§50 Centurion of legio IV Scythica

Centurion of legio IV Scythica

(0050) Text: ὑπὸ [… γε]νομένου ἑκατοντάρχου λεγ(εῶνος) τετάρτης Σκυ[θικῆς … ἐδόθη-] | [σαν …ισ]χείλια καὶ τὸ λοιπὸν ἔργον στύλους ἕξ σὺν ἐπιστυλίοις […] | […] καὶ Μ(άρκος) Ἄννιος Ἀκίνδυνος κληρονομήσαντες ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων ἀπηρ(γάσαντο). ˪ γς᾿

Translation: By […], former centurion of legio IV Scythica […] were given […]thousand and more works, six columns with architraves […] and Marcus Annius Akindynus after they had inherited, from their own resources. In the 203rd year of Pompey. (Trans. Christopher B. Zeichmann)

Commentary: Though this inscription is after the period of interest, the fact that this refers to a former centurion renders it instructive. Legio IV Scythica, it should be noted, suppressed both the Judaean War and the more recent Bar Kokhba War. Note also the use of the Pompeian calendar – 63 BCE – when the cities of the Decapolis were freed from Hasmonaean control by the Roman general Pompey and granted autonomy. Though much of the inscription is missing, the use of a local rather than imperial calendar might suggest its dedicant was native to the Decapolis.

Provenience: Gadara, Arabia (Umm Qais, Jordan) 139 CE

Bibliography: Thomas Maria Weber, Gadara – Umm Qēs I: Gadara Decapitolina. Untersuchungen zur Topographie, Geschichte, Architekture und der Bildenen Kunst einer „Polis Hellenis“ im Ostjordanland, ADPV 30 (Weisbaden: Harrassowitz, 2002), IS no. 15.