I 12. Tyras. Letter of the governour of Lower Moesia to magistrates of Tyras, 201 C.E.

Monument

Type

Stele. 

Material

Marble. 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 135.4, W. 76.5, Th. 15.4.

Additional description

The front is polished. The sides are treated summarily, the back is roughly picked. THe top is broken off. The marble stele was set into a limestone base, also preserved, however, I could not locate it in the Odessa Archaeological Museum. The epigraphic field is framed by a relief border. Additional measurements: Width of the framing border is 4,8-5,2cm. Depth of the inset epigraphic field in relation to the border is 2,1. Size of the limestone base, according to Latyshev: height 26, width 97, thickness 71. 

Place of Origin

Tyras. 

Find place

Korotnoye, Slobozia region, Moldova. 

Find context

Secondary context. Below a hillock near a kurgan, 1.5 miles from the village of Korotnoye. 

Find circumstances

Found in 1846 by a peasant (Ilia Petrov) and his nephew, while plowing. 

Modern location

Odessa. 

Institution and inventory

Odessa Archaeological Museum, 50761. 

Autopsy

A.I. Ivantchik, August 2006. 

Epigraphic field

Position

On the front. Inside relief border; the surface is uneven. Broken off on the top. H. 113, 5 (without the margin), W. 66,3. Margins: left 0,4; right 0,3; bottom 13,5cm. 

Lettering

Precisely, neatly and evenly cut letters, following ruled lines, still visible in some places; adorned with serifs. Interpunctum and leaf are used as word division symbols. In the Greek part of the inscription, alpha has a broken crossbar, in the Latin, alpha's crossbar is straight. Ypsilon in both parts has the same shape and sports a decorative crossbar. Pi with extended hortizontal. The Greek and Latin H have the same shape, and in both the horizontal does not touch the verticals. In some lines (11, 14, 22), the final letters were reduced in size and written above others, as the stonecutter was apparently running out of space. Average distance between lines: 0,4cm.  

Letterheights (cm)

2.1-2.3 (line 1). 3.3-4.0 (in the rest) см.

Text

Category

Administrative correspondence. 

Date

201 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Explicit date. 

Editions

L1. Bekker 1848, 416-469 (= Bekker 1849); 1.1. Mercklin 1853, 161-166; 1.1.1. Henzen 1854, 67-70; 1.1.2. Henzen 1856, 273-274, n° 6429; 1.2. Brun 1853, 47-66; 1.3. CIL III,1, n° 781; 1.3.1. Brun 1879, 6-13; 1.3.2. IGR, n° 598; 1.3.3. Pflaum 1960, 684-685, n° 253,1; 2. IOSPE I, 3; 2.1. ILS, n° 423; 2.1.1. Gradenwitz 1909, 261, n° 89; 2.1.2. Boteva 1997, 175-176; 2.2. Minns 1913, 640, n° 4; 2.3. IOSPE I2, 4; 2.3.1. FIRA I, n° 86; 2.3.2. Shtaerman 1956, 250-251, № 826; 2.3.3. Cojocaru 2016, 105-106, n° 100 (1). 

