Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

22 February, 2008

Query: A Hadrianic boundary marker from Bulgaria

Filed under: query — Tom Elliott @ 15:57

Yesterday I posted an article on my blog entitled “Demarcation between the T(h)races and Moesi“. I have a photograph of an inscribed boundary marker — which clearly belongs to a well-documented instance of boundary demarcation in AD 135 — but have not been able to find a corresponding publication of this particular text. I do know of 8 other relevant published markers.

I’m hoping CurEp readers can help.

4 Comments »

  1. [...] My query about a Hadrianic boundary marker from Bulgaria was occasioned by a demo that Sean Gillies and I (mostly Sean) worked up for online epigraphic image annotation using some free, open-source software called OpenLayers. Sean blogged about the demo, and this has provoked some inquiries from folks in the geospatial computing community, like this one from Paul Ramsey: What’s the use case for digitized inscriptions? I don’t comprehend. [...]

    Pingback by Current Epigraphy » Epigraphic Digitization and Imagery Annotation — 22 February, 2008 @ 16:06

  2. 13 of these boundary markers have been found so far. Your photograph is of the first one of the four inscriptions published by I. Hristov in Minalo (with numerous errors).
    The texts of the four inscriptions (revised by myself):

    1. Hristov, p. 5-6, no. 1. Dimensions: 90 x 60 x 24 cm, letters: 4 – 4,4 cm.
    Ex auctoritate | Imp(eratoris) Cae(saris), divi | Tra(iani) Parthi(ci) fil(ii), di|vi Nerv(ae) nep(otis), Tra(iani) | Had(riani) Aug(usti), p(atris) p(atriae), po|ntif(icis) maxi(mi), trib(unicia) pot(estate) | XX, co(n)s(ulis) III, M(arcus) Anti|us Rufinus inter | Thracas et Moe|sos fines posuit.
    Ligatures: L. 1: AV, IT, TE; L. 3: THI, IL; L. 4: NE, RV, NE; L. 5: AV; L. 6: NTIF, MA; L. 7: NTI; L. 8: RV, IN, INTE; L. 9: THR; L. 10: INE, IT.

    2. p. 6, no. 2. Dimensions: 125 x 60 x 22 cm, letters: 4 – 4,4 cm.
    Ex auctoritate | Imp(eratoris) Cae(saris), divi | Tra(iani) Parthi(ci) fil(ii), divi | Nerv(ae) nep(otis), Tra(iani) Had(riani) | Aug(usti), p(atris) p(atriae), pontif(icis) maxi(mi), | trib(unicia) pot(estate) XX, co(n)s(ulis) III, | M(arcus) Antius Rufinus | inter Thrac(as) et Moe|sos fines posuit.
    Ligatures: L. 1: AV, IT, TE; L. 2: DI; L. 3: TR, THI, IL, DI; L. 4: NE, RV, NE, TR; L. 5: AV, NTIF, MA; L. 6: TR, IB; L. 7: NTI, RV, IN; L. 8: INTE, THR; L. 10: INE, IT.

    3. p. 6, no. 3. Dimensions: 136 x 58 x 19 cm, letters: 4 – 4,4 cm.
    Ex auctoritate | Imp(eratoris) Caes(aris), divi | Tra(iani) Parthi(ci) fil(ii), | divi Nerv(ae) nep(otis), | Tra(iani) Had(riani) Aug(usti), | p(atris) p(atriae), pontif(icis) maxi(mi), | trib(unicia) pot(estate) XX, c(onsulis) III, | M(arcus) Antius Rufinus | inter Thrac(as) et | Moesos fines | posuit.
    Ligatures: L. 1: AV, IT, TE; L. 2: AE, DI; L. 3: THI, IL; L. 4: DI, NE, RV, NE; L. 5: AV; L. 6: NTIF, MA; L. 8: NTI, RV, FINV; L. 9: NTE, THR; L. 10: INE; L. 11: IT.

    4. p. 6-7, no. 4. Dimensions: 125 x 62 x 23 cm, letters: 4 cm.
    Ex auctoritate | Imp(eratoris) Cae(saris), divi | Tra(iani) Parthi(ci) fil(ii), di|vi Nerv(ae) nep(otis), Tra(iani) | Had(riani) Aug(usti), p(atris) p(atriae), | pontif(icis) max(imi), trib(unicia) | pot(estate) XX, co(n)s(ulis) III, | M(arcus) Antius Rufinus | inter Thrac(as) et Moe|sos fines posuit.
    Ligatures: L. 1: AV, IT, TE; L. 2: DI; L. 3: TR, THI, IL, DI; L. 4: INE, RV, NE, TR; L. 5: AV; L. 6: NTIF, IB; L. 8: NTI, FIN; L. 9: INTE, THR; L. 10: INE, IT.
    A graffito incised in the lower part of the stone:

    N
    IIII +

    i.e. n(umero) IIII.

    Comment by N.S. — 26 February, 2008 @ 00:18

  3. Thanks for the generous and timely response!

    Comment by Tom Elliott — 26 February, 2008 @ 00:55

  4. Dear Dr. Elliot,

    In 2007 I defended my dissertation concerning the boundary stones you are interested in (diss. on the University of Warsaw, Poland). A few weeks ago my publication concerning these markers appeared in “Archeologia” (Warsaw, Poland). The exact bibliographical note you can find on my website (see above).

    As far as I know, there are 11 epigraphic boundary stones found in Bulgaria so far (one of them now preserved in Bucharest) and one anepigraphic stone from Roman. I understand, that the 13th mentioned above would be the one from Radanovo (according Gerasimova’s publication in Tyche), but that stone could have never existed (she suggested that G. Seure in his diary mentioned another stone, but this note is too enigmatic and Seure was not sure himself where he saw it!).

    The boundary stones were raised in 136 AD in two areas: in the hinterland of the legionary fortress at Novae (near Svishtov, Bulgaria), and in the valley of Iskar river (near Roman, 100 westwards from Novae). The stones have been found: 5 near Roman (one before the war, four published by Hristov), 2 in Novae (one fragment secondary used, another well-preserved was transported to Bucharest in 19th century), and another 4 near the ancient town of Nicopolis ad Istrum or north of it (in Hotnitza, Boutovo, Maslarevo, Polski Senovec). Some of the stones (from Roman and from Hotnitza) might have been never used since they were found at the ancient quarries (Hotnitza), or had been never put at the place (one anepigraphic).

    The stones that I was dealing with, were those found in the hinterland of the legionary base. My dissertation was focused on the settlement studies with consideration given to the boundary stones. The border had been designated between the provincial area of Lower Moesia (Moesos) and the tribal territory of Thraces placed within this province. This theory is supported by another group of stones marking the border around the town of Odessos.

    All the inscriptions excluding those published by Hristov have been discussed by J. Kolendo in IGLNovae. The questions concerning the function and importance of the border, which divided, in my opinion, tribal territory and the rest of the province (north-south) as well as two provinces up to A.D. 193 (east-west), you can find in my article. It has been suggested the markers were put along the border of the customs area, but now we can exclude this theory.

    The shape of the letters and material used in both places is different, so both these areas had been divided separately, although both in AD 136. This was a very important year for the citizens of that area as we know other monuments from Nicopolis founded on the very same year.

    If you are interested in some other details, I am ready to help.

    I would be very interested in your publication on the subject you have been studied.

    Best regards,

    Agnieszka Tomas
    Institute of Archaeology
    University of Warsaw

    Comment by Agnieszka Tomas — 12 January, 2010 @ 21:40

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