§148 Titus Mucius Clemens

Titus Mucius Clemens

(0148) Text: [Τί]τῳ Μουκίῳ Μάρ[κου υὶῷ …] | [Κλ]ήμεντι, ἐπάρχῳ στ[ρατοῦ τοῦ] | βασιλέως μεγάλου Ἀγρίπ[πα, βοηθῷ] | Τιβερίου Ἀλεξάνδρου ἐπάρ[χου Αἰγύπτου] | ἐπάρχῳ σπείρης πρώτη[ς Λεπι-] | διανῆς ἱππικῆς, β[οηθῷ …] | Τιβερίου Κλαυδίο[υ …] | ἐπιτρόπου Σε[βαστοῦ ….] | Σιμωνίδης καὶ Ζ[… οἱ] | υἱοὶ τῷ ἑαυτῶν [φίλῳ καὶ ευεργέτῃ] | χα[ριστήριον.]

Translation: To Titus Mucius, son of Marcus of the tribe Clemens, praefectus castrorum of the great king Agrippa. Adiutor under Tiberius Alexander prefect of Egypt, prefect of cohors I Lepidiana equitata. Adiutor to […] of Tiberius Claudius […], imperial procurator of […]. Simonides and Z[…] their sons for their [friend and benefactor,] an offering. (Trans. Christopher B. Zeichmann)

Commentary: The reconstruction offered above is entirely tentative and – as will become clear throughout this entry – those interested in this inscription should consult literature for more on this controversial inscription. Perhaps most significant for DMIPERP is the question of whether Titus was a Jewish soldier. It was long assumed and argued that he was, though Llewelyn calls into doubt assumptions informing previous work; Llewelyn proposes that Clemens’ posts were largely unrelated and do not indicate Clemens was an ascendant Jewish soldier. There, however, has been subsequent push-back against Llewelyn’s argument, notably in CIIP, which restores the final two lines in a manner common in earlier scholarship: υἱοὶ τῷ ἑαυτῶν [πατρὶ μνήμη]ς | χά[ριν]: “sons, for their father, to remember him.” That is, Simonides, apparently a Jew erected an inscription for Clemens not as a friend, but as a son, implying either that Clemens was Jewish or married a Jewish woman. This matter is significant and the differing conclusions are both supported by strong argument: one should consult the vast bibliography to arrive at one’s own conclusion, but key issues involve its discovery in a non-Jewish necropolis, the “sons” apparent rejection of the tria nomina, among many others.

Also significant is the question of which king Agrippa this mentions: Agrippa I (reigning 37-44 CE) or his son Agrippa II (reigning 53-97 CE). There is a significant division among scholarship on the matter, frequently pertaining to whether his cursus honorum is listed in the standard (i.e., early to late) or reverse order. Difficulty in determining which of the two options is best arrives in emendation of missing portions of the inscription. For instance, is Tiberius Julius Alexander prefect of Egypt or Judaea (Τιβερίου Ἀλεξάνδρου ἐπάρ[χου Ἰουδαίας])? Does the inscription mention Tiberius/Antonius Claudius Felix, prefect of Judaea 52-58 CE (Τιβερίου Κλαυδίο[υ Φήλικος]) or another, unknown Tiberius Claudius? Again, it is best to consult the extensive literature on the matter.

The difference in praenomen between Clemens and his father indicates he was not a first-generation citizen (see Gracey 1981). Note also the mention of Tiberius Julius Alexander – the Jewish procurator of Judaea and Egypt who played a significant role in the siege of Jerusalem in the Jewish War. Unlike most military inscriptions relating to Palestine, the literature on this epigraph is extensive. Many thanks to Nikos Kokkinos for suggestions in revising this entry (personal communication).

Provenience: near Dora, Syria (Bir el-Malik) 50-90 CE

Bibliography: AE 1967.525; AE 1986.963; AE 1987.950; SEG 33.1266; SEG 47.1982; SEG 51.2020; CIIP 2.2123; M. Avi-Yonah, “The Epitaph of T. Mucius Clemens,” Israel Exploration Journal 16 (1966): 258-264; F. F. Bruce, “The Full Name of the Procurator Felix,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 1 (1978): 33-36; Paul A. Holder, Studies in the Auxilia of the Roman Army from Augustus to Trajan, BARIS 70 (Oxford: BAR, 1980), 78; M. H. Gracey, “The Roman Army in Syria, Judaea and Arabia” (D.Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1981) 241-242, 247; Alain Martin, “T. Mucius Clemens, Praefectus Castrorum d’Agrippa II,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 52 (1983): 203-210; Seth Schwartz, “T. Mucius Clemens, Commander of the Army of Agrippa II: An Epigraphical Note,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 56 (1984): 240-242; Seth Schwartz, “T. Mucius Clemens: A Supplementary Note,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 58 (1985): 296; Alain Martin, “Àpropos de l’inscription de T. Mucius Clemens,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 60 (1985): 275-276; M. H. Gracey, “The Armies of Judean Client Kings,” in Defence of the Roman and Byzantine East, ed. David L. Kennedy and Philip Freeman, BARIS 297 (Oxford: BAR, 1986), 1:320; Colin Hemer, “The Name Felix Again,” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 10 (1987): 45-49; Nikos Kokkinos, “A Fresh Look at the gentilicum of Felix Procurator of Judaea,” Latomus 49 (1990): 126-141. Leah Di Segni, “Dated Greek Inscriptions from Palestine from the Roman and Byzantine Periods” (Ph.D. dissertation, Hebrew University, 1997), no. 118; S. R. Llewelyn, “The Career of T. Mucius Clemens and Its Jewish Connections,” in New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 8, ed. S. R. Llewewlyn (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998): 152-155; Frederick E. Brenk and S.J. Filippo Canali De Rossi, “The ‘Notorious’ Felix, Procurator of Judaea, and His Many Wives (Acts 23-24)” Biblica 82 (2001): 414-417; Rudolf Haensch, “The Contributions of Inscriptions to our Knowledge of the Herodian Dynasty,” Scripta Classica Israelica 33 (2014): 109.