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Salonitan Inscriptions of Soldiers and Veterans in Administrative and Religious Posts in Some Cities of Roman Dalmatia

Ivan Matijević ; Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 520 Kb

str. 153-174

preuzimanja: 150


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 520 Kb

str. 153-174

preuzimanja: 197



One damaged and four complete Salonitan inscriptions confirm the active soldiers or veterans who in Salona, Aequum and Flanona carried out various administrative and sacerdotal duties. The first group contains three in governmental and religious posts in Salona, one in Flanona, at the time between the reign of Claudius and the first half of the 2nd century. Gaius Curiatius Secundus (cat. no. 1) from the 7th Legion Claudia pia fidelis after AD 42 and the acquisition of the status of veteran in Salona carried out the service of scriba, which means he was an official in maintaining the city archives and finances. Unlike the civic magistrates, the time at post of a scriba would last quite a long time, and it can be said that Curiatius must have been very well acquainted with the political situation in the city, with the local officials and their networking. He concluded his career in local government in this position although, as very few examples from other parts of the Empire show, he could have been promoted and honoured with some priestly position. An uncommon example is that of the veteran Marcus Uttedius Sallubianus Gaius Petilius Amandus (cat. no. 2) from the 14th Gemina Legion, who during the Flavio-Traianic period carried out the duties of city councillor, quaestor and pontifex. It is hard to believe that as veteran he had sufficient money for membership in the city council of a provincial capital; since he was not from this area by descent, rather from Italic Iguvium, it is reasonable to ask how he managed to reach such a high position in the city government. The answer is probably to be found in his uncommon polynymic name, which all told reveals that he was adopted by his father-in-law, Gaius Petilius Amandus. He clearly himself belonged to the civic political elite, and via him, Sallubianus entered the local aristocracy, carried out the positions of city councillor, questor and pontifex, the most highly valued priestly duty. Centurion Sextus Aquilius Severus (cat. no. 4) at the end of the 1st or in the second half of the 2nd century with the permission of the Salona city council put up an epigraph dedicated to Hercules alongside the theatre. Although because of the severe damage it is difficult with certainty to say which cohort he served in, most researchers agree that he was a praetorian. The praetorian cohorts accompanied Emperor Trajan in his wars against the Dacians, the inscriptions telling of some who then received decorations, as Severus did, and it is then rather likely that he took part in these conquests. His cursus honorum is completed with the mention of his service as city councillor in Salona and Flanona, whence he probably sprang, for in this city, on the very border with Histria, the Aquilii were a leading family.
Belonging to a second group is a soldier or veteran in magistrate or priestly positions in the Aequum colony. Lucius Granius Proclinus (cat. no. 3) was a beneficiarius consularis of the 14th Gemina Legion and a city councillor and flamen in the colony of Aequum. His altar comes from the second quarter of the 2nd century, and the inscription could be dated a little later, to the middle of the same century. N. Cambi and Ž. Rapanić at once observed the key problem in the understanding of Proclinus’ career: how in reality was it possible to combine military service in the office of the provincial governor with political and sacerdotal service in Aequum? Although they suggested inapposite arguments, they assumed that he carried out all these duties at the same time. J. Nelis-Clément agreed, after referencing several similar examples, along with the claim that careers like that of Proclinus were very rare, saying that there was no legal barrier in the way of a soldier on active service carrying out municipal duties. She assumes that Proclinus as a young man attained the ranks of Decurion and flamen, in which the key role could have been played by his father, who perhaps prompted his entry into the municipal elite. The luxuriously decorated altar and the ownership of a grave plot in the Salona ager tell us that he belonged to a rich family. What is unusual is that after taking on these duties Proclinus should have decided to go on active military service. He was enrolled into the 14th Gemina Legion, stationed in Upper Pannonia, in Carnuntum, on the distant Danubian frontier. He must have spent some time in the north for he did not immediately after being recruited become a beneficiarius or get a post in the office of the Dalmatian governor. Did his belonging to the municipal aristocracy of Aequum and obvious wealth contribute to his being placed in the position of beneficiarius consularis? Did he himself, or his family or some third person have any impact on the decision as to where he would continue his military service, and was thus his work in the Salona office the fruit of fortuity or deliberate intention? These are questions to which there are no answers, but I am apt to assume that there was some influence on his beneficiarius service being related to his native region, i.e., that he served in the office in Salona, and not at some station in the interior. If as beneficiarius he was really active in the municipal life of Aequum, then distance could not have been a barrier, for there are well known examples of magistrates who lived in one city and performed their duties in another. On the other hand, one should not entirely reject the hypothesis according to which after service of city councillor and flamen he determined to leave Aequum and enlist in the legion. Lucius Apuleius Montanus (cat. no. 5), a veteran from an unknown unit, served at the end of the 2nd or at the beginning of the 3rd century as Decurion and duumvir in Aequum. He clearly lived in Salona, which apparently did not stand in the way of his being active in the political life in Aequum.
This article is a much enlarged and supplemented chapter from my doctoral dissertation devoted to inscriptions of Roman soldiers from Salona during the Principate. For this very reason these lines offer only a partial insight into the problem of the representation of active and former soldiers in the civic administrations of Salona, Aequum and Flanona. As for Salona, it would be possible to complete this picture by putting in the inscription of Sextus Julius Silvanus from Aequum and of Gaius Appuleius Etruscus from Novae, along with complete depiction of all the city officials, and the inscriptions from Aequum and Flanona should be addressed in the same way, as well as those from other parts of Roman Dalmatia. Only then would it be possible with greater certainty to say what the proportion of veterans and soldiers in public and political life was in these cities, although even without that, it is possible to say it was very modest. This paper then can provide a sound contribution to any such research.

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