Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
LATIN]
635
INSCRIPTIONS


character are the inscriptions, mostly stamped or engraved in the mould, of pigs of silver, bronze and lead (and pewter), found in the Roman mines in Spain and England (see Hübner, “Römische Bleigruben in Britannien,” in Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, vol. xi., 1857, p. 347 sq., and C.I.L. vii. 220 sq.; A. Way, Archaeological Journal, vol. xvi., 1859, p. 23, and vol. xxiii., 1866, p. 63). A fourth species of tituli of this class is strictly related to the military institutions of the Roman empire. Many of the weapons are marked with the names of the bearer and of the military corps to which he belonged,—so, for example, the buckles of their shields (see Hübner, “Römische Schildbuckel,” in Archäologisch-epigraphische Mitteilungen aus Österreich, vol. ii., 1878, p. 105 sq.; by far the best extant specimen is the umbo of a legionary soldier of the eighth legion found in the Tyne near South Shields, C.I.L. vii. 495), and sometimes the swords, as that of Tiberius from Mainz (now in the British Museum, see Bonner Winckelmannsprogramm of 1848). The leaden glandes used by the funditores, the slingers, in the Roman army bear curious historical inscriptions (see C.I.L. i. 642 sq., Ephem. epigr. vi. and, on the question of the authenticity of many of them, Zangemeister, C.I.L. ix., 35* sqq.). Special mention must be made also of the leaden seals or marks (bullae), evidently of military origin (perhaps to be borne by the soldiers as a countersign), which have been found in many parts of England (C.I.L. vii. 1269; Ephem. epigr. iii. 144, 318, iv. 209, vii. 346). Of the highest interest are the manifold productions of the Roman tile and brick kilns (C.I.L. xv. Inscriptiones laterum; cf. Descemet in the Bibliothèque des écoles françaises, vol. xv.). Next to the tiles with consular dates made at Veleia (C.I.L. i. 777 sqq.), those signed with the name of legions or other military corps, and employed in the various military buildings of these, are especially worthy of mention; they form an important chapter in every geographical part of the Corpus. But private persons, too, especially the rich landed proprietors, and afterwards the emperors and their kinsmen, kept large figulinae, and their manufactures—tiles of every description and other earthenware—were spread over the Roman empire (Dressel, Untersuchungen über die Chronologie der Ziegelstempel der Gens Domitia, 1888; C.I.L. xv.). The different sorts of earthen vessels and lamps, the fragments of which are found in great quantities wherever Roman settlements occurred, are arranged at the end of each volume of the Corpus and are collected in vol. xv part ii. p. i. On the maker’s marks on earthenware, see Habert, La Poterie antique parlanté (1893); Dragendorf, “Terra Sigillata,” in Bonn. Jahrbüch. xcvi. 18. On Roman lamps and their inscriptions the accurate catalogue of the Vienna collection by Kenner (“Dicantiken Thonlampen des K. K. Münz- und Antiken-Cabinetes und der K. K. Ambraser Sammlung,” in the Archiv für Kunde österreichischer Geschichtsquellen, vol. xx., Vienna, 1858) may be consulted with advantage. The chief deposit of earthenware fragments, the Monte testaccio in Rome, has been explored by Dressel (“Ricerche sul Monte testaccio,” in the Annali dell’ Instituto archeologico, vol. i., 1878, p. 118-192). Inscriptions are found on various classes of vessels, painted (as the consular dates on the large dolia for wine, oil, &c., see Schöne, C.I.L. iv. 171 sq., and Ephem. epigr. i. 160 sq.), stamped on the clay when still wet or in the mould, and scratched in the clay when dry, like those on the walls of ancient buildings in Pompeii, Rome and other places of antiquity. Like the corresponding Greek ware, they contain chiefly names of the makers or the merchants or the owners, and can be treated in a satisfactory manner only when brought together in one large collection (C.I.L. xv. part ii.), inasmuch as, besides being made in many local potteries, they were exported principally from some places in Italy (e.g. Arezzo) and Spain, in nearly every direction throughout northern and western Europe, the countries outside the Roman frontiers not excluded. Vessels and utensils of glass and of metal (gold, silver and especially bronze) were also exported from Italy on a large scale, as is being more and more readily recognized even by those antiquaries who formerly were wont to assume a local origin for all bronze finds made in the north of Europe. These utensils, ornaments and other objects made of precious metals (such as cups, spoons, mirrors, fibulae, rings, gems), not unfrequently bear Latin inscriptions. On the very ancient silver and bronze caskets, for holding valuable articles of the female toilet, which have been found at Praeneste, are inscribed, in addition to the names of the artist and of the donor, occurring once, the names of the persons in the mythical representations engraved upon them (C.I.L. i. 54-60, 1500, 1501; Jordan, Kritische Beiträge zur Geschichte der lateinischen Sprache, Berlin, 1879, p. 3 sq.). In the ancient well of the Aquae Apollinares, near Vicarello in Tuscany, three silver cups have been found with circumstantial itineraries “a Gades (sic) usque Romam” engraved upon them, evidently gifts to the divinity of the bath for recovered health presented by travellers from the remote city named (Henzen 5210). Similar is the Rudge Cup, found in Wiltshire and preserved at Alnwick Castle, which contains, engraved in bronze, an itinerary along some Roman stations in the north of England (C.I.L. vii. 1291). The inscriptions of the Hildesheim silver find and others of a similar character have been already mentioned; and many examples might be enumerated besides. On the ancient glass ware and the inscriptions on it the splendid works of Deville (Histoire de l’art de la verrerie dans l’antiquité, Paris, 1873) and Froehner (La Verrerie antique, description de la collection Charvet, Paris, 1879) may be consulted; on the Christian glasses that of Garrucci (Vetri ornati di figure in oro trovati nei cimiteri dei cristiani primitivi di Roma, Rome, 1858); on the makers’ marks on bronze objects, Mowat, Marques de bronziers sur objets trouvés ou rapportés en France (1884) (extracted from Bulletin épigraphique, 1883-1884). The last species of tituli is formed by the stamps themselves with which the inscriptions on many of the objects already named are produced. They are mostly of bronze, and contain names; but it is not easy to say what sort of objects were marked with them, as scarcely any article stamped with a still existing stamp has been found. Amongst the materials stamped leather also is to be mentioned. One class only of stamps differs widely from the rest,—the oculists’ stamps, engraved mostly on steatite (or similar stones), and containing remedies against diseases of the eyes, to be stamped on the glass bowls in which such remedies were sold, or on the medicaments themselves (see Grotefend, Die Stempel der römischen Augenärzte gesammelt und erklärt (Göttingen, 1867); de Villefosse and Thédenat, Cachets d’oculistes romains (1882); Espérandieu, Recueil des cachets d’oculistes romains (1894).

