§14 Lucius Obulnius

Lucius Obulnius

(0014) Text: [Διὶ] κυρί[ῳ] | [Λούκιος] Ὀβούλ- | νιο[ς] | ἑκατοντ[άρχης] | σπ(ε)ίρης Αὐ[γούστης.]

Translation: To Zeus Kyrios. Lucius Obulnius, centurion of cohors Augusta. (Trans. Christopher B. Zeichmann)

Commentary: Obulnius is an Etruscan name (see Gracey). We can ascertain from his other inscriptions that Lucius served in both one of the Augustan cohorts (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. Lucius Obulnius seems peculiarly dedicated to local deities for a man of apparently Italian origin. He dedicated another to Zeus Kyrios (§17), who is likely the deity of reference here, too. Likewise, he dedicated one Atargatis Kyria (§18). Lucius Obulnius erected several other inscriptions see §12, §13, §15, §16.

Provenience: Batanaea (Seeia, Syria) 59-96 CE

Bibliography: SEG 7.1100; Princeton Exp.Inscr.IIIA 774; IGLS 16.269a; M. H. Gracey, “The Roman Army in Syria, Judaea and Arabia” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1981) 233-234; 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); Christopher B. Zeichmann, “Herodian Kings and Their Soldiers in the Acts of the Apostles: A Response to Craig Keener,” JGRChJ 11 (2015): 178-190.