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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 6

V. M. Zubar, V. V. Krapivina (Kiev, Ukraine)

The New Latin Inscription and Some Questions of History of Olbia in the Middle of the III Century

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Pages: 239-247


During excavations in the south-eastern part of the Upper City of Olbia in 1998, a small fragment of a marble slab with the relief of a Thracian horseman and two lines of Latin inscription was found. The relief belongs to the group of rather rare reliefs, where a Thracian horseman was depicted during hunting for a wild-boar, who was running under a croup of a horse. The appearence of such slabs in Olbia was connected with Thracian warriors in the Roman garrison here. The inscription can be restored in such way: — ET COH(ortis) I CILICUM DE/[CIANAE] ———[EX] VOTO POSUIT. The translation is: «—and coh(ort) I Cilicianae De(cianae)———(by) promise dedicated». In accordance with this interpretation, the inscription can be dated by 249-250. It is the latest epigraphical monument, which testifies residence of the warriors of the Ist Cilicianae cohort on the territory of Moesia Inferior and in the Greek centers of the Northern coast of the Black Sea. It is also the first epigraphical monument, which testified residence of the warriors of the Ist Cilicianae cohort in Olbia and that the cohort was rewarded with the honourable title Deciana. Together with already known epigraphical monuments this dedication permits to specify some aspects of the history of Olbia in the middle of the III century, first of all concerning composition of  the Roman garrison, the date of its withdrawal from the city, penetration and dissimination of Thracian cults here. Till the middle of the IIIrd century, the Roman military administration assigned Olbia a certain role to play in politics of holding the barbarians on the Danubian frontiers of the Empire.

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