• m14-378-10
    Inscribed Statue Base (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • m14-378-20
    Inscribed Statue Base, In Situ (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Inscribed Statue Base: Honorific Inscription for Emperor Lucius Verus

Between 162 and 166 AD?, Roman
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Statue Base, Inscription
Inscription Type
Honorific Inscription
Inscription language
Inscription Text
	Αὐτοκράτορα Καίσαρα Αὐρ. Ἀντωνῖ-
	νον Οὐῆρον Σεβαστὸν ἡ β´ νεωκό-
	ρος Σαρδιανῶν πόλις· Κλ. Ἀντώ(νιος)
      4	Λέπιδος ἀνέθηκεν ἀρχιερεὺς
	Ἀσίας, ἀργυροταμίας πρῶτος, ὁ τῆς
	περὶ τὸ γυμνάσιον πολιτείας
	ἐξ ἀρχῆς προνοησάμενος. leaf
Inscription Translation
“The city of the Sardians, twice temple warden, (honors) the Imperator Caesar Aurelius Antoninus Verus Augustus. The high-priest of Asia Claudius Antonius Lepidus, first treasurer, who took care, from the beginning, of the activity in connection with the gymnasium, had (the statue) erected.”
Inscription Comment
B 58
Bath-Gymnasium Complex, BSH, southern apse.

Statue base of gray marble standing on a podium. The inscribed surface is concave, and the sides are rough. On the upper surface there is a rectangular hole.

H. 0.86, W. 1.95, Th. 1.12, H. of letters 0.06.

1 ·ΑΥΡ·: the stone. The name Ἀντωνῖνος for Lucius Verus is otherwise only attested in literary documents; see A. Stein, PIR2 C 606, p. 140.

2 Σεβαστόν: a small N is inscribed into O.

3 ·ΚΛ·ΑΝΤΩ·: the stone.

3–5 Cl. Antonius Lepidus (E. Groag, PIR2 C 1070): in Sardis, a statue of Marcus Aurelius’s wife, “the goddess Faustina Augusta,” was erected by Κλ(αύδιος) Ἀντώ(νιος) Λέπιδος after 176 AD (Sardis VII 1, no. 59). M. Rossner, Studii Clasice 16 (1974), p. 121, no. 183, referring to the present inscription after BASOR 154, mentions him as ἀρχιερεὺς Ἀσίας; see also Campanile, Sacerdoti, pp. 72–73, no. 58, with commentary on family relationship (see, inter alia, the stemma TAM V 2, p. 343); and no. 347, 5–7 comm.

5–7 ἀργυροταμίας πρῶτος: Herrmann refers to the (restored) argyrotamias of the gerousia, Sardis VII 1, no. 48, 7–9 (the functional differentiation between ταμίας and ἀργυροταμίας is unclear, see Magie, Roman Rule II, p. 1513 n. 45); as the function is mentioned here immediately after the provincial priesthood he considers that Lepidus was argyrotamias of the Provincial Assembly (the function is attested in the second century AD; see J. Deininger, Die Provinziallandtage der röm. Kaiserzeit [1965], p. 51). In the end, Herrmann thinks that Lepidus was the city’s treasurer; he adopts Foss’s rendering ἀργυροταμίας πρῶτος and refers to the ταμίας and his συνάρξαντες, IGSK 24, 1 (Smyrna), no. 771, 16.

ἀργυροταμίας, πρῶτος ὁ τῆς etc.: “Lepidus ‘s’est occupé dès le début de l’affaire concernant le gymnase’” (J. and L. Robert, BE 1962, 290). “Nous entendons que la ville eut à traiter d’une question ou d’une série de questions concernant le gymnase, qu’il s’agisse de son règlement, de son statut, de sa réparation ou même de sa construction; Lepidus s’en est occupé ‘dès le début’, c’est-à-dire dès qu’elle a surgi…, nous croirions même qu’il fut ‘le premier’ à le faire, πρῶτος se joignant à ce qui suit. Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il ait été exactement gymnasiarque” (ibid.).

5 τῆς: a small Σ is inscribed into the H.

“The statue probably was set up to honor the emperor on his visit to Sardis in 166 A.D., on his way back from the Parthian campaign, ed. pr.” (SEG). Herrmann stresses that there is no evidence for that alleged visit; see also T. D. Barnes, JRS 57 (1967), p. 71; and H. Halfmann, Itinera Principum (1986), pp. 210–12. The lack of details in Lucius Verus’s titles makes it impossible to narrow down the date and to determine whether the base was erected during his stay in the East (162–66 AD). On honors of Verus in the East, see Chr. Habicht, AvP VIII.3, p. 33.

See Also
See also: R2, No. 276.
The monument is mentioned in BASOR 154 (1959), pp. 14–16, fig. 4; Archaeology 12 (1959), pp. 57–58, fig. 5 (J. and L. Robert, BE 1960, 360); Hanfmann, Letters, pp. 32–33, figs. 17, 18; SPRT, pp. 145, 276–77 nn. 70, 76, fig. 213; R2, p. 178, no. 276, fig. 469. Editions of the text: C. Foss in R3, pp. 169–70, no. 2, with photograph (SEG 36, 1093). Herrmann, ms.