§7 Doritses son of Tarsus

Doritses son of Tarsus

(0007) Text: Doritses Tarsi f(ilius), | eques alae Thracum | Aug(ustae) tur(mae) Terenti, vixit | an(nos) XXXII, militavit | an(nos) XII, h(ic) s(itus) e(st).

Translation: Dortises, son of Tarsus, cavalryman of ala I Thracum Augusta, of the detachment commanded by Terentius, lived 32 years, spent 12 years in military service and is placed here. (Trans. Fred Baxter)

Commentary: Name is Thracian (see Kennedy). 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.

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

Bibliography: AE 1930.89; Gerasa 201; 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; M. H. Gracey, “The Roman Army in Syria, Judaea and Arabia” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1981), 270.