§22 Gaius Messius Son of Gaius

Gaius Messius son of Gaius

(0022) Text: [hand 1] [Imp(eratore) Ves]pas[ia]n[o Au]g(usto) IIII co(n)[s(ule)] | [r]atio st[ip]end[i]a | C(aius) Messius C(aii) f(ilius) Fab(ia) Beru(tensis) | [accepi st]ipendi(um) x L | ex eos s[olvi] | hordiaria [x XVI] | [hand 2] […u]rnius | sumtuarium x XX[…] | c[a]ligas x V | lorum fasciari(um) x II | tunica linia x VII || accepi stipendi(um) x LX[II] | ex eos solvi | hordiaria x XV[I] | sumtuarium x [XX] | [hand 3] C(aius) Antonius | pallium opertoriu(m) [x …] | [hand 4] Puplius Valerius | tun[i]ca alba [x …]

Translation: [hand 1] The fourth consulate of Imperator Vespasianus Augustus. Accounts, salary. Gaius Messius, son of Gaius, of the tribe Fabia, from Beirut. I received my stipendium of 50 denarii, out of which I have paid barley money 16 denarii. [hand 2] […]rnius: food expenses 20(?) denarii; boots 5 denarii; leather strappings 2 denarii; linen tunic 7 denarii. || I received my stipendium of 62 denarii, out of which I have paid barley money 16 denarii; food expenses 20 denarii. [hand 3] Gaius Antonius: overall cloak […] denarii. [hand 4] Puplius Valerius: white tunic […] denarii.

Provenience: Masada, Judaea 72-75 CE

Commentary: Gaius Messius’ pay receipt, found in the camps outside of Masada. Gaius Messius was an auxiliary soldier, though his unit is unknown.  It is interesting to observe how much of his pay went to mandatory expenses: clothing, food, etc. He seems effectively penniless after payday.

Bibliography: Mas722*; G. W. Bowersock, “The Babatha Papyri, Masada, and Rome,” Journal of Roman Archaeology 4 (1991): 343; M. Alexander Speidel, “Roman Army Pay Scales,” Journal of Roman Studies 82 (1992): 94-97; Brian Campbell, ed., The Roman Army, 31 BC–AD 337: A Sourcebook  (London: Routledge, 1994), no. 25; Graham Sumner, Roman Military Clothing (1): 100 BC – AD 200, Men-at-Arms 374 (Oxford: Osprey, 2002), 33-34; S. R. Llewelyn, “Pay Slip of a Roman Soldier at Masada,” in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 10, ed. S. R. Llewewlyn and J. R. Harrison (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012), 140-141.