Edition

[ vac. Exemplum epistulae ad Tertullum vac. ]
[Misimus tibi epistulam ad Heraclitum, unde]
[intelleges, quid statuerimus de immunitate,]
[quam Tyrani sibi concessam esse contendunt.]
[Quam licet admittere non soleamus nisi pri-]
[vil]ẹg̣ii auc̣ṭ[oritate perpensa et origine immu-]
nitatis inspecṭạ, q̣ụọḍ ụṣụṛ[patum esse diu qua-]
qua ratione videbatur, cum iustạ [moderati-]
one servavimus, ut neque ipsi conṣ[uetudi-]
5ne diuturna pellerentur et in posteṛ[um]
decreta civium adsumendorum consịḷ[iis]
praesidis provinciae • c(larissimi) • v(iri) • perpenderentụ[r.]
vac. 3 litt. Exemplum epistulae ad Heraclitum. vac. 2 litt.
Quamquam Tyranorum civitas or<i>ginem
10dati beneficii non ostendat nec facile, quae
per errorem ạụt licentiam usurpata sunt, prae-
scriptione ṭemporis confirmentur, tamen, vac. 1 litt.
quoniam divi Antonini parentis nostri litte- vac. 1 litt.
ras, sed et fratrum imperatorum cogitamus, item
15Antonii Hiberi gravissimi praesidis, quod attinet
ad ipsos Tyranos quique ab iis secundum leges vac. 1 litt.
eorum in numerum civium adsumpti sunt, ex pri-
stino more nihil mutari volumus. Retineant vac. 1 litt.
igitur quaqua ratione quaesitam sive possessam
20privilegii causam in promercalibus quoque re- vac. 1 litt.
bus, quas tamen pristino more professionibus
ad discernenda munifica mercimoniorum eden-
das esse meminerint. Sed cum Illyrici fructum vac. 1 litt.
per ambitionem deminui non oporteat, sciant
25eos, qui posthac fuerint adsumpti, fructum
immunitatis ita demum habituros, si eos legatus
et amicus noster • v(ir) • c(larissimus) • iure civitatis dignos esse de-
creto pronuntiaverit. Quos credimus satis a-
bundequ{a}e sibi consultum, si grati fuerint, exi-
30stimaturos, quod origine beneficii non quaesi-
ta dignos honore cives fieri praeceperimus. ❦
Ὀουίνιος Τέρτυλλος • ἄρχουσι, • βουλῇ, • δή-
μῳ Τυρανῶν vac. 6 litt. χαίρειν. vac. 10 litt.
ἀντίγραφον τῶν θείων γραμμάτων, πεμ - vac. 1 litt.
35φθέντων μοι ὑπὸ τῶν κυρίων ἡμῶν ἀνει-
κήτων καὶ εὐτυχεστάτων Αὐτοκρατόρων,
τούτοις μου τοῖς γράμμασιν προέταξα, ὅ-
πως γνόντες τὴν θείαν εἰς ὑμᾶς μεγαλο
δωρίαν τῇ μεγάλῃ αὐτῶν τύχῃ εὐχαριστή-
40σητε. ἐρρῶσθαι ὑμᾶς καὶ εὐτυχεῖν πολ-
λοῖς ἔτεσιν εὔχομαι. vac. 3 litt. ἀπεδόθη πρὸ
• ιγ´ • καλανδῶν Μαρτίων, Ληνεῶνος • η´ •
ἀνεστάθη ἐπὶ • Μουκιανοῦ καὶ Φαβιανοῦ
ὑπάτων • ἐν τῷ ❦ εμρ´ ❦ vac. 1 litt. ἔτει, ❦ vac. 6 litt.
45ἀρχῆς • Π(οπλίου) • Αἰλίου Καλπουρνίου. vac. 10 litt.

