I 24. Tyras. Building inscription of the Roman garrison, 114-117 C.E.





Marble, white with gray veins. 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 28.2, W. 36.6, Th. 15.3-16.7.

Additional description

On the front: Greek inscription (I 23), on the back: Latin inscription, made in secondary usage of the block. The front and back are polished, the rest are broken off. The front is even; on the back there is an flat area 9-10cm wide, below which the surface recedes towards front, so that the block becomes thinner. In the center, a circular depression (Diam. 10cm) from an object that rested on the base in tertiary usage. The circle damaged the Latin inscription. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context

In secondary context; in the first courtyard of the fortress (after the removal of the Turkish {mound?} {sand bank?}, in the area of Pushkin Tower. 

Find circumstances

Random find by V.P. Pushkarev in 1982. The latter passed it on to the museum. Field catalogue number БД-82, № 58. 

Modern location


Institution and inventory

Odessa Archaeological Museum, 88366. 


A.I. Ivantchik, August 2007. 

Epigraphic field


On the back. The text is at 180° angle to the Greek text on the front. The center of the epigraphic field is damaged by a circular depression from an object that rested on the base in tertiary usage. The Latin text is inscribed without regard to the profile of the block, suggesting seconday usage. Broken off on all sides. H. 27.5, W. 34.6


Deeply, evenly and neatly cut letters, adorned with light serifs. Average distance between lines: 1,0cm. 

Letterheights (cm)

10.5 (line 1). 9.6 (line 2). 6.0 (line 3. but not fully preserved).



Building inscription. 


114-117 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Titulature, palaeography. 




[Imp(eratori) Nervae Tr]ạiạn[o Caesari]
[Optimo Aug(usto) G]erṃạ[nico] Dac(ico) [---]
[---] p̣ẹṛ ṿẹx̣[ilationem leg(ionis) ... fecit]



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="la">
      		<lb n="1"/><supplied reason="lost"><expan><abbr>Imp</abbr><ex>eratori</ex></expan> Nervae</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">Tr</supplied><unclear>a</unclear>i<unclear>a</unclear>n<supplied reason="lost">o</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">Caesari</supplied>
      		<lb n="2"/><supplied reason="lost">Optimo <expan><abbr>Aug</abbr><ex>usto</ex></expan></supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">G</supplied>er<unclear>m</unclear><unclear>a</unclear><supplied reason="lost">nico</supplied> 
            <expan><abbr>Dac</abbr><ex>ico</ex></expan> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="3"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/> <unclear>per</unclear> 
            <unclear>vex</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ilationem</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost"><expan><abbr>leg</abbr><ex>ionis</ex></expan></supplied> 
            <gap reason="lost" quantity="3" unit="character"/> <supplied reason="lost">fecit</supplied>
Apparatus criticus


[To emperor Nerva Tr]aianus [Caesar, Augustus Optimus, G]erman[, Dacian - - -] through the vex[illatio of the legion - - - made]



1-2. In lines 1-2, the restoration of the name Traianus and his victory title Germanicus is doubtless, suggesting the date of the inscription during the reign of the latter. The fact that the name and title appear not in the same line, but in lines 1 and 2, suggests that between them we should restore Caesari Optimo Aug(usto), as in another inscription from Tyras (Karyshkovsky 1959, № 5): restoring just Aug or even Caesari Aug would not fill the lacuna. The proposed restoration gives us the length of the line and suggessts that a short titulature of Trajan is being used, without the mention of his descent from divine Nerva or of his consulate and tribunate powers. Another possibility would be to envision one additional line before line 1, and in that case, the titulature could have occupied three lines, and in the hypothetical lost line we could restore Imp(eratori) divi Nervae filio. If we restore the title Optimus, the date of the inscription could be given more precisely: in lapidary inscriptions of Trajan's reign, it starts to appear from 113/114 C.E. If the inscription postdates 116, we would have to restore another title (Parthicus) at the end of line 2. Another possible restoration of line 1: [Imp(eratore) Nerva Tr]ạiạn[o Caesare], that is, "At the time of emperor Nerva Trajan Caesar etc."

3. At the beginning of this line, we may expect the name and title of the Roman official who had commissioned the construction, which was carried out by the vexillation of Roman troops in Tyras. In another inscription, analogous in content and similar in date (Karyshkovsky 1959, № 5), the construction is commissioned by the governour of Lower Moesia and carried out by the vexillation of Tyras under the supervision of its commander, the centurion of the V Macedonian legion.



(cc) © 2017 Askold Ivantchik (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
You may download this inscription in EpiDoc XML. (This file should validate to the EpiDoc schema.)