Articles

Indigenous naming practices in the Western Mediterranean: the case of Iberian

The Iberian language is directly attested by ca. 2250 inscriptions spanning the period from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD, distributed between Eastern Andalusia and Languedoc. Although it must be considered a non-deciphered language, a large number of personal names have been identified in Iberian texts. The document that enabled the understanding of the basic structure of Iberian names is a Latin inscription from Italy (the Ascoli Bronze) recording the grant of Roman citizenship to Iberians who had fought for Rome during the Social War (90–88 BC). The study of this document paved the way for the identification of Iberian names in texts written in local languages, on the one hand, and in Latin and Greek epigraphic and literary sources on the other. This paper provides a state-of-the-art overview of research on Iberian onomastics, by synthesising the main recent achievements along with the remaining lines of research; it also investigates our understanding of the grammatical and syntactic structure of Iberian names, and analyses the evolution of Iberian naming patterns under Roman domination, by taking into account both Iberian and Latin documents.

People of Carthago Noua (Hispania Citerior). Juridical status and onomastics

The conquest of Carthago Noua in the summer of 209 BC was a traumatic moment of change for the Punic capital on the Iberian Peninsula. Literary sources tell us about its unique geographical position and its flourishing economy based on mining and port activities, but do not mention its political situation. What happened to their citizens? What was their legal status until the promotion to Roman colony at the end of the Republican era? In order to look for an answer to this problem, an onomastic database has been created, identifying the inhabitants of Carthago Noua with epigraphic mentions since 209 BC until the end of 1st century BC. Getting over the traditional separation between prosopography and epigraphy, this study seeks to make an interdisciplinary analysis with the main characteristics of both disciplines. The results show us a profoundly Romanized society since its conquest where the names of the Roman gentes were transmitted through the Republican era to the Empire on duo/tria nomina structures, which could only exist under specific legal conditions. This gives us important clues to explore the legal status of the city in the Republican era, probably a Latin colony.

Aurifices en la Roma Julio Claudia. La fiebre del oro romana

The Italic Peninsula never stood out in antiquity as a rich gold territory. The subsequent Rome’s expansion outside Italy with the conquests of the gold zones of Hispania and Dacia made it possible to directly control the gold resources of these territories. The conquest of the Spanish northeast by Augustus (26–19 BC) gave rise to an authentic unprecedented ‘gold rush’ in Rome and can be seen by the high number of inscriptions related to the characters destined for the making and trading of golden objects in Rome. The different epigraphs reveal the dominance of certain families in the sale and preparation of objects of gold and other metals. At the same time, the inscriptions can help to understand the reality obviated in the literary sources, emphasizing the double moral of the emperor Augustus and his wife Livia. In this line, thanks to the epigraphs we can also highlight some of the commercial areas in Rome, where these gold artisans perform their work.

Finds in the Late Iron Age tradition from the Roman graves of Viminacium

The former Roman city and the legionary fort Viminacium lie under the fields of the modern villages of Stari Kostolac and Drmno, at the right Mlava bank, some 15 km to the north of Požarevac in Eastern Serbia. Viminacium was the capital of the Roman province of Upper Moesia (Moesia Superior) and also an important military stronghold at the northern border of the empire. During pre-Roman times, this area was inhabited by a mixed population, consisting of Celts and of a native Illyrian ethnic group, called by a common name of Scordisci. During the 1st century AD, the Dacians also inhabited this area. Until now, among numerous Viminacium graves (some 14,000), nineteen graves were specified as carriers of either Celtic-Scordiscian or Dacian Late Iron Age tradition. This number is surely bigger but by now, only about a thousand graves were published. “S”-profiled bowls were considered main features of graves with a Celtic-Scordiscian tradition, while Dacian pots were considered main features of graves with a Dacian Late Iron Age tradition. The paper deals with the finds themselves, but also with possible gender determinations of the deceased buried in these graves and with their social and economic status within the Roman society of Viminacium.

The population of Aquae Balissae (Pannonia Superior)

Aquae Balissae, known from the written and epigraphic sources also as ‘res publica Iasorum’ and ‘municipium Iasorum’, was a Roman town that developed in the territory of the Pannonian-Celtic tribe Iasi, situated between the rivers Drava and Sava in northern Croatia (Roman Pannonia Superior). The written sources mentioning this town are scanty, and so is the archaeological evidence, leaving the urbanism and architecture of Aquae Balissae practically at the level of a broad sketch. The evidence of stone monuments is not substantial either, but is quite variegated in terms of both the categories of monuments and artistic renderings. It therefore represents the main source for the research of the town’s population. In this paper a cross section of the population of Aquae Balissae has been attempted through a selection of stone monuments stemming from the town’s presumed ager and containing either an inscription alone or a combination of a relief and inscription. Of a total of 20 monuments nine are funerary, seven votive, and four honorary. They are here discussed in terms of the three most important aspects of the population of Aquae Balissae: (1) social status (the relationship between the civilians and military); (2) religious worship; (3) ethnic and geographical origin (the relationship between the local inhabitants and immigrants). Due to the limited evidence, the analyses produced here remain in the realm of indications rather than final conclusions.

A note on the nomenclature of the Thracian veterans

The author analyses the importance of the tribe in nomenclature of Thracian veterans. Despite its introduction probably in pre-provincial time, when part of the provincial elite gained Roman citizenship and therefore Roman names, a practice which continued decades after the establishment of the new province, it seems that the Roman tribe system remained unpopular and uncommon in Thrace and more or less isolated. The Roman tribe was used rarely and when used it was either in the nomenclature of the Thracian elite or of non-Thracian veterans settled in Thrace. The inscriptions also reveal that this practice was characteristic for a certain span of time, probably till the time of Hadrian.

Equites singulares Augusti originaires de la province de Dacie: épigraphie, onomastique, iconographie

The epigraphic testimonies left in Rome by the horsemen of the Imperial Guard (equites singulares Augusti) originating from Dacia allow us to question about the socio-cultural origin of these provincials and to make use of the data furnished by this epigraphic dossier (recruitment and career, networks of sociability, onomastics), before inspecting the typology of their funerary iconography.

Population dynamics at the spas of Roman Dacia. Case study: the population of Băile Herculane

The present study analyses the importance of the Băile Herculane spa resort, based on epigraphic discoveries and cartographic sources. Social mobility, along with the presence of urban elites from various towns, passing through, can shed some light on the renown enjoyed by the Băile Herculane hot springs during the Roman and Late Roman periods. The authors also attempt to research the local religious life, as well as the layout of the settlement’s sacred enclosures, an endeavour never before attempted. The results of such an analysis, in comparison with other spa resorts in Dacia, enables the possibility to understand how the town and its public edifices, dominant during the Roman period, developed, as well as the urban layout of Băile Herculane.