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Bill Thayer

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Book IV
Note E

This webpage reproduces a note in
Italy and Her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

2nd edition
Oxford University Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book IV
Note G

Book 4 (continued)

Vol. III
Note F

The Terracina Inscription​a

In the Piazza at Terracina stands a large slab with an inscription upon it recording that 'Dominus clarissimus adque inclytus Rex Theodericus, victor ac triumfator, semper Augustus, bono reipublicae natus, custos libertatis, et propagator Romani nominis, domitor gentium' had ordered that nineteen miles (Decennovium) of the Appian Way, being the part extending from Trip(ontium) to Terracina, should be cleared of the waters which had flowed together upon it from the marshes on either side. This work, not attempted by any of the preceding sovereigns, has now, by God's favour, with admirable good fortune, been accomplished for the general advantage and the safety of travellers. The nobleman who at the command of the most clement sovereign has diligently laboured (naviter insudante) at its performance is Caecina Maurus Basilius Decius, 'vir clarissimus et inlustris, ex‑praefectus urbi, ex‑praefectus praetorio, ex‑consul ordinarius et patricius,' who, to perpetuate the glory of so great a lord, has led the water through many channels not previously existing to the sea, and has restored the land to a degree of dryness unknown to the ancients.

The concession to Decius is contained in Cass. Var. II.32. The above inscription is only a copy, but apparently a correct copy, made in the fifteenth century. The original exists in duplicate in a building erected by Pope Pius VI at Mesa (ad Medias), half-way between Terracina and Forum Appii.

Thayer's Note:

a The full inscription, ILS 827, is transcribed, with notes, in Dessau, Vol. I; see also ILS 8956.

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Page updated: 4 May 20