Thursday, February 21, 2008

Demarcation Between the T(h)races and Moesi

In working up our OpenLayers + SVG image tracing demo today, Sean and I selected a picture of a Roman boundary marker as our example image. Charlotte Roueché had taken this picture in the garden of the Bulgarian National Museum in 2006. She sent it to me because of the work I'd done on my Chapel Hill dissertation about Roman boundary markers. This particular inscription proved to belong to an instance of demarcation that I'd treated in the dissertation, but this text was not specifically in my catalog. I assumed it was either unpublished, or had been so at the time I was finishing the dissertation.

It appears now that this inscription is either unpublished, or I've failed to spot the publication. I provide the account and background below in the hopes that readers can provide a citation for this particular text, or information about other evidence related to this particular event that I have so far missed. Corrections to what follows are also welcome.


In 2003 or so I wrote (for the dissertation) about this group of inscriptions as follows:

Six boundary markers from various sites in Bulgaria attest to a demarcation between the provinces of Thracia and Moesia Inferior [in AD 135]. These are the only markers in the published epigraphic record that explicitly marked a provincial boundary without making reference to any of the cities or communities in either province. The word provincia is not used. The ethnics corresponding to the provincial names are: Moesi and Thraces. The markers were placed, on Hadrian’s authority, by an otherwise unknown individual named [M(arcus)] Antius Rufus, who is thought to have been acting as a special legate of the emperor. It is most unlikely that he was a governor of either of the provinces in question, since neither governor can have possessed a sufficient span of jurisdiction to affect both provinces. The context and motivation for this demarcation are completely obscure.
Here's a transcription and translation of this particular text, made from the image:

ex auctoritate
Imp(eratoris) Cae(saris) divi
Tra(iani) Parth(ici) f(i)l(i) di-
vi Nerv(ae) nep(otis) Tra(iani)
Had(riani) Aug(usti) p(atris) p(atriae) poṇ[t?]-5
if(icis) maxi(mi) trib(unicia) poṭ(estate)
XX co(n)s(ulis) III M(arcus) An[ti?]-
us Rufinus inter
T(h)racas (!) et Moe-
sos fines posụ[it?]10

By the authority of the emperor Caesar, son of the god Trajan Parthicus, grandson of the god Nerva, Trajan Hadrian Augustus, father of the country, pontifex maximus, (holding the) tribunician power 20 (times), consul 3 (times), M(arcus) Antius Rufinus placed boundaries between the Thraces and the Moesi.


The rectangular stone was prepared with a deep rectangular campus that left a heavy external border (I do not have measurements). This frame (and an uninscribed portion of the campus) is broken away at the top right corner. Beginning at the level of line 7, the border has been snapped away at a depth just below that of the campus. The bottom of the stone is missing, but it is clear that the main text terminates above a large empty space before the break.
  • 5, end: Part of an N on the upward-sloping portion of the border (i.e., just outside the prepared campus). This may have included a ligature with T that has been worn away(?).
  • 6, end: What appears to be a small, irregular T cut across the transition from prepared campus to border.
  • 7, end: if TI were inscribed on the border, this has been lost; there is no room for the characters in the prepared campus.
  • 7-8: Rufinus: PIR2 A784 + addenda; Thomasson 1984 20:78 + 22:16; Aichinger 1982, 198-199.


Now, in looking at this image more closely (and starting to hunt for a corresponding publication), I see that I missed at least one of these inscriptions, and yet another has subsequently appeared. But I still haven't been able to identify a published text of this particular inscription. It clearly shares a source text with [EDH HD045725] = [AE 2004.1306] = I. Christov, Minalo 11, 2004, 6-7, no. 4 (citations from EDH), but the text is laid out differently on the stone. It would be interesting to have access to an image of this doppelgänger, but I can't immediately put my hands on a copy of the journal Минало. These are the only two of the inscriptions I know of that put the Thraces before the Moesi; the majority of the texts have the inverse order.

Concordance of Editions

Here's my list of texts and corresponding publications as it stands now:
  • Elliott 2004.95.1; EDH HD042659; IGLNovae 73; ILBulg 357; ILS 5956; CIL 3.749
  • Elliott 2004.95.2; EDH HD042812; ILBulg 429; CIL 3.12407
  • Elliott 2004.95.3; EDH HD006328; ILBulg 390; AE 1985.729; Banev 1981, no. 1
  • Elliott 2004.95.4; EDH HD006340; ILBulg 386; AE 1985.730; Banev 1981; CIL 3 p. 992 n. 749
  • Elliott 2004.95.5; EDH HD006322; AE 1985.733; Božilova 1985; ILNovae 51; IGLNovae 72
  • Elliott 2004.95.6; EDH HD031971; ILBulg 358; CIL 3.14422/1; AE 1902.106
  • EDH HD042658; ILBulg 184; AE 1912, 16 n. 56; Filow BullSocArchBulg 2 (1911), 271 (not checked, bibliography per EDH)
  • EDH HD045725; AE 2004.1306; . Christov, Minalo 11 (2004), 6-7, no. 4 (not checked, bibliography per EDH)
  • [ Horothesia, "Demarcation Between the T(h)races and Moesi" (22 February 2007) ]


Short titles used here are glossed in the PDF versions of my abbreviations list and works cited list. Eventually, all these works will be folded into the Pleiades bibliography.

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