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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 54.1625


LETTERS OF OCTAVIAN, CONCERNING SELEUKOS OF RHOSOS


Greek text:   IGLS_3.1.718
Provenance:   Rhosos , Syria
Date:   (A) 36-33 B.C. , (C) 31 B.C. , (D) 30 B.C.
Tags:     Roman_letters
Format:   see key to translations

To judge from the dates, it is very likely that the rewards described in this inscription were given to Seleukos because he took a leading part in Octavian's war against Sextus Pompeius, in 38-36 B.C.

The translation is copied from A.Raggi, "The Epigraphic Dossier of Seleucus of Rhosus: A Revised Edition", ZPE (2004) pp. 123-138, with some minor changes. There is another English translation by R.K.Sherk, "Rome and the Greek East to the Death of Augustus", no. 86 ( Google Books ).


[A]   In year eight, month of Apellaios . . . imperator Caesar, son of the divine Julius, imperator for the fourth time, consul designate for the second and third time, to the magistrates, council and people of Rhosos, sacred, inviolable and autonomous city, greetings; if you are well, it would be good: I too with the army [am in good health].   The document written below has been excerpted from a stele located on the Capitol at Rome; [and this I ask you] to file in your public records; send a copy [of it] also [to] the council and people of Tarsos, the council and people of Antioch, and the council and people of [? Seleukeia], so that they may file it. Farewell.

[B]   [Caesar] imperator, triumvir for the constitution of the state, 10 [in accordance with the] Lex Munatia Aemilia granted citizenship and tax exemption on all [property] in these terms:

[Since] Seleukos of Rhosos, son of Theodotos, has fought alongside us in [Italy or Sicily] under our supreme command, has suffered a great deal of hardship and [run] many great risks on our behalf, without shrinking from any danger in his steadfastness, [and] has displayed [complete] devotion and loyalty to the republic, has linked [his own] fortunes to our safety, and has endured every suffering on behalf of the republic of the Roman people, and in our presence as well as in our absence has been of service [to us];

[? To him and] his parents, his children and his descendants and the wife whom [he has or] (?) shall [have hereafter] . . . 20 we grant citizenship and tax exemption on [? all] property, in the same way [as those who] are [Roman] citizens with the best conditions and the best status [tax]-exempt, and [they are to have] exemption from military service and from every public compulsory [service].

[The man] mentioned above, [himself and his wife, parents, children and] his descendants are [to be] members of the tribe Cornelia and [they] are to be [permitted to cast their vote and to be enrolled] in it, and if they wish to be [enrolled] in absence, [it shall be permitted to them; and if] they wish to belong to [some town or] colony of Italy, . . . [they are to have permission].

[? Whichever right] the aforementioned, [and his wife and parents], children and [descendants], . . . [? possessed] before he became a [Roman] citizen tax-exempt, [this], once he had became a Roman citizen tax-exempt, 30 if he [wishes to enjoy, he is permitted to enjoy (?) by legal] right. [Whatsoever] priesthoods, [offices], honours, privileges and [benefits they (?) held, these, in the same way as anyone who] holds [them with the best conditions] and the best status, [that they shall have, use and enjoy] . . . 

[It is agreed that against his will] neither [any magistrate nor a legate nor a governor] nor a farmer [of the] public revenues [nor an agent shall (?) billet in his house] with a view to providing lodging or [winter] quarters.

* * *

. . . of them to a city or a territory of the provinces of Asia and Europe [from the] publican . . .  and [? if] he imports or exports for his own use [from a] city or a territory . . . 50 and] if he exports [? something] from his own goods or his cattle [for his] own use . . .  for these things neither local community nor publican [might levy] customs dues from [them].

[If anyone] wishes to accuse them or bring a charge [against them] or seek judgment on them or institute legal proceedings . . ., in respect of all these matters, [whether] they wish to be tried at home by their own [laws, or in] free [cities], or before our magistrates or [promagistrates] . . ., they [shall] have the right of choice; nor is anyone to act otherwise [than is prescribed in these clauses], or give judgment concerning them (?) after having referred the case, or deliver a sentence on them, . . . [if (?) anything] contrary to these terms takes place, it [is not to be] valid.

60 [If anyone against] the aforementioned person, his pare[nts, his wife], his children and their descendants [? agrees] to entertain an accusation and allows prejudgment in a capital case . . . and to come themselves as envoys to [our] senate and to [our] magistrates and promagistrates, and to send envoys [concerning] their own affairs, it is agreed that [the aforementioned persons] have the right.

Any local [community] and [any] magistrate . . . who acts [contrary] to these terms or gives a decision (?) by infringing them [or] . . . or exacts pledges and with wrongful deceit [prevents] these aforementioned persons from being able [to enjoy] the [privileges] granted them, they are to be condemned to pay a fine of one hundred thousand sesterces to the Roman people, and for this sum let whoever [wishes] have the right of [action] and suit, whether in the province before our magistrates and promagistrates [or] at Rome he wishes to demand and sue for it; and regarding this [sum], it is agreed that the person who provides sufficient securities [shall] . . .  70 In order that all the aforementioned provisions may be carried out [as prescribed], our magistrates and promagistrates who are charged with the [administration] of justice there shall take proper measures and shall provide.

[C]   [In year .], month of Dystros 15th. Imperator Caesar, son of the divine Julius, imperator for the sixth time, consul [for the thi]rd time, consul designate for the fourth time, to [the magistrates], council and people of Rhosos, sacred, inviolable and autonomous city, greetings; if you are well, it would be good: I too with the army am in good health.   The ambassadors sent by you, Seleukos my naval commander, Heras, Kalli.eros, Symmachos, worthy men from a worthy people, our friend and ally, [having] travelled to Ephesus discussed with me the instructions which they had from you; I have, for my part, accorded [the men] a warm reception, finding them patriotic and worthy, and have accepted the honours and the crown, 80 and [I shall endeavour], when I come to your area, to be the source of some good to you and to watch over [the privileges given to your city, and the more gladly I will do these things on account of Seleukos, my naval commander, who has fought [alongside me] throughout the whole time of the war and distinguished himself in every way and furnished every proof of his goodwill and loyalty, a man who has never lost any opportunity of petitioning on your behalf and who has exercised all his zeal and enthusiasm in ensuring your interests. Farewell.

[D]   [In the year .], month Apellaios 9th. Imperator Caesar, son of the divine Julius, imperator for the sixth time, consul for the fourth [time], to the magistrates, council and people of [Rhosos], sacred, inviolable and autonomous city, greetings; if you are well, [it would be] good: I [too] with the army am in good health.   Seleukos, your fellow citizen [and my] naval commander, who has fought alongside me in all the wars and has given many proofs of his goodwill and loyalty and bravery, as was fitting for those who fought alongside us 90 and displayed valour in war, has been rewarded with privileges, [tax] exemption and citizenship. I therefore recommend him to you: for men of this kind make more disposed our goodwill towards their [homelands]; accordingly, as I am going to do everything possible for you all the more [gladly on account of] Seleukos, with confidence address me concerning the matters you desire. Farewell.


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