Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Caracalla Dedication @ Ostia, Matri Castrorvm.....

I found another useful inscription from Ostia for my dissertation that I thought I would post it up here so I can't lose it in the mess of my desk.

IMP CAESARI
M AVRELIO ANTONINO
PIO AVG FELICI
TRIB POTEST X COS II IMP CAESAR
L SEPTIMI SEVERI PII PERTINACI S
AVG ARABICI ADIABENICI PARTHICI
MAXIMI P P FILIO DIVI ANTONINI
PII GERMANICI SARMATICI NEPOT
DIVI ANTONINI PII PRONEPOTI
DIVI HADRIANI ABNEPOTI
DIVI TRAIANI PARTHICI ET DIVI
NERVAE ADNEPOTI RESTITVTORI
CASTRORVM OSTIENSIVM
SVB GN M RVSTIO RVFINO PR VIG E V
CVRANTIBVS
C LAECANIO NOVATILLIANO SVB PR
ET M FL RAESIANO TRIB COH II VIG PRAE
POSITO VEXILLATIONIS

CIL 14,4387



Photo courtesy of bstorage
on flikr

Statue Base of Caracalla in the Vigiles Barracks


To the Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus the lucky, with tribunician's power for the tenth time and consul twice. Also Imperator Caesar Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus, victor over the Arabians, victor over the Adiabenians, greatest victor over the Parthians and father of the fatherland. Son of the divine Antoninus Pius victor over the Germans and Sarmatians (Marcus Aurelius), grandson of the divine Antoninus Pius, great grandon of the divine Hadrian, great great grandson of Trajan the victor over the Parthians and great great great grandson of the divine Nerva. The army camp at Ostia was restored under of Gnaius Marcius Rustius Rufinus praetor of the vigiles and a very emminent man under the charge of Gaius Laecanius Novatillianus sub-prefect and Marcus Flavius Raesianus tribune of the second cohort of the vigiles by the vigiles under their charge.>

This is an extremely ropey translation as my latin is very out of practice but I do see a few important points.

  • Caracally comes first which is unsurprising as it is the base of a statue of him but the fact that Caracalla is the one getting the statue as Augustus in 207AD raises is a perfect example of Severus' plans to reinforce his dynasty. As Caracalla is styled as ruler while Severus is still alive.
  • Marcus Aurelius is called Antoninus Pius and bears honorific titles but not "PART MAX" as Severus has now surpassed him as greatest victor over the Parthians.
  • Trajan's Parthian victories are emphasised possibly to show that this glory runs in the family and really hit home how far back the greatness can be traced, clearly attempting to show Severus and his son as the natural successors of the Good Emperors.
Now I have some new treats I bought myself to post up as well, including my new favourite coin....



Septimius Severus AR Denarius Rome Mint
Obv: L SEPT SEV AVG IMP XI PART MAX, Laureate bust of Severus right.
Rev: AEQVITATI AVGG, Aequitas left, holding scales and cornucopiae.

RIC IV.1 122c
end 198 -200AD



I was bored and passing the coin shop so I got this to kill time. It's nothing special but I just liked the reverse and it was pretty inexpensive.

Septimius Severus AR Denarius Emesa Mint
Obv:IMP CAE L SEP PERT AVG COS II, Laur. bust right
Rev: FORTVN REDVC, Fortuna seated left, holding rudder and corcnucopia
RIC IV.1 379
194-195AD



I bought a lot just for this coin. I love Eastern mint denarii, the style has a wonderful boyish style. It seems more of an amateur affair than the sharp cold stylings of the mint at Rome.

Now comes my new favourite........











Julia Domna AE Sestertius. Rome. 198 AD.
Obv: IVLIA AVGVSTA, draped bust right
Rev: MATRI CASTRORVM, Julia standing left sacrificing over altar, three standards to left.
RIC 860

I have wanted one of these for so long and I missed this one when it came up for sale before. So imagine how happy I was when it came up for sale again. Anyway I snapped it up and it's now it's the pride of my collection.

I will write up a bit on the mater castrorvm another night but for now I just wanted to share it with you.

Thanks.

4 comments:

  1. How do you know it's Julia rather than a goddess
    at the altar?

    The picture of her looks unusual.

    Am I right that there seem to be more of the drapery shown than usual? Or is it the way the photo made it look?

    Very interesting, thank you so much for posting all these translations of inscriptions, etc.

    Looking forward to learn more, as this is a fascinating subject for me and others that I know. Appreciate your scholarship!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The figure on the reverse is attributed to Julia as the coin is commemorating her as "Mater Castrorvm" or mother of the camp.

    With regards to the drapery it is probably just a poor photo I will post the dealers (far superior image) when I get ontot talking about the title of Mater Castrorum.

    Also thank you for your comment it is nice to know that someone is reading.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh thanks for the answer!
    Absolutely, not only I am reading these posts about anything related to Septimius and Julia Domna and family, but I quickly dispatch them to another who I think would enjoy them!

    I have google alerts for both the Emperor and Empress, so I saw your blog earlier and thought it was really nice that you were concentrating on the Severan coinage.
    I had forgotten to check it for a long while, until these recent posts came up.

    Too, you never know how researchers, historians, etc. may look around on the internet and find your painstaking work.

    It's wonderful to see someone investigating this topic and with such diligence and enthusiasm.
    I can exactly relate to the exultant feeling of finally nabbing an elusive coin missed on an earlier round. It happened to me with a coin of Julia Domna from of all places, Reunion! Glad you got your wished-for coin.

    Waiting to hear more about that ambiguous-sounding title. I have always wondered about why the word "camp" was chosen.
    Why not Mother of the Army or of the Military, which would be more intelligible. Maybe just to us moderns, though!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The inscription is dedicated to Caracalla as restorer of the camp at Ostia (RESTITVTORI CASTRORVM OSTIENSIVM) and as son (FILIO)of Septimius Severus, grandson (NEPOTI)of Marcus Aurelius, great-grandson (PRONEPOTI)of Antoninus Pius, and so on.

    Of course Caracalla is described as full emperor, since Septimius had made him co-emperor ten years earlier, in 198. However Septimius is trying to make Caracalla popular by giving him the credit for restoring the camp, a measure which must have been put into motion by Septimius himself as senior emperor.

    Curtis Clay

    ReplyDelete