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Bill Thayer

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To the Health of an Emperor

CIL XIV.4324


[image ALT: A handsomely cut Roman inscription in Ostia Antica, the port of ancient Rome. It is transcribed, translated and commented in this webpage.]

[image ALT: A handsomely cut Roman inscription in Ostia Antica, the port of ancient Rome. It is transcribed, translated and commented in this webpage.]
Transcribed and expanded:
1 SALVTI · CAESARIS · AVGVSTi
GLABRIO PATRONVS COLONIAE D
ecreto Decurionum Faciendum Curavit
Translated:
To the health of Caesar Augustus,
Glabrio, patronus of the colony, had this made by decree of the decurions.

Such inscriptions were common under the empire. While sometimes they may well have been affectionate prayers for the good health of the ruler that had not been the best, most often it is mere flattery. Very fine carving, though; and on top of this statue base you may imagine a statue to match, now very likely lost. The base sits among many other lapidary fragments near the Porta Romana; thus, towards the beginning of your visit of the archaeological park.

As for which emperor, a real expert might be able to tell you for sure. For my part, I know that the Glabrio family was a prominent one with many distinguished members over a span of several centuries, so that doesn't give me much to go on. The style of that fine carving is much more helpful, almost certainly late 1c B.C. to early 1c A.D. In the absence of any other names, the emperor is thus almost certainly who it looks like: Augustus.


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Page updated: 1 May 08