§6 Ziemices son of Ziope

Ziemices son of Ziope

(0006) Text: Ziemices Ziopen f(ilius) eque[s alae] | Thracum Aug(ustae) turma[e Cai] | Vesperi, hic situs est. heres [fecit ex] | testamento. | Ζιμικένθις Ἐζιωπῆν υἱός, ἱππεὺ[ς] | εἴλης Θρᾳκῶν Σεβαστῆς τύρμης | Γαίω Ἑσπερίω ἐνθέδε κεῖται. | ἐπύησεν ὁ κληρονόμος | ἐγ διαθήκης.

Translation: Ziemices, son of Ziope, cavalryman of ala I Thracum Augusta, of the detachment commanded by Gaius Vesper, is placed here. Erected by his heir in accordance with his will. (Trans. Fred Baxter)

Commentary: Name is Thracian (see Kennedy). The Greek spelling is eccentric at points, despite its brevity. It is not certain when the unit arrived in Gerasa. Holder dates the Gerasene inscriptions before the Judaean War on the unfounded assertion that the unit must have left Syria by 70 CE, estimating a transfer under the reign of Nero. Gracey more plausibly suggests its arrival after the Judaean War – a date that corresponds with the unit’s presence on Syrian diplomas in the years 88-90 CE. Regardless, ala I Thracum Augusta left Gerasa before 107 CE, as it is attested upon a diploma from Raetia in that year (CIL 16.55) and also after. This would correspond well to the annexation of the Decapolis to the newly formed province of Arabia in 106 CE. The inscriptions are roughly synonymous in both languages.

Provenience: Gerasa, Decapolis (Jerash, Jordan) 66-106 CE

Bibliography: AE 1922.131; AE 1930.90; SEG 7.901; Gerasa 200; Paul A. Holder, Studies in the Auxilia of the Roman Army from Augustus to Trajan, BARIS 70 (Oxford: BAR, 1980), 159; David L. Kennedy, The Roman Army in Jordan, 1st ed. (London: Council for British Research in the Levant, 2000), 107.