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Bill Thayer

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A Two-Faced Latin Inscription


zzz
Front

zzz
Back
Certainly looks Roman, doesn't it?

Now let's do this in English:

The first inscription:

Transcribed:
1



5

C · CAESAR
DICT ·
RVBICONE
SVPERATO
CIVILI BEL ·
COMMILIT ·
SVOS HIC
IN FORO AR ·
ADLOCVT
Expanded:
1



5

Gaius Caesar
dictator,
Rubicone
superato,
civili bello
commilitones
suos hic
in foro Ariminensi
adlocutus est.
Translated:
2
1
4
3
9
6
5
7
8
The dictator
Gaius Caesar,
having crossed
the Rubicon,
addressed
his comrades-in‑arms
in the civil war
here
in the forum of Rimini.

The second inscription:

Transcribed:
1



5




10
SVGGESTVM
HVNC
VETVSTATE
COLLAPSVM
COSS ARIM
MENSIVM
NOVEMBRIS
ET DECEMB
M · D · LV
RESTIT
Expanded:
1



5




10
Suggestum
hunc
vetustate
collapsum
consules Ariminenses
mensium
Novembris
et Decembris
MDLV
restituerunt.
Translated:
5
10
2
1
4
3
6
7
8
9
The consuls of Rimini
repaired
this
speaker's podium
(that had fallen in ruins
due to age)
in the months
of November
and December
1555.

The site is Roman.
Half of the inscription might just possibly be Roman, although I think not.
The carving is 16th‑century.

In my diary at the time, I patted myself on the back for spotting this just from the front: after a second of "gee, here's a Roman inscription", I had a gut reaction.

On analyzing it back in my office in Chicago, the tipoffs seem to have been:

As usual, if I'm wrong and you have better information — drop me a line!

[image ALT: a blank space]
[right arrow] This inscription stands about ten meters away from
an attractive Renaissance tempietto
with a tail to tell.


[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 4 Dec 05