9: orig. OREGINEM

Diplomatic

[..................................]
[.....................................]
[.......................................]
[......................................]
[....................................-]
[...]..IIAU..[............................-]
NITATISINSPEC..........[...............-]
QUARATIONEVIDEBATURCUMIUST.[........-]
ONESERVAVIMUSUTNEQUEIPSICON.[......-]
5NEDIUTURNAPELLERENTURETINPOSTE.[..]
DECRETACIVIUMADSUMENDORUMCONS..[...]
PRAESIDISPROVINCIAE•C•V•PERPENDERENT.[..]
      EXEMPLUMEPISTULAEADHERACLITUM    
QUAMQUAMTYRANORUMCIVITASOREGINEM
10DATIBENEFICIINONOSTENDATNECFACILEQUAE
PERERROREM..TLICENTIAMUSURPATASUNTPRAE
SCRIPTIONE.EMPORISCONFIRMENTURTAMEN  
QUONIAMDIVIANTONINIPARENTISNOSTRILITTE-   
RASSEDETFRATRUMIMPERATORUMCOGITAMUSITEM
15ANTONIIHIBERIGRAVISSIMIPRAESIDISQUODATTINET
ADIPSOSTYRANOSQUIQUEABIISSECUNDUMLEGES  
EORUMINNUMERUMCIVIUMADSUMPTISUNTEXPRI
STINOMORENIHILMUTARIVOLUMUSRETINEANT  
IGITURQUAQUARATIONEQUAESITAMSIVEPOSSESSAM
20PRIVILEGIICAUSAMINPROMERCALIBUSQUOQUERE-   
BUSQUASTAMENPRISTINOMOREPROFESSIONIBUS
ADDISCERNENDAMUNIFICAMERCIMONIORUMEDEN
DASESSEMEMINERINTSEDCUMILLYRICIFRUCTUM  
PERAMBITIONEMDEMINUINONOPORTEATSCIANT
25EOSQUIPOSTHACFUERINTADSUMPTIFRUCTUM
IMMUNITATISITADEMUMHABITUROSSIEOSLEGATUS
ETAMICUSNOSTER•V•C•IURECIVITATISDIGNOSESSEDE
CRETOPRONUNTIAVERITQUOSCREDIMUSSATISA
BUNDEQUAESIBICONSULTUMSIGRATIFUERINTEXI
30STIMATUROSQUODORIGINEBENEFICIINONQUAESI
TADIGNOSHONORECIVESFIERIPRAECEPERIMUS❦
ΟΟΥΙΝΙΟΣΤΕΡΤΥΛΛΟΣ•ΑΡΧΟΥΣΙ•ΒΟΥΛΗ•ΔΗ
ΜΩΤΥΡΑΝΩΝ            ΧΑΙΡΕΙΝ                    
ΑΝΤΙΓΡΑΦΟΝΤΩΝΘΕΙΩΝΓΡΑΜΜΑΤΩΝΠΕΜ-   
35ΦΘΕΝΤΩΝΜΟΙΥΠΟΤΩΝΚΥΡΙΩΝΗΜΩΝΑΝΕΙ
ΚΗΤΩΝΚΑΙΕΥΤΥΧΕΣΤΑΤΩΝΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΟΡΩΝ
ΤΟΥΤΟΙΣΜΟΥΤΟΙΣΓΡΑΜΜΑΣΙΝΠΡΟΕΤΑΞΑΟ
ΠΩΣΓΝΟΝΤΕΣΤΗΝΘΕΙΑΝΕΙΣΥΜΑΣΜΕΓΑΛΟ
ΔΩΡΙΑΝΤΗΜΕΓΑΛΗΑΥΤΩΝΤΥΧΗΕΥΧΑΡΙΣΤΗ
40ΣΗΤΕΕΡΡΩΣΘΑΙΥΜΑΣΚΑΙΕΥΤΥΧΕΙΝΠΟΛ
ΛΟΙΣΕΤΕΣΙΝΕΥΧΟΜΑΙ      ΑΠΕΔΟΘΗΠΡΟ
•ΙΓ•ΚΑΛΑΝΔΩΝΜΑΡΤΙΩΝΛΗΝΕΩΝΟΣ•Η•
ΑΝΕΣΤΑΘΗΕΠΙ•ΜΟΥΚΙΑΝΟΥΚΑΙΦΑΒΙΑΝΟΥ
ΥΠΑΤΩΝ•ΕΝΤΩ❦ΕΜΡ❦  ΕΤΕΙ❦            
45ΑΡΧΗΣ•Π•ΑΙΛΙΟΥΚΑΛΠΟΥΡΝΙΟΥ                    

9: orig. OREGINEM

EpiDoc (XML)

