Akdeniz Üniversitesi

MonPerMonumentum Pergense. Anastasios'un Ordu Fermanı
Fatih ONUR
İstanbul 2014, Turkish

Publisher: Archaeology and Art Publications

The subject of this study is an inscription from Perge containing a military edict of Anastasius I. Despite the unfortunate delay in publication, I hope the edition of the inscription will provide a research resource for those studying the Late Roman army, imperial legislation, and Greek and Latin linguistics. The fragments of the inscription were unearthed in 1974 during excavations at Perge, one of the oldest cities of Pamphylia. The inscription, discovered in about 850 fragments in an area to the south of a monumental nymphaeum on the southern slopes of the acropolis, merits the title, “monumentum Pergense”, insofar as it contains an imperial sermo, an enactment of a magister militum and a notitia concerning the number of soldiers in a legio and their respective salaries. These fragments are today preserved in the Antalya Museum. More detailed information on this discovery can be found in the reports cited in the text. The main issue addressed in the inscription is a complaint by soldiers in a legio that they have been deprived of their customary payments and retirement bounties on account of corruption and the sale of posts within the unit and its constituent scholae. In particular, that the names of the deceased or of missing soldiers had not been removed from the regimental records or their positions had been filled by unqualified or ineligible men who had obtained these posts through either bribery or influence. Accordingly, this edict aims to impose measures against these corrupt practices. Anastasius orders that the actual numbers of soldiers holding each grade in the legio should be investigated and any shortfall was to be rectified and it was to be maintained at a full complement in accordance with the schedule of grades and annonae provided. On the basis of my recent research on Text C, it seems that the total number of men listed in the schedule was no less than 1550-1600, in consequence, this was a large unit, apparently consistent with the numbers in a legio of the comitatenses (see p. 124). In the preliminary reports (Onur 2012a; Onur 2012), it had been suggested that the unit in the Perge inscription is a legio palatina and that the magister militum in question should be identified as a magister militum praesentalis, probably Flavius Ioannes (PLRE II 617-619, s.v. Fl. Ionnes qui et Gibbus 93). However, given the current state of the evidence, this opinion cannot be conclusively proved. Even though parts of the inscription are today missing, the surviving text contains valuable information in respect to later Roman history, the army, the legal system, and for linguistics. Since both the content and circumstances of the inscription are for the most part unique, the comparative sources are limited and, consequently, this first edition will no doubt be subject to subsequent revision. The principal aim of this publication is to serve as a reference work for further scholarly investigation, rather than being a complete study of every aspect of this inscription.

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