Base for statue of Lucius Aurelius Marcianus, military commander (dux). Termessus Maior. Later third to early fourth century.

In eight lines:

τὸν διασημότατον / δουκ(ὰ) Λ(ούκιον) Αὐρ(ήλιον) Μαρκιανὸν, / ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δῆμος, / τὸν πάτρωνα καὶ /(5) εὐεργέτην τῆς / πόλεως / καὶ εἰρήνης προστά/την.

'The dux Lucius Aurelius Marcianus, of perfectissimus (diasemotatos) rank; the council (boule and the people (demos) [honour] the patron and benefactor of the city and author of peace'.

Letter height 4.5 cm.

We reproduce the inscription here with the completions convincingly proposed by Christol 1978, notably δουκ(ὰ) in line 2, where Heberdey 1941, followed by PLRE I, has δουκ(ηνάριον) (see below, 'Honorand, Awarder and Date’).

DESCRIPTION (from Heberdey 1941)
Rectangular base with mouldings at top and bottom on three sides, standing on a plinth, and with a moulded plinth above: H 124.5, W 61, D 61 cm. The back face is only roughly finished. There is no published image of the base.

The inscription was recorded by Heberdey 1941 in Termessus Maior (map in Lanckoronski 1892 opposite p. 20). It is probably still in situ.

Lucius Aurelius Marcianus, the honorand (PLRE I, 556, L. Aur. Marcianus 19) held the military office of dux, and was of elevated equestrian rank (Latin perfectissimus, Greek διασημότατος, line 1; Christol 1978, 534-5). He was honoured with another statue at Cibyra in Caria (LSA-672). His high rank confirms that his was an imperial office, rather than a local civic peace-keeping position (as argued by Zimmermann 1996, 273-4). Marcianus held his extraordinary military command with all probability in connection with the Isaurian upheavels in the later 3rd and earlier 4th centuries (under Gallienus, Probus, the Tetrarchs, and Constantius II; Christol 1978, 538); he is honoured as patron of the city and 'author of peace' (εἰρήνης προστάτην, lines 7-8), the latter alluding to the success of his campaign.

The awarder was the council and people of Termessus Maior (line 3).

The military activities of Lucius Aurelius Marcianus were associated specifically with the Isaurian upheaval of 278 by Brandt 1991, 88 (followed by Zimmermann 1996, 273-4); but this upheaval is known to have been suppressed by the governor Terentius Marcianus (PLRE I, 557, Terentius Marcianus 22; LSA-620), and we do not see any cogent argument to associate our honorand with any specific outbreak of trouble. The one indicator of a more precise date that we can identify is Marcianus' nomen 'Aurelius', which suggests a date in the tetrarchic, rather than in the Constantinian or pre-tetrarchic period.

Ulrich Gehn

Main Reference

Heberdey, R., Tituli Asiae Minoris. Volumen III, Tituli Pisidiae : linguis Graeca et Latina conscripti , Vienna 1941, no. 88

Discussion References

Brandt, H., Probus, Pacator Pamphyliae et Isauriae?, Bonamente, G. & N. Duval (eds.), Historiae Augustae Colloquium Parisinum (HistoriaeAugustae Colloquia nova series I) 83-92, Macerata 1991,

Christol, M. 'Un duc dans une inscription de Termessos (Pisidie). Un témoignage sur les troubles intérieurs en Asie Mineure romaine au temps de la crise de l’empire', Chiron. Mitteilungen der Kommission für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, 8., Munich 1978 , 529-

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