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     <ab>
      		<lb n="0a"/><supplied reason="lost"><space extent="unknown" unit="character"/> Exemplum
      		   epistulae ad Tertullum
      		 <space extent="unknown" unit="character"/></supplied>
      		<lb n="0b"/><supplied reason="lost">Misimus tibi epistulam ad 
      	        Heraclitum, 
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      		<lb n="0c"/><supplied reason="lost">intelleges, quid statuerimus de immunitate,</supplied>
      		<lb n="0d"/><supplied reason="lost">quam Tyrani sibi concessam esse 
      		       contendunt.</supplied>
      		<lb n="0e"/><supplied reason="lost">Quam licet admittere non soleamus nisi</supplied> 
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      		<lb n="1" break="no"/><supplied reason="lost">vil</supplied><unclear>eg</unclear>ii au<unclear>ct</unclear><supplied reason="lost">oritate</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">perpensa et origine</supplied> 
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      		<lb n="3" break="no"/>qua ratione videbatur, cum iust<unclear>a</unclear> 
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      		<lb n="4" break="no"/>one servavimus, ut neque ipsi 
               con<unclear>s</unclear><supplied reason="lost">uetudi</supplied>
      		<lb n="5" break="no"/>ne diuturna pellerentur et in 
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      		<lb n="6"/>decreta civium adsumendorum cons<unclear>il</unclear><supplied reason="lost">iis</supplied>
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      		<lb n="9"/>Quamquam Tyranorum civitas 
               or<choice><sic>e</sic><corr>i</corr></choice>ginem 
      		<lb n="10"/>dati beneficii non ostendat nec facile, quae
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      		<lb n="13"/>quoniam divi Antonini 
               parentis nostri litte<space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="14" break="no"/>ras, sed et fratrum imperatorum cogitamus, item
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               gravissimi praesidis, quod attinet
      		<lb n="16"/>ad ipsos Tyranos quique ab 
               iis secundum leges <space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="17"/>eorum in numerum civium adsumpti sunt, ex pri
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      		<lb n="19"/>igitur quaqua ratione quaesitam sive possessam
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        quoque re<space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="21" break="no"/>bus, quas tamen pristino more professionibus
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               fructum <space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="24"/>per ambitionem deminui non oporteat, sciant
      		<lb n="25"/>eos, qui posthac fuerint adsumpti, fructum
      		<lb n="26"/>immunitatis ita demum habituros, si eos legatus
      		<lb n="27"/>et amicus noster <g ref="#stop"/> <expan><abbr>v</abbr><ex>ir</ex></expan> 
               <g ref="#stop"/> <expan><abbr>c</abbr><ex>larissimus</ex></expan> <g ref="#stop"/> iure civitatis dignos 
               esse de
      		<lb n="28" break="no"/>creto pronuntiaverit. Quos credimus satis a
      		<lb n="29" break="no"/>bundequ<surplus>a</surplus>e sibi consultum, si grati fuerint, exi
      		<lb n="30" break="no"/>stimaturos, quod origine beneficii non quaesi
      		<lb n="31" break="no"/>ta dignos honore cives fieri praeceperimus.
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      <ab>
      	     <lb n="32"/>Ὀουίνιος Τέρτυλλος 
               <g ref="#stop"/> ἄρχουσι, <g ref="#stop"/> βουλῇ, <g ref="#stop"/> δή
      		<lb n="33" break="no"/>μῳ Τυρανῶν <space quantity="6" unit="character"/> 
               χαίρειν. <space quantity="10" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="34"/>ἀντίγραφον τῶν θείων γραμμάτων, πεμ <space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="35" break="no"/>φθέντων μοι ὑπὸ τῶν κυρίων ἡμῶν ἀνει
      		<lb n="36" break="no"/>κήτων καὶ εὐτυχεστάτων Αὐτοκρατόρων,
      		<lb n="37"/>τούτοις μου τοῖς γράμμασιν προέταξα, ὅ
      		<lb n="38" break="no"/>πως γνόντες τὴν θείαν εἰς ὑμᾶς μεγαλο
      		<lb n="39"/>δωρίαν τῇ μεγάλῃ αὐτῶν τύχῃ εὐχαριστή
      		<lb n="40" break="no"/>σητε. ἐρρῶσθαι ὑμᾶς καὶ εὐτυχεῖν πολ
      		<lb n="41" break="no"/>λοῖς ἔτεσιν εὔχομαι. <space quantity="3" unit="character"/> ἀπεδόθη πρὸ
      		<lb n="42"/><g ref="#stop"/> <num value="13">ιγ</num> <g ref="#stop"/> καλανδῶν Μαρτίων, 
               Ληνεῶνος <g ref="#stop"/> <num value="8">η</num> <g ref="#stop"/>
      		<lb n="43"/>ἀνεστάθη ἐπὶ <g ref="#stop"/> Μουκιανοῦ 
               καὶ Φαβιανοῦ
      		<lb n="44"/>ὑπάτων <g ref="#stop"/> ἐν τῷ <g ref="#leaf"/> <num value="145">εμρ</num> <g ref="#leaf"/> 
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      		<lb n="45"/>ἀρχῆς <g ref="#stop"/> <expan><abbr>Π</abbr><ex>οπλίου</ex></expan> 
               <g ref="#stop"/> Αἰλίου Καλπουρνίου. 
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Commentaries

Murphy 1945, 55-56; De Laet 1949, 209-210; Johnson, Coleman-Norton, et al. 1961, 222-223, n° 272; Millar 1977, 331-332; Freis 1994, 211-212, n° 123. 

