WP 0005

Inscriptions of Roman Tripolitania 2021

0319. Honours for Augustus, and building inscription for the Market

Description: Thirty-one blocks of sandstone (width varying w: 0.50 x h: 0.52), originally stuccoed. The blocks were in most cases found plastered over.
Text: Inscribed on one face with a monumental inscription. a) Single line over the original Augustan south doorway: b) line 1, in continuation of a) c) line 2, underneath b)
Letters: Lapidary capitals: av. 0.15.

Date: 8 BCE: GODOT and GODOT (internal date)

Findspot: Lepcis Magna: Regio V, Punic Market. It had fallen from the South West precinct wall of the market but has since been replaced.
Original location: Unknown
Last recorded location: Findspot.


[Imp(erator) Caesar Diui f(ilius) Augustus] co(n)s(ul) XI imp(erator) XIIII trib(unicia) pot(estate) XV pont(ifex) m[axi]mus
M(arco) Licinio M(arci) f(ilio) Crasso Frugi co(n)s(ule) augure proco(n)s(ule) patrono flaminib(us) August(i) Caesaris Iddib[a]le Arinis f(ilio) [c. 3 - 4]one [et--- A]nnobalis [f(ilio) c. 3 - 4]on[c. 1 - 2 su]fetib(us) M[uttun Annonis f(ilio) ---]
Annobal «Himilcho» f(ilius) Tapapius Rufus sufes flamen praefectus sacrorum de sua pequ[nia] faciun[dum coe]rauit idem[que] de[d]icauit



b.1: The initial M, after sufetib(us), is all that survives of the name of the first sufes. Muttun son of Hanno, recorded in the Neo-Punic text. The name of the second sufes is lost in both texts IRT, 1952
c.1: The letters HIMILCHO are cut over the first eight letters of IMILCHONIS. The remaining letters were presumably plastered over at the time of this correction. IRT, 1952

English translation

Translation by: J. M. Reynolds

a. Emperor Caesar Augustus, son of deified (scil. Caesar), consul for the eleventh time, acclaimed victor fourteen times, holding tribunician power for the fifteenth time, chief priest.

b. When Marcus Licinius Crassus Frugi, son of Marcus, consul, augur, was proconsul and patron and the flamines of Augustus Caesar were Iddibal [---]on son of Arin and [---] son of Annobal [---], and the sufetes were Muttur son of Anno[and---]

(c. ) Annobal Tapapius Rufus son of Imilcho (corrected to Himilcho), sufete, flamen (local priest), prefect in charge of sacred things, saw to its construction and also dedicated it.


The text is clearly the Latin version of NeoPunic 27, found within the Market building. The Neo-Punic inscription follows the Latin word for word, with particular Latin formulae such as Imperator, diui filius and consul translated into Punic.

Discussion of the Neo-Punic text: Levi della Vida (1971), 457-469; Jongeling, K. 1983, ‘Neo-punische-latijnse inscripties uit Lepcis Magna (Libye)’ in 13, 414; Amadasi Guzzo, M.G. 1986. 'L'onomastica nelle iscrizioni puniche tripolitane' in 14, 21-51; Fontana (2001), 165; Adams (2003), 222-223; Jongeling (2008), Labdah N13; Cooley (2012), 256-258; Kerr, R. 2017, 'Præsenti tibi maturos largimur honores.Zum punischen Prinzip des kaiserlichen Opferkultes zuLepcis Magna' in R.G. Lehmann, K. Park and A.E. Zernecke (eds.) Proceedings of the Twelfth Mainz International Colloquium on Ancient Hebrew (MICAH) and Cognate Languages, Johannes Gutenberg Universityof Mainz, 2015, 53-74.

a: M. Licinius Crassus Frugi: PIR L 189, https://pir.bbaw.de/id/8319

b, line 1: The name of the second flamen, lost in the Latin text, appears as Abdmelqart in the Neo-Punic.

c, line 1: For Annobal Tapapius Rufus. s. of Himilcho Tapapius, see also 321, 322 and 323.

Bibliography: Levi Della Vida, 1935 3-15 Goodchild, 1950 XVIII:72-77, whence AE 1951.205; IRT, 1952, 319, whence IRT, 2009, 319, whence EDH 021415 Szynycer, 1963 45-50 Levi Della Vida, 1987 48-53, whence Jongeling, 2008 Labdah N13; for BSR images see BSR Digital Collections.


   Fig. 1. Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR (Sopr. DLM 299 Lastre)

   Fig. 2. Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR (Sopr. DLM 298 Lastre)

   Fig. 3. Ward-Perkins, 1947 (Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR 47.XI.24)

   Fig. 4. Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR (Sopr. DLM 1515)

   Fig. 5. Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR (Sopr. DLM 1516)

   Fig. 6. Ward-Perkins, 1947 (Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR 47.X.34)

   Fig. 7. Ward-Perkins, 1947 (Ward-Perkins Archive, BSR 47.XI.23)