The Gravestone of C. Iulius, optio of the Legio XII Fulminata

Burak TAKMER – Ferit BAZ   176–187

 

Abstract: Cappadocia had two legionary garrisons from the very beginning of Vespasian’s reign: Legio XII Fulminata at Melitene, and Legio XVI Flavia Firma at Satala (from 120 AD replaced by Legio XV Apollinaris). The evidence for the recruits of these Cappadocian legions is, however, still slight. This is mainly because very few relevant inscriptions have been found in Cappadocia itself. For this reason every new document of veterans who served in Cappadocian legions is crucial. In this context the funerary inscription of C. Iulius who returned to his homeland after serving as optio in the Legio XII Fulminata gives new evidence on the subject. It was found in the village of Himmetli situated in the territory of Saimbeyli, the district of the Pro­vince of Adana. Judging from the letter forms the inscription can be assigned to the II.–III. century AD. The rural settlement where the gravestone was erected is situated immediately to the north of the border between Cappadocia and Cilicia, lying through the line between Kilikiai Pylai and Mazgaç Pass. Accordingly it must have lied in the territory of the Cappadocian polis Kukusos, an important junction of the roads from Kaisareia to Melitene and from Sebasteia to Tarsos. On the basis of the new inscription the authors conclude that the practice of recruitment from Asia Minor continued on a considerable scale throughout the second and third centuries AD; that new materials concerning veterans may indicate that the number of those who returned to their hometown must not be underestimated; and that the funerary inscription of the Cappadocian veteran, C. Iulius, may support the suggestion that Cappadocia, and especially its frontier areas, supplied a high proportion of the total recruits for the Cappadocian legions, like those of the other eastern provinces.

Keywords: Optio; Veteran; Cappadocian Legions; Kukusos; Melitene; Satala; C. Iulius; Valeria Ma.

 

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