 
Apparatus criticus

1-7: Mommsen (CIL) restituit
1-6: [Imperatoriam privi|le]gii auc[toritatem, epistula de jure immu]|nitatis inspecta, quod vo[bis datum ex ae]|qua ratione videbatur cum iusta [religi]|one servavimus, ut neque ipsi cons[titutio]|ne diuturna pellerentur et in poster[um] | decreta civium adsumendorum consil[io] Bekker 1848; [pri|vile]gii auc[toritatem, epistula de iure immu]|nitatis inspecta, quod us[u firmatum qua]|qua ratione videbatur cum iusta [restricti]|one servavimus, ut neque ipsi cons[uetudi]|ne diuturna pellerentur et in poster[um] | decreta civium adsumendorum consil[io] Mercklin, Henzen 1854
2: us[u receptum esse qua]; ụṣụṛp̣[atum Brun 1853, IOSPE
4: cons[uetudi] Brun 1853

Translation

[Copy of the letter to Tertullus. - We have sent you a letter to Heraklitus, from which you will learn what we had decided about the exemption from taxes, which the citizens of Tyras contend had been granted to them. Although usually we are not accustomed to allow it, unless the] autho[rization of the privi]lege had been weighed and the origin of the exem]ption inspected, we have preserved, with just moderation, what seems to have been been used, on some kind of grounds, for a long time, in order that they themselves may not be struck on account of the longtime custom (being withdrawn) and in order that in the future the decrees concerning who should be admitted to citizenship are weighed thoroughly by the council of vir clarissimus, the provincial governour.

Copy of the letter to Heraclitus. Despite the fact that the civic community of Tyras does not demonstrate the origin of the privilege as having been given, and that those privileges that have been used either by mistake or through boldness are not simply confirmed by the pretext of time, nevertheless, because we recognise the documents of the divine Antoninus, our parent, but also (those) of brother emperors, and besides (those) of the most eminent Antonius Hiberus, the provincial governour, we do not wish to change anything from the original way in respect to what applies to the citizens of Tyras, whoever from them, according to their laws, are admitted to the rank of citizens. Let them retain therefore the stipulation of the privilege, on whatever grounds it had been sought or obtained, also concerning the goods sold in the open market, which, however, they shall remember, must be announced with declarations so that the merchandise that is subject to tax is separated, according to the original custom. But because it would not be right for the income of portorium Illyricum to be diminished due to ambition, may they know that those who will have been admitted (to citizenship) after this, would have the benefit of this exemption only if the legate and our friend, who is vir clarissimus, had pronounced them by decree to be worthy of the right of citizenship. We believe that, if they are to be grateful, they will esteem quite fully the decision with respect to themselves, because we have ordered that they are to be citizens worthy of that honour without investigating the origin of the benefit.

Ovinius Tertullus to the archons, the Council, and the People of Tyras - greetings. The copies of the divine letters, sent to me by our masters, the invicible and most blessed emperors, I have placed before my letter, so that learning of the divine generosity towards you, you would thank their great genius. I wish you to be in good health and enjoy good fortune for many years. Presented on the 13th day before the calends of March, on the 8th of Lenaios. Set up when Mucianus and Fabianus were consuls, in the 145th year, when P(ublius) Aelius Calpurnius was archon.

 

Commentary

In editio princeps, Bekker had incorrectly named the findspot as the village of Korotkoye, not Korotnoye, and this mistake was then repeated in Mercklin, Henzen, and Mommsen (CIL), although it was corrected already in 1853 by Brun. In his article, Bekker describes a base that was one with the stele and in size, 6 by 4 "vershka." It was apparently found in Korotnoye, but not delivered to the museum, and Bekker did not see it. Brun visited the village in 1852, found the base, described it and made arrangements of its delivery to Odessa. According to Brun's description, the base was from made from sandstone, and 6 "vershkov" in height, 1 "arshin" and 6 "vershkov" in length, and 1 "arshin" in width. In addition, her reported "a depression, 4,5 "vershka" deep, 1 "arshin" long and 3 "vershka" wide (1 vershok = 4,445cm; 1 arshin = 16 vershkov = 0,7112m).

