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The Roman Army in
Palmyra under Tiberius

Michal Gawlikowski

In 2006, Khalil al-Hariri, the new director of the Palmyra Museum, found an interesting monument
in the Valley of Tombs. It is now on display in the Museum garden, to the right of the entrance [Fig. 1].
I am grateful to Mr. Khalil al-Hariri for his kind permission to publish this discovery.

The stone was lying face down between the ruins of the funerary temples nos 84 and 84a,
which stand side by side just south of Diocletian's Camp. Both tombs are utterly destroyed and can-
not be dated precisely, but they are at any rate more than a century younger than our inscription
(cf. Gawlikowski 1970:129), which could have been reused in one of them as a building block. It is a
high rectangular stele (H. 230 cm, W. 62 cm, Th. 42 cm) with an uneven lower end once set into the
ground. The decoration sculpted in low relief is rudimentary: flat ring, perhaps meant to be a wreath,
inscribed in a steep triangular pediment and a simple cavetto moulding around the epigraphic field
(W. 33 cm). Above the inscription there is a sunken rectangle (W. 33 cm, H. 15 cm), the rough surface
of which probably received a plate with a painted likeness of the deceased. The text includes nine
lines, together 40 cm in height. The letters are of unequal size, from 3 to 4 cm high [Fig. 2],

The Greek text is written very inexpertly: the letters vary considerably in size and shape, the
lines are cut in an erratic manner. Nevertheless, there are no mistakes in the Greek.

Ariprixpioo a-
xpaxicoxr|<v> aîrsi-
ppq AapaaKrivoa-
v Avapoç kou 0aip-
oç oi STUxpoTioi a-
tjxox) apexfj-
ç svsKav r|Fx'

T option

For Mabogaios son of Demetrios, soldier of the cohort of the Damascenes, Anamos and Thaimos, his
tutors, because of his virtue. In the month ofGorpiaios 338. (September AD 27)

The formula is honorific, with the name of the honorand in the accusative and the final
sveica being typical of this class of inscriptions in Palmyra and elsewhere. It is enough to recall
here two dedications of statues for a benefactor of the Bel sanctuary, both contemporary with our


Studia Palmyrenskie XI