Plaque with dedication to Leo and Anthemius, emperors, just possibly from statue base. Tarraco (Tarraconensis). 467-472

In three lines:

B. F. S. / dd(ominorum) nn(ostrorum) Leonis et / Anthemi Augg(ustorum).

'B. F. S. of our lords Leo and Anthemius, the Augusti.'

Letter height: 4 - 4.5 cm

The meaning of the letters in line 1 is unclear. Hübner (for CIL II in 1869) proposed 'B(onum) F(actum) S(aluti), A good thing, made for the salvation ...'; Alföldy 1975 suggested a more plausible alternative 'B(eatissimo) F(elicissimo) S(aeculo), In the most blessed and happy times...'.

DESCRIPTION (from Alföldy 1975 and the published photo)
Rectangular plaque of grey limestone: H 41, W 45, D 11 cm. Well preserved except for minor chips at the edges. The surface is finished with a claw, with lines sketched in for the inscription. In the centre of the plaque a layer of plaster (clearly modern) covers the surface. This perhaps fills a hole which must be contemporary or earlier than the inscription, since Anthemius' name fits around it.

The inscription was first recorded in the 19th century, built into a wall of the house, calle del Cementerio 7 (today Calle de Vilamitjana). Today it is in the private collection of A. Elias y Riera, Calle de Vilamitjana 11.

The two named emperors are: Leo I, Augustus in the East 457-74, and Anthemius, Augustus in the West 467-72.

While it is just possible that this inscribed plaque came from a statue base, this is very unlikely. Another possibility is that it was a fountain-head, with a pipe set within the central hole.

Christian Witschel

Main Reference

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum; , II 4109

Alföldy, G., Die römischen Inschriften von Tarracco, Berlin 1975, p. 57 no. 100