Bekker reasonably supposed that the stone had been transferred from Tyras to its place of find, Korotnoye, in modern times. Brun, however, relied on the fact that the stele was found together with its base, and therefore presumably in situ, to draw a further conclusion that Korotnoye was the site of Tyras, having been relocated there in II century C.E. Mommsen had initially accepted Brun's view, although interpreted Korotnoye as the border of Tyras' territory rather the site of its relocation (CIL III, 2, p. 1009-1010), however, when Yurgevich (= Jurgiewicz 1883) and Latyshev (IOSPE I 3) strongly disagreed, Mommsen also rejected Brun's hypothesis (CIL III Suppl., 2105, n° 12509).

The inscription consists of three letters: two imperial (of Septimius Severus and Caracalla), addressed to the provicial administration and naturally composed in Latin. The third letter is in Greek and sent, with copies of the imperial letters attached, to the citizens of Tyras by Ovinius Tertullus, governour of Lower Moesia, in 198-201 C.E. (Thomasson 1984, 139).

Bekker, and following him Brun, Mercklin and Yurgevich believed that the first letter was written in the name of Severus and Caracalla, while the second - in the name of Commodus. Henzen (1854, 68; 1856, 274) was the first to prove that both letters were in the name of Severus and Caracalla, and when Mommsen and Latyshev agreed with him, the view became commonly accepted. Henzen also, following Borghezi, whose letter he cites, determined that Ovinius Tertullus was not a procurator of Dacia (as Bekker and Mercklin supposed), but governour of Lower Moesia; in addition, he demonstrated that Tyras and other cities of the Nortern Black Sea coast were subject to the Roman adminstration specifically of this province (Henzen 1854, 68-70). Brun reached the same conclusion a little earlier (1853, 60-63).

The addressee of the first letter is the governour of Lower Moesia, Ovinius Tertullus, is relatively well known (PIR2 O 191; Thomasson 1984, 139, n° 107; 1990, 33, cf. inscriptions in Boteva 1997, 165-186, сf. Dig. 38, 17, 1, 3; 49, 15, 9; Cod. Iust. 8, 50, 1). The addressee of the second letter was someone Heraclitus. He was probably the procurator portorii of Illyricum (so Cagnat in IGR), or less likely - the imperial procurator of Lower Moesia (so Mommsen in CIL). Judging by his Greek name, Heraclitus may have been an imperial freedman, who often served as procurators (see Bekker 1848, 433-434; Henzen 1854, 69). Since taxation was in his purview, it was logical that the emperors should address to him a detailed letter, concerning the fiscal privileges of Tyras. The governour in whose jurisdiction Tyras was, also received a copy of the letter addressed to the procurator, and its substance was briefly summarised in a cover letter. In the time of Septimius Severus, we know of several officials with the name Heraclitus. A certain Herclitus, apparently a trusted man in the service of Septimius Severus, was sent in 193 C.E., on the eve of the war with Pescennius Niger, to ensure the control of Britain (HSA Sever. 6,10) or Bythinia (SHA Pesc. Nig. 5,2), сf. Stein 1912. An Aurelius Heraclitus, in the period between 209 and 211 C.E., is attested as procurator Augustorum in Dacia (inscription AE 1959, 310 = IDR II, n°15 from Drobeta in Romania, see De Laet 1949, 218; Pflaum 1960, 685, n° 253,2; Mihailescu-Bîrliba 2006, 181-182). Later, a M. Aurelius Heraclitus is attested as procurator of Maurtania Caesariensis (AE 1927, 24-25; Pflaum 1960, 685, n° 253, 3-4). Finally, a M. Aurelius Septimius Heraclitus was a prefect of Egypt in 215: Bastianini 1975, 307. An identification of one or all of these men named Heraclitus with the one mentioned in our inscription has been done on more than one occasion. It is almost certain for the Aurelius Heraclitus from Drobeta. We can speculate that in 209-211 he occupied the same position as in 201 and was in charge of portorium Illyricum (but not as a procurator of Dacia, as some commentators had supposed. Indeed, in Drobeta, where, according to IDR II, n°15, an archiv (tabularium) was built with his oversight, one of the main tax-collecting points of Illyricum was located. Here passed the main road connecting Dacia with the provinces south of the Danube, and it was right here that Trajan ordered his famous bridge to be built, so the appearance of Heraclitus' name in our inscription is not surprising. It is also quite possible that we should identify him with the procurator of Mauretania, which would fit the normal upward progression of his career; at the same time, an identifcation with the prefect of Egypt is unlikely, contra Stein 1912, 406-407; De Laet 1949, 405-406 and others, cf. Pflaum 1960, 684-687; Tudor 1978, 166-167. Favouring these identifications, we should, however, remember that the name Heraclitus was rather common: many beares of this name, who certainly cannot be identified with our man (including men of military rank) are attested in inscriptions of the same time period in various Roman provinces.

