Small fragment of plaque with dedication to unknown emperor, possibly from base for statue. Lepcis Magna (Tripolitania). Late third to early fourth century.

Fragmentarily preserved in two lines:

- - - - - - / [- - -p]io felic[- - - -] / - - -]max(imo) +[- - -] /.

'... pious, fortunate ... greatest ...'.

Letter height 6.5 cm.

Small fragment of a marble plaque, without surviving original edges: H 13, W 18, D 3 cm. The inscription is possibly from a statue base.

The inscriptions was found at the Theatre. It is currently untraceable and possibly lost.

The honorand was certainly an emperor. The epithets pius and felix are written in extended form in Lepcis from Caracalla (211-17) to the Theodosian period (see LSA-2163). Max in line 2 probably belongs to a cognomen ex virtute (e.g. Germanico maximo). Less probable is the honorific title maximus, which was borne by Caracalla (211-217), Alexander Severus (222-35) and Philip the Arab (244-9) in the 3rd century, and was taken up again by Constantine I in 312. In Lepcis Magna this was usually written without abbreviation. The extant remains of the preceding letter exclude the possibility that max was preceded by pont(ifici).

The letter forms are comparable to inscriptions at Lepcis from the late 3rd or early 4th centuries, which on balance is the likely date of our inscription.

Ignazio Tantillo & Francesca Bigi

Main Reference

Tantillo, I. and F. Bigi (eds.), Leptis Magna. Una città e le sue iscrizioni in epoca tardoromana, Cassino 2010, 345, no. 20, fig. 10.23

Reynolds, J. M. & J. B. Ward-Perkins, The Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania. In collaboration with S. Aurigemma, R. Bartoccini, G. Caputo, R. Goodchild, P. Romanelli, Roma 1952, no. 510