knew something was backwards... Smile

Quote:Trecenario... designated a man who had held three centurionates, one of which was often in the Rome cohorts.

I believe that Summerly is basically agreeing with Mann, that the trecenarius rank existed 'within the context of the urban cycle', although leaving his conclusion rather more open to exceptions - he gives examples of men who held only the centurionates in the urbani and praetorians, and one who listed only the praetorian post. In all of his examples, however, a trecenarius had held at least one position in the Rome cohorts.

He does suggest that the rank included the implication of lower grades of service, and so the post in the vigiles (and perhaps even the urbani) might be omitted from inscriptions, and also that men directly commissioned ex eques could skip the vigiles post and still claim the trecenarius rank.

In most cases, then, trecenarius connoted a man who had held all three centurionates in the Rome cohorts in order, although Summerly concludes by saying that 'the problems of trecenarii are not exhausted by the foregoing debate' (Studies in the Legionary Centurionate, p.8 )

Quote:GREAT resource

I agree!