§4 Unknown Centurion

Unknown centurion

(0004) Text: λοχ- | ιγοῦ κ- | οῖτος

Translation: A centurion’s place of rest (Trans. Christopher B. Zeichmann)

Commentary: Applebaum, Isaac, and Landau offer a compelling interpretation of this inscription on a sarcophagus. They suggest an officer had fallen in battle, but was not recognizable aside from his rank. They note that it is not certain whose army he served, but the terminology and language used correspond to that of a client king’s army holding the village after its capture. Note that Josephus uses λοχαγός as a synonym for centurion, especially in reference to client kings’ forces. It is almost certain this officer fell during the Judaean War.

Provenience: Selame, Judaea (Horvat Tzalmon) 66-68 CE

Bibliography: Shimon Applebaum, Benjamin Isaac, and J. H. Landau, “Varia Epigraphica,” Scripta Classica Israelica 6 (1981/82): 98-118 (here 99).