Lost base for statue of Constantine I, emperor. Rome, Forum of Trajan. 314

In nine lines:

D(omino) n(ostro), restitutori humani generis, / propagatori imperii dicionisq(ue) Romanae, / fundatori etiam securitatis aeternae, / Fl(avio) Val(erio) Constantino, felici, / (5) maximo, pio, semper Augusto, filio divi / Constanti semper et ubique venerabilis. / C(aius) Caeionius Rufius Volusianus, v(ir) c(larissimus), / consul ordinarius, praef(ectus) urbi, vice sacra iudicans, / numini maiestatiq(ue) eius dicatissimus.

'To our lord, restorer of the human race, extender of the Roman empire and dominion, founder of eternal security, Flavius Valerius Constantinus, fortunate, greatest, pious, forever Augustus, son of the deified Constantius forever and everywhere venerable. Caius Caeionius Rufius Volusianus, of clarissimus rank, consul (consul ordinarius), urban prefect, judge in place of the emperor, dedicated to his divine spirit and majesty [set this up].'

The base is lost and no description survives.

The inscription is reported as having been seen in the garden of the medieval church of S. Nicola de Columna, which was located by the column of Trajan (Hülsen 1927, 394-396). It was lost at an unknown date.

The dedication to Constantine (emperor 306-37) was set up shortly after his defeat of Maxentius and capture of Rome in 312. The mention of Constantine's father, the deified (divus) Constantius I, reinforced the legitimacy of his rule.

Caius Ceionius Rufius Volusianus held the offices of urban prefect and consul on two occasions. Under Maxentius he was urban prefect in 310, and consul in 311. Our statue to Constantine was set up during his second term as urban prefect, from December 313 to August 315, and more specifically in the year of his second consulship, 314 (Chastagnol 1962, 57 and PLRE I, 976-978 Volusianus 4). The inscription does not mention that he was holding these offices for the second time (normally a source of great pride), because they had been held under an emperor denounced as a tyrant by the new Constantinian regime.

Carlos Machado

Main Reference

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum; , VI, 1140 (+ p. 4328)

Discussion References

Chastagnol, A., Les fastes de la Préfecture de Rome au Bas-Empire, Paris 1962,

Hülsen, C., Le Chiese di Roma nel Medio Evo, Florence 1927,

Jones, A. H. M. et al., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Vol. I 260-395, Cambridge et al. 1971 (1975), 976-978 (Volusianus 4)