IV. The other great class of inscriptions above referred to, the instrumenta or leges, the laws, deeds, &c., preserved generally on metal and stone, from the nature of the case have to be considered chiefly with regard to their contents; their form is not regulated by such constant rules as that of the tituli, so far as may be inferred from the state of completeness in which they have been preserved. The rules for each special class therefore, though, generally speaking, maintained—as was to be expected of Roman institutions—with remarkable steadiness from the earliest times down to a late period, must be based upon a comprehensive view of all the examples, including those preserved by ancient writers, and not in the monumental form. These documents are, as a rule, incised on bronze plates (only some private acts are preserved on wood and lead), and therefore have their peculiar form of writing, abbreviation, interpunction, &c., as has been already explained. The older Roman laws are now collected, in trustworthy texts, in the Corpus, vol. i.; of the documents belonging to the later period a very comprehensive sylloge is given in C. G. Bruns’s Fontes juris Romani antiqui.

1. Among the earliest occasions for committing to writing agreements, which may be supposed to have been originally verbal only, must certainly be reckoned international transactions (leges foederis or foedera). At the head of the prose records written in the Latin language we find the treaties of alliance of Tullus Hostilius with the Sabini (Dionysius Halic. iii. 33), of Servius Tullius with the Latini (Dionysius iv. 26; Festus p. 169; this was, partly, at the same time, as will afterwards appear, the oldest document of the sacred class), of the second Tarquinius with Gabii (Dionysius iv. 58; Festus, Epit. p. 56). They are followed, in the oldest republican period, by the celebrated foedera with Carthage; by the pacts of Sp. Cassius Vecellinus with the Latini of the year 261 (493 B.C.), which Cicero seems to have seen still in the forum behind the rostra, written on a bronze column (Pro Balbo, 23, 53; see also Livy ii. 33; Festus p. 166; and Mommsen’s Römische Forschungen, ii. 153 sq.); and by the foedus Ardeatinum of 310 (444 B.C.) mentioned by Livy (iv. 7). Of all these documents nothing has been preserved in an authentic form, save some few words quoted from them by the ancient grammarians. Of one foedus only is there a fragment still in existence, relating to the Oscan civitas libera Bantia (C.I.L. i. 197); it contains the clausula of the foedus, which was written in Latin and in Oscan (see Apulia). On account of this peculiar circumstance, the document gave occasion to Klenze, and afterwards to Mommsen, to resume (for the sake of Roman jurisprudence, in the first instance) inquiry into the Oscan and other Italian dialects. Some other Roman foedera are preserved only in Greek, e.g. that with the Jews of the year 594 (160 B.C.) (Josephus, Ant. xii. 6. 10). Some others, made with the same nation between 610 and 615 (144 and 139 B.C.) (Jos. Ant. xiii. 5. 6 and 7. 8), are mentioned in an abridged form only, or given in that of a senatus consultum, to which they must formally be ascribed. Amongst the foedera may be reckoned also the curious oath, sworn, perhaps, according to a general rule obtaining for all civitates foederatae, by the citizens of a Lusitanian oppidum, Aritium, to Gaius Caesar on his accession to the throne in A.D. 37 (C.I.L. ii. 172; Wil. 2839).

Closely related to the foedera are the pacts between communities and private individuals, respecting patronatus or hospitium (tabulae patronatus et hospitii), also, when in small portable form, tesserae hospitales; cf. Plautus, Poen. 1047, of which many specimens from the end of the republic down to a late period of the empire have been preserved (see Gazzera, Memorie dell’ Academia di Torino, vol. xxxv., 1831, p. 1 sq., and Mommsen, Römische Forschungen, i. 341 sq.). Of the numerous examples scattered through the different volumes of the Corpus may be quoted the tessera Fundana, containing the pact of hospitality between the community of Fundi and a certain Ti. Claudius (who cannot, with certainty, be identified), the oldest hitherto known, in the form of a bronze fish (C.I.L. i. 532; Henz. 7000; Wil. 2849); the tabula of the pagus Gurzensium in Africa, delivering the patronate to L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, Nero’s grandfather, in 742 (12 B.C.), in the afterwards solemn form of a tabella fastigata, to be fixed in the atrium of the person honoured (Orel. 3693; Wil. 2850); that of the civitas Pallantina with a peregrinus named Acces Licirni of the year 752 (2 B.C.) (Ephem. epigr. i. 141;