IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.100. Fragmentary decree or ruling by Gn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus

Description: Fragment from the left side of a stele of Attic marble (w: 0.13 x h: 0.11 x d: 0.08)
Text: Inscribed on one face, which is partly damaged. Closely related to P.101, which may have been inscribed on the same panel or on a similar one displayed nearby.
Letters: First century BCE: 0.005; not quite even in size nor in their relation to the guide-lines; stops between words are frequent, but do not always seem purposive. The symbol 3 in line 10 probably means (approximately) an acre.

Date: 67-61 BCE

Findspot: Ptolemais: Square of the Cisterns, with P.101; excavated in 1935.
Original location: Unknown
Last recorded location: Cyrene Museum


[c. 12]ssunt ((stop)) deduca[--- Cn(aeus) Cornelius]
[Lent]ulus ((stop)) P(ubli) ((stop)) f(ilius) Marcelleinus ( vac. 1) le[gatus pro pr(aetore) --- Cn(aei) Pompeii Magni]
[im]peratoris ((stop)) ṭẹṛṭịo ( vac. 1) praedia ((stop)) [---]
5Ịasoni Antio[chi] f(ilio) Aegeati ((stop)) prạ[edia ---]
sunt [c. 7 - 8] ad ((stop)) Palaeriọ [---]
Arim[mac. 4 Ac]c̣hauon[---]
quod es[t? c. 8]ịum [---]
Acchauoni[s c. 4][---]
10 censum est (centuriae) Ụ [---]
Chrysippo ((stop)) Ịcaṛ[i f(ilio) ---]
praedio sụ[---]


[············]SSUNT DEDUCA[---...........]
[....]ULUS P FMARCELLEINUS  LE[..........---..............]
[..]PERATORIS .....O  PRAEDIA [---]
SUNT[c. 7 - 8]AD PALAERI.[---]
10CENSUMEST 𐆛 .[---]


Line lengths remain uncertain, since we cannot be sure whether Marcellinus' title (line 3) was abbreviated, or whether Pompey was entitled Magnus.; The two letters s are not quite certain: if they are accepted the reading should be po]ssunt (with which the very faint traces of the bases of letters before the first s would be consistent) or . . . ]s sunt
4: [ . . . . ]io All the letters of tertio seem now legible, if incomplete.
5: Basoni ; prae[dia]
8: est
9: Acchauonis ; Cass
10: censum M. H. Crawford suggests [re]censum
12: su[ . . M.H. Crawford suggests sụ[prascripto]

English translation

Translation by: Editors

[ . . .] may lead [---] . . . ] bring in [ . . . Gn(aeus) Cornelius Len]tulus Marcelleinus, son of Publius, [propraetorian] le[gate} of [Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus] acclaimed imperator for the third time [ . . . . ]. Properties [ . . . ] to Iason son of Antiochos Aegeatos properties [ . . . ] are [ . . . ] to ?Palaerius [ . . . ] Arimmas [ . . . ] Acchavo [ . . . ] which is [ . . . ] of Acchavo [ . . . ] is approved five centuriae [ . . . ] for Chrysippus [son] of Icarus [ . . . ] property [ . . . ] Arimmas [ . . .


The text is probably a Latin version of P.101

For Marcellinus, legate of Pompey in 67 BCE, see Reynolds, art. cit. and DPRR Corn2082. For his title, see on line 4 below.

Line 3: The reading is clear and imposes the present subjunctive of deducere - e.g. deducat, deducantur; it indicates the establishment of colonists (see on line 5).

Line 4: In the context Imperator can only refer to Pompey, DPRR Pomp1976, who was acclaimed for his victory over the pirates in the summer of 67 and would continue to hold the title until his triumph. Its appearance dates the text after that victory. The use of Pompey's name in the genitive could be explained either as depending on some word or phrase like iussu or ex decreto, ex dicto or as part of Marcellinus' title. If the latter were correct, this would seem to be the first known instance of a legate naming his senior officer in his title and the only known instance before the legates of Augustus. Pompey's name does not occur in Marcellinus' title as it appears in C.280, C.271, but there is no need there, as there clearly seemed to be here, to stress the source of his authority.

Line 4: Pompey's acclamation for the Pirate War was probably his third (cf. at Miletopolis he is Αὐτοκράτορα τὸ τρίτον, πάτρωνα καὶ εὐεργέτην: IK.26, 24, at PHI 289495, and similarly at Miletus, Milet 1.7, at PHI 252484).

Lines 5 and 11: The names in the dative suggest recipients whose parcels of land are then defined, first geographically and then by value. Since all the known recipients here and in P.101 are non-Roman, and since the ethnic of the first might refer to Aegeae in Cilicia, Reynolds suggested in 1962 that they had been pirates, defeated in the campaign of 67 BCE, whom it was Pompey's policy to settle as farmers (e.g. Livy, Epitome 99, at Perseus); but a number of their names are notably well attested in Cyrenaica, so that unless a number of Cyrenaicans had been pirates (not otherwise attested), this may in fact not represent a allocation of land, but possibly a census list of landowners. On balance, however, the use of the dative suggests a distribution.

Lines: 7 and 9: The name Acchavo occurs in Italy, cf. CIL VI, 10 476 and is associated by W.Schulze, Zur Geschichte Lateinischer Eigennamen pp. 47, 343, 409, with a group of names especially popular in Paelignum and possibly Illyrican in origin. It would be reasonable to take Arimman and Acchavo as pre-existing holders of property who were left in possession, their boundaries being used to define the parcel of their new neighbours - in which the name Acchavo seems to indicate some pre-Roman immigration from Italy or Illyricum into Cyrenaica; but it is also possible that they are new settlers too, in which case the names indicate something of the range of racial origins of the pirates.

Line 8: From Arimman, a name common in Cyrenaica and presumably of native origin.

Line 10: The sign 3 is perhaps a variant of one in the Orange cadaster and if so the line may be explained as giving a statement of charges due on the land, at the rate of half a denarius per iugerum, cf. C.E Stevens, JRS XXXII (1942) 73 f.

Bibliography: Reynolds, 1962, 7 Pl. XV.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face

   Fig. 2. From left: P.100 and P.101

   Fig. 3. Face

   Fig. 4. P.100 and P.101 resting on C.555 (Photographic Archive B-24).

   Fig. 5. View

   Fig. 6. Squeeze (M.H. Ballance)