6. On the council of a provincial governour, which would have included highly placed officials, friends of the governour, jurists and others, see Weaver 2002, 43-62, with bibliography, сf. Kantor 2009, 263-264

7. Vir clarissimus ("most illustrious man") was an official title of persons of the senatorial rank.

9. A mistake in the word originem was corrected by the stone-cutter: incorrectly carved letter E is chiseled over, but the vertical is visible and reads as if there was an I.

13-20. Here we learn that the question of Tyras' fiscal obligations had been raised and affirmed on a number of previous occasions: by Marcus Aurelius (divus Antoninus, 161-180 C.E., apparently, during the last decade of his reign), also by him during the joint reign with L. Verus (161-169), and also before then - by Antonius Hiberus, former governour of Lower Moesia, in 136-138 C.E. (Schindel 2010, сf. Thomasson 1984, 146, n° 150; PIR2 A 0836-837). Judging by the reference to these documents, they must have been available in the imperial chancellery, to which they had been certainly sent by the people of Tyras themselves, asking for a confirmation of the privilege being put in doubt. It seems that a special embassy had been sent by them to Rome on this account (contra Millar 1977, 332, who supposes that instead Tertullus or Heraclitus had sent a query to the emperors). The imperial letters testify to the fact that in those supporting documents, submitted by the people of Tyras, there was no information on the cause or date of the grant of the fiscal privilege, so it is safe to assume that already in 136-138, at the end of Hadrian's rule, as well as in 201, it was considered to be customary, but of uncertain origin, for the history of which there was no supporting documentation. Its origin, therefore, should be dated to a much earlier period, perhaps the time of Tyras' incorporation into the Roman empire (see Son 1993, 28). It is unclear why Karyshkosky and Kleiman (1985, 110) date its origin to the rule of Antoninus Pius.

The full extent of fiscal privileges enjoyed by the citisens of Tyras is unclear. Our inscription directly refers to a tax on merchandise for sale: apparently, this is portorium, a customs tax on imports and exports (see De Laet 1949; Vittinghoff 1953; France 2001; Bresson 2016, 309-321), and possibly centesima rerum venalium, a 1% tax on sales at auctions (there is, however, no full clarity about this type of taxation is, e.g. we are not even sure if it was imposed in provinces, see Günther 2008, 127-148). The average portorium in the empire was about 2,5 % (quadragesima in Gaul, Spain, Asia), although it could vary from one province to another; it was substantially higher only in the East. We are not certain about its amount in Illyricum (see below), but it was most likely 2 or 2,5 % (Vittinghoff 1953, 378-384, cf. De Laet 1949, 242-245: 2 % on the internal border of Illyricum with the empire, and 5 % on the external).

The use of the word quoque suggests that the privileges of Tyras may have been broader and could have applied not only to sales taxes, but to other forms of taxation as well, both direct and indirect. At the same time, it is possible that only portorium is in question, but what is specified is that the privilege applies not only to the goods intended for personal consumption, but also those for sale. In any case, only privileges related to sales taxes are directly mentioned in the text. Mommsen rightly pointed out that the inscription does not allow us to say whether the citizens of Tyras enjoyed their privilege only at home, or everywhere in the territory of Illyricum. Cagnat (1882, 126) was certain that the privilege was only effective in the harbour of Tyras.

