Current Epigraphy
ISSN: 1754-0909

12 November, 2008

Epigraphic Flickr: Cippus of Probus from Tunisia

Filed under: flickr — Tom Elliott @ 19:31

For some time I’ve been trying to follow the posting of photographs of epigraphic interest to Flickr, the photo-sharing website. Of particular interest (as previously discussed) are the groups Visibile Parlare – Visible Words (Latin) and Visibile Parlare – Visible Words (Greek). A search for the tag “inscription” is also interesting.

From time to time I think I shall highlight here items that catch my interest in these venues.

Consider a photograph posted by Sally Wilson (sallycat101) on 26 October 2008, labeled “inscribed stone, carthage.” The high resolution image of this cylindrical cippus shows only part of the text campus, for external circumstances explained by the photographer.

A little transcription and then searching in the epigraphic databases and we can find that this is a published text:

  • CIL 8.22084 = ILTun 1732; registered in EDCS (photo), where we get a digital text as follows (I copy it here because there is no mechanism that I can find for direct linkage to individual records in EDCS); evidently not in EDH:

Imp(eratori) Caes(ari)
M(arco) Aurelio
Probo Pi-
o Felici Aug(usto)
ae potesta-
[tis —

Which I’d translate as: “The Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Probus Pius Felix Augustus, pontifex maximus, (holding the) tribunician power …” (the cippus is broken away from its base, destroying one or more additional lines of text).

It’s apparently a milestone (or boundary marker) of the Roman Emperor Probus (AD 276-282). There are a few other inscriptions of Probus cataloged in CIL and other corpora. Without the tribunician year or other indication of date (e.g., consular year), it may be impossible to date this particular inscription more closely.

I’m sure readers without present access to CIL or ILTun (like me) would be grateful for comments (posted here) about the context of this find (EDCS lists “Ain Ghar Salah” as the findspot), the road it may have been associated with, or other relevant matters.

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