Base for statue of Virius Audentius Aemilianus, governor of Campania (with statue LSA-46). Puteoli. 365-379

In eight lines.

Aemilianii. / Audentio Aemeliano (sic, for ‘Aemiliano’), / v(iro) c(larissimo), cons(ulari) Camp(aniae), patrono / pr(a)estantissimo, iudici /(5) admirando, insufficie(n)s / eius beneficiis pr(a)estitis, / populus cunctus / statuam collocavit.

'(Statue of) Aemilianus. To Audentius Aemilianus, of clarissimus rank, governor (consularis) of Campania, most outstanding patron, admirable judge, albeit insufficient to reward his outstanding services, the whole people set up this statue.'

In l.2, 'Aemeliano' is a mistake of the epigrapher, but it is not usually reproduced in the different editions of this text. The signum, in l. 1, is carved onto the plinth.

Marble base, found with statue (LSA-46): 142 x 71 x 70,5 cm. The base has mouldings at top and bottom. The epigraphic field is framed by a moulding. It was cut back, for the erasure of an earlier inscription. The right side is finished with a claw, slightly weathered. It has a patera at the centre. The left side has an urceus at the centre. There is a rectangular hole towards the back side, possibly for a clamp. The back side is finished with a claw. There is a rectangular hole, filled with lead. The top, where visible, is finished with a point. There are small round holes on the centre front edge and on the right side; a small rectangular hole on the left side, above the ‘clamp hole’.

Statue (with head) and plinth were carved out of one single block of marble. The plinth shows two rectangular clamp holes, on the right side towards the front, on the left side towards the back. Another clamp hole on the back side of the statue, still carrying traces of lead and iron, corresponds approximately with a hole in the back side of the base. Plinth is smoothly finished, except for the back side, which is finished with a point, and has a scroll bundle cut back on the right edge with a point chisel.

The base was found during works for the foundations of a building of the Istituto M. Immacolata, on Via Rosini, in Puteoli. This was probably the area of the Forum of Puteoli (Camodeca 1980/1981, 63). The base is now in Baia, Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei, Pozzuoli, Sala 38, inv. 320474.

The inscription records a dedication to Virius Audentius Aemilianus, who was governor of Campania and patron of Puteoli (PLRE I, 22 Aemilianus 4). The dating of his term is uncertain. He was governor of Africa Proconsularis sometime between 379 and 383, and this is the terminus ante quem for our dedication. CIL X, 3842, which mentions his governorship and records works carried out in Capua, refers to two Augusti reigning together. This allows us to date Aemilianus' office to either 364-7 (when Valentinian I and Valens were Augusti), a few weeks at the end of 375 (Gratian and Valens, before Valentinian II was acknowledged as emperor in Italy), or 378-9 (Gratian and Valentinian II). We know that Campania was governed by a Bulephorus in 364-5, and therefore our terminus post quem must be 365. As Camodeca (1980/1981, 105 n. 148) points out, a later date closer to his term as proconsul of Africa would be more likely, as otherwise Aemilianus would have been out of office for approximately 15 years.

Our monument was dedicated by the whole populus of Puteoli, to a patron and admirable judge. The inscription (and maybe also the decree of the assembly) follows a rhetorical convention that such a honour would not be enough to reward Aemilianus' services.

Carlos Machado and Ulrich Gehn

Main Reference

L'Année épigraphique, , 1968, 115

Epigraphic Database Roma (http://www.edr-edr.it), , EDR074810 (G. Camodeca)

Zevi, F. [et al.]., Museo Archeologico dei Campi Flegrei: Castello di Baia. II. Catalogo generale. Pozzuoli., Naples 2008, 151 (F. Demma)

Camodeca, G., 'Ricerche su Puteoli tardoromana (fine II-IV secolo)', Puteoli, IV (1981) 59-128, 105-108 nr. 5 fig. 12

Napoli, M. , 'Statua ritratto di Virio Audenzio Emiliano consolare della Campania', Bollettino d'Arte 44, Milan 1959,

Discussion References

Jones, A. H. M. et al., The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire. Vol. I 260-395, Cambridge et al. 1971 (1975), p. 22 (Aemilianus 4)