§51 Marcus Calventius Viator

Marcus Calventius Viator

(0051) Text: Pro salute | Imp(eratoris) Caes(aris) n(ostri) Traian(i) | Hadriani Aug(usti) p(atri) p(atriae) | Deaniae Aug(ustae). | equites sing(ulares) eius qui | hibernati sunt Antioch[i-] | ae ad Chrysorhoan quae | et Gerasa hiera et asylo(s) et au- | tonomos, quorum curam agit | M(arcus) Calven(ti)us Viator, Ɔ leg(ionis) V M[a-] | cedonicae, turmae V[III:] | Flavi Titi, Statili Roma[ni,] | Val(eri) Bassi, Cani August[ini,] | […] Paterni, Ulpi Festi, | Ulpi Victoris, Ulpi Agrippini, | v(otum) s(olverunt) l(ibentes) m(erito) | honoris et pietatis causa.

Translation: To Augustan Diana for the health of our Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus father of his country, erected by the special detachments of his cavalry who wintered at the city of Antioch by Chrysorhoas, known as Gerasa Sacred, Inviolate and Autonomous, whose care is entrusted to Marcus Calventius Viator, centurion of legio V Macedonica. Those placing this monument are the following eight detachments: that of Flavius Titus, that of Statilius Romanus, that of Valerius Bassus, that of Canus Augustinus, that of […] Paternus, that of Ulpius Festus, that of Ulpius Victor, and that of Ulpius Agrippinus who have hereby discharged their vow willingly as his merits deserve and for the sake of honor and devotion to duty. (Trans. Fred Baxter)

Commentary: Another inscription of Marcus Calventius Viator is was found in Romania (§52). Petolescu suggests a third inscription may attest Marcus Calventius Viator (CIL 8.2532 = ILS 1.2487), but the basis for the claim seems thin. Stoll observes that Deaniea Augustae is also known as Artemis of Gerasa – “the principal goddess of the city.” Recently arriving in the Decapolis, Marcus Calventius Viator sought favour form local deities in unfamiliar territory.

Provenience: Gerasa, Arabia (Jerash, Jordan) 130 CE

Bibliography: AE 1915.42; Gerasa 130; David L. Kennedy, The Roman Army in Jordan, 1st ed. (London: Council for British Research in the Levant, 2000), 108-109; Constantin C. Petolescu, “Cariera Centurionului M. Calventius Viator,” Pontica 37-38 (2004-5): 195-197; Oliver Stoll, “The Religions of the Armies,” in A Companion to the Roman Army, ed. Paul Erdkamp, BCAW (London: Blackwell, 2007), 466; George Cupcea, “Centurions of the IIII Flavia Legion in Dacia,” Arheovest 1 (2013): 346-348.