Similar privileges were enjoyed not only by Tyras, but also by the neighbouring Histria, and these privileges were constantly challenged by tax collectors, necessitating repeated confirmations of their validity by Roman officials (although, in this case, Rome's intecession had not been not required - the issue was decided at the provincial level). Two inscriptions from Histria (ISM I, 187-212, n° 67-68, with detailed commentary and bibliography), reproduce letters received by the Histrians in the course of this suit; the subject is tax-free fishing rights, lumber production, and their export. The letters date to the period between 49 and 100 C.E., making it clear that they were in use since Histria's incorporation into the Roman empire. We may expect something similar for Tyras.

21-23. The merchandise sold by the citizens of Tyras had to be officially declared, apparently in order to be properly identified as belonging to those who have the tax privilege, and to be separated from that belonging to others who do not not.

23. The tax disctrict Illyricum (portorium Illyricum, τέλος ʼΙλλυρικόν) included 8 Danubian provinces: Raetia, Noricum, Dalmatia, both Pannoniae, both Moesiae and Dacia. See Henzen 1854, 69; Cagnat 1882, 20 ff; Ростовцев 1899, 80-85; Dobó 1940; De Laet 1949, 175-245; Vittinghoff 1953, 358-368, etc.

24. Ambitio – here probably refers to corruption or other practices aimed at obtaining the right of citizenship, with its accompanying privileges, in Tyras, but achieved by illegal or unsavoury means, cf. Ulp., Dig., 3,1,1,4.

Antithesis of ambitio and virtus see e.g. Pl., Am., 76 ; Titin. Com. 11.

27-28. The governour of Moesia is given the right to ratify or not to ratify the decisions of the citizens of Tyras granting their citizenship to foreigners. It would seem that the polis was in the habit of profitably extending the grant of (or even selling) its citizenship, on the basis of which new citizens acquired fiscal privileges. Apparently, this practice incurred the displeasure of fiscal authorities, and the imperial decision was meant to put an end to malpractice, while at the same time curbing Tyras' autonomy. There is no doubt, in my mind, that at this time, Tyras was part of the Roman empire, in particular, of Lower Moesia (already Brun, Mommsen, and Latyshev were of this opinion, cf. IOSPE I2, p. 14-15), otherwise such a decision would not have been possible.

39. Greek Τύχη is probably meant as an equivalent of Latin Genius (see Henzen 1854, 69).

41-42. We are likely dealing with the day when the content of the letter received from Ovinius Tertullus was reported to the City Council (Mommsen, then Latyshev and other commentators thought this was the day of the letter's receipt). The Council then decided to publish the whole dossier on a marble stele and set it up in the city. 13 days before the Calends of March (17th of February according to the Julian calendar) corresponds to the 8th of Lenaios in the Ionian calendar adopted in Tyras, cf. commentary on I 2, Leschhorn 1993, 72-74.

43-45. These lines provide the date for the setting up of the stele, which naturally took place some time after the receipt of Ovinius' letter in Tyras. The gap in time, however, need not have been long. What is notable is that the names of other consuls had been originally carved, then chiseled out and new ones inscribed; as a result, words Μουκιανοῦ καὶ Φαβιανοῦ ὑπάτων appear on a deeper plane than the rest of the epigraphic field. The mistake was probably due to the difference in the date of the letter and the date of the stele's production: the consuls had changed in the meantime. The dating by the consulate of Mucianus and Fabianus (Marcus Nonius Arrius Micianus и Lucius Annius Fabianus) allows us to determine the year as 201 C.E.; apparently, the stele was set up at the beginning of the year, soon after the receipt of the letter of Ovinius Tertullus in the middle of February, while the letter itself must have been written in the previous year. As in other contemporary inscriptions of Tyras, in addition to the date according to Roman consuls, a date according to the local era (year 145) is also given, as well as accroding to eponymous archon, Publius Aelius Calpurnius. On this count of years, see commentaries to I 2 and I 3; Leschhorn 1993, 72-77, with bibliography.

 

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