§12 Lucius Obulnius

Lucius Obulnius

(0012) Text: στ[ρατοπε]δάρχο[…] | Λούκιος Ὀβούλνιος | ἑκατοντάρχης σπ(ε)ίρης | Αὐγούστης παρηκολού- | θησα τῷ ἔργῳ | ˪ ακ’ τοῦ ςι’.

Translation: […] Lucius Obulnius, centurion of cohors Augusta, oversaw this work in the 21st year, which is also the 16th year.

Commentary: Obulnius is an Etruscan name (see Gracey). We can ascertain from his other inscriptions that Lucius served in both one of the Augustan cohors (likely cohors I Canathanorum Augusta) and the army of the Batanaean king Agrippa II. I have written an article that deals extensively with some of the Lucius Obulnius inscriptions (see Zeichmann), though additional inscriptions have since been published that warrant further discussion. Note that this inscription was found on the same stone as §13, despite being inscribed either seven or thirteen years apart. They are often treated as the same inscription, but I am separating them for heuristic purposes. Lucius Obulnius erected several other inscriptions see §14, §15, §16, §17, §18.

Provenience: Canatha, Decapolis (Qanawat, Syria) 69 CE

Bibliography: AE 1925.121; SEG 7.970; SEG 33.1306; IGLS 16.197; Bernard Haussoullier and Harald Ingholt, “Inscriptions grecques de syrie,” Syria 5 (1924): 324-330; Maurice Dunand, Le Musée de Soueida: Inscriptions et Monuments figurés (Paris: Geuthner, 1934), no. 168; M. H. Gracey, “The Roman Army in Syria, Judaea and Arabia” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1981) 243-244; Michael P. Speidel, “The Roman Army in Judaea under the Procurators: The Italian and the Augustan Cohort in the Acts of the Apostles,” Ancient Society 13-14 (1982-83) 233-240; Maurice Sartre, “Brigands, colons et pouvoirs en Syrie du Sud au Ier siècle de notre ère,” Anabases 13 (2011) 207-245; Christopher B. Zeichmann, “Herodian Kings and Their Soldiers in the Acts of the Apostles: A Response to Craig Keener,” JGRChJ 11 (2015) 178-190.