Inscriptions

Inscriptions and Dedications

“Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Flavio Vale

rio Constantino Pio

Felici Invicto Aug(usto) pon(tifici)

max(imo) tribun(icia) potes(tate)

VIIII co(n)s(uli) III imp(eratori) VII p(atri) p(atriae) pro

co(n)s(uli) municipium Felix

Thabbora numini

maiestatique eius

devotum”

(Clauss/Slaby EDCS-16600004)

-location-Africa proconsularis(Tunisia)

  • The above inscription comes from the African province, and is an honorary inscription to the emperor Constantine. The inscription records Constantine’s full name, as well as the honorary names of “Pius”, “Felix”(happiness), and “Invictus”. He is also called the honorific title of the senate patri patriae (father of the fatherland). He was the last emperor of Rome to receive that title. The level of respect for Constantine in the inscription indicates that he was well received even in the distant province of Africa.

 

Arch of Constantine-pic

“Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Fl(avio) Constantino Maximo

P(io) F(elici) Augusto s(enatus) p(opulus)q(ue) R(omanus)

quod instinctu divinitatis mentis

magnitudine cum exercitu suo

tam de tyranno quam de omni eius

factione uno tempore iustis

rem publicam ultus est armis

arcum triumphis insignem dicavit

Liberatori urbis

Fundatori quietis

Sic X sic XX

Votis X(decennalibus) votis XX(vicennalibus)”

(Clauss/Slaby  CIL 06, 01139)

-location-Rome 312 AD

  • The inscription and photo above depict the famous Arch of Constantine in Rome. It was commissioned by the senate in 312 AD to celebrate Constantine’s defeat of Maxentius at Saxa Rubra. He was rewarded the title of Senior Augustus. It begins by honoring him with titles such as “pious” and “blessed Augustus”, claims he was divinely inspired, and also praises his mind. It goes on to praise him for his delivering Rome from the tyrant Maxentius, and claims to speak for the people of Rome in their gratitude and respect for him.

 

Dd(ominis) n[n(ostris)]

Gal(erio) Val(erio) Maximia

no et Fl(avio) Val(erio) Severo

Invictis Augg(ustis) et

Gal(erio) Val(erio) Maximino et

[Fl(avio) Val(erio)] Constantino no

[bilissimis Ca]ess(aribus) nn(ostris)

(Heidelberg HD000489)

-location-Numidia forum 306 AD

  • This inscription comes from the province of Numidia, modern day Algeria. Constructed in 306 AD, it actually is a dedication to all four rulers of the Roman tetrarchy at the time, Galerius, Flavius Severus, Maximinus, and Constantine. It calls them “our most noble Caesars”, and refers to them as “domini”. This title will emerge more in reference to Constantine.

 

[Dd(omini) nn(ostri) Flavius Valerius Consta]ntinus Maximus et Valerius Licinianus Licinius Pii Felices Inv[i]cti semp[er Augusti]

[thermas —]i temporis deformatas Laurentibus suis addito cultu restituerunt curante Camilio Aspro v(iro) c(larissimo) cu[ratore —]

(Heidelberg HD001875)

-location-Lavinium 313-324 AD

  • Dedicated by Camilio Aspro, a “most bright curator”, this inscription praises Constantine and Licinius for restoring the bath houses. It again uses the title “dominus”, but interestingly seems to favor Licinius, referring to him as “pious”, “blessed”, and “unconquerable”.

 

F024258

[—]ii / [—]mio Ceionio Rufio

[Volusian]o

[v(iro) c(larissimo) praef(ecto) urbi iudici sacraru]m cognitionum

[et consuli ordinario comiti] d(omini) n(ostri) Constantini

[Maximi Pii Felicis invicti a]c semper Aug(usti)

[proco(n)s(uli) Africae correctori Italiae] iterum

(Heidelberg HD001691)

-location-Rome 314-320 AD

  • Although some of the beginning of the inscription has been lost, it starts by praising Rufius, the Roman praefect. It refers to him to be a most wise man with great knowledge of the sacred city. The inscription also refers to him as a comity, a count or “companion of the emperor”. Constantine is documented to have given out this title more freely during his reign as an honor. It then pays respect to the emperor Constantine, referring to him again as “dominus noster”, and “Maximi Pii Felicis invicti” (most great, pious, blessed, unconquerable). It is interesting to note the inscription makes no reference to Licinius, who was the joint ruler with Constantine at that time.

 

 

F001279

[Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Flavio]

[Constantino Max(imo)]

[P]io Fel(ici) Aug(usto) [victori]

ab initio fel[icissimi]

imperii sui hos[tium]

sedibus bellis inl[atis]

[r]eportatisque sua

[vir]tute et divina

[dispos]itione victoriis

[et Fl(avio) Const]antino

[et Fl(avio) Constantio]

(Heidelberg HD002935)

-location-Venetia and Histria(Italy) 326-337 AD

  • The above inscription comes from the Venetia and Histria territory in Italy, and dates to the latter half of Constantine’s reign. As we’ve seen before, it uses his full name, as well as giving him the praises of “Maximus Pius Felix”. The inscription also praises his military successes in general, claiming him a victor, who has always been successful over the enemies of the empire. The inscription closes by also honoring his sons.

 

Beatissim[o saeculo invictorum principum Fl(avi) Valeri Constantini maximi victoris semper Aug(usti) et Constantini Iun(ioris) et Constanti glori]

osissimor[um Caes(arum) —]

parva solum [—]

quo cla(u)sa(?) clu[aca? — pro]

[con]sul(atu) [M(arci) C]ae(i)on[i Iuliani c(larissimi) v(iri) —]

[—]a vetusta[te conlapsa —]

(Heidelberg HD 004408)

-location-Africa proconsularis (Tunisia) 326-331 AD

  • This dedicatory inscription comes from the Africa proconsularis territory, modern day Tunisia, during the later years of Constantine’s reign. It begins by showering praises on Constantine, perhaps referencing Christianity by referring to him as the most blessed leader in all the world. The text also references his military exploits, referring to him as the “greatest of victors”. The inscription was dedicated by Marcus Claeonus, a “most wise man”, and also shows great respect by praising his sons “of glorious Caesars”.