Gaius Velius Rufus
(0165) Text: C(aio) Velio Sal- | vi f(ilio) Rufo p(rimo) p(ilo) leg(ionis) XII | Fulm(inatae), praef(ecto) vexillari- | orum leg(ionum) VIIII: I Adiut(ricis), II Adiut(ricis), | II Aug(ustae), VIII Aug(ustae), VIIII Hisp(anae), XIIII Ge- | m(inae), XX Vic(tricis), XXI Rapac(is), trib(uno) co- | h(ortis) XIII urb(anae), duci exercitus Africi et | Mauretanici ad nationes quae | sunt in Mauretania conprimendas, do- | nis donato ab Imp(eratore) Vespasiano et Imp(eratore) | Tito bello Iudaico corona vallar(i) | torquibus, fa[le]r[is], armillis, item | donis donato corona murali | hastis duabus vexillis duobus et bel- | lo Marcommannorum Quadorum | Sarmatarum adversus quos expedi- | tionem fecit per regnum Decebali | regis Dacorum corona murali has- | tis duabus vexillis duobus, proc(uratori) Imp(eratoris) Cae- | saris Aug(usti) Germanici provinciae Panno- | niae et Dalmatiae, item proc(uratori) provinciae | Raetiae ius gla[d]i(i). hic missus in Parthiam Epipha- | nen et Callinicum regis Antiochi filios ad | Imp(eratorem) Vespasianum cum ampla manu tribu- | tariorum reduxit. M(arcus) Alfius M(arci) f(ilius) Fabia O- | lympiacus aquili[f]e[r] vet(eranus) leg(ionis) XV Apol[l]inar- | is.
Translation: To Gaius Velius Rufus, son of Salvius, who served as primus pilus of legio XII Fulminata, prefect of a vexillation of nine legions I Adiutrix, II Adiutrix, II Augusta, VIII Augusta, VIIII Hispana, XIIII Gemina, XX Victrix, XXI Rapax, tribune of cohors XIII Urbana, leader of an army created in Africa and Mauritania to suppress the nations that live in Mauretania, and was given rewards by Imperator Vespasian and Imperator Titus during the Judaean War – a wall crown, torques, phalerae, armillae – and also given rewards – a mural crown, two spears, two banners – and again given, during the war against the Marcomanni, Quadi, and Sarmati – against whom he conducted an operation across the realm of Decebalus, king of the Dacians – a crown of ramparts, two spears and two banners, and who acted as procurator of the emperor Caesar Augustus Domitian in the Pannonian and Dalmatian provinces, and as procurator and highest penal authority in Raetia. He was sent on a military mission in Parthia and brought to the emperor Vespasian Epiphanes and Callinicus, the sons of king Antiochus, and a large band of men liable for tribute. To this man has Marcus Alfius Fabia Olympiacus, son of Marcus, aquilifer and veteran of legio XV Apollinaris, erected this monument. (Trans. adapted from Livius)
Commentary: Gaius Velius Rufus fought under Titus in the Judaean War as chief centurion in legio XII Fulminata, for which he was awarded numerous honours. In the late stages of the War, XII Fulminata was a prominent supporter of Vespasian’s bid for emperor – his continued operation under Vespasian’s command, not to mention awards and honours received from him – suggests Gaius was instrumental in the legion’s support for him.
Provenience: Heliopolis, Syria (Baalbek, Lebanon) 100-130 CE
Bibliography: IGLS 6.2796; ILS 3.9200; AE 1903.368