Statue base for emperor Balbinus, erected by the city of Philippopolis

Monument III.1510 = 5547
Editor
Georgi Mihailov, Nicolay Sharankov
Type of monument
base
Material
marble
Find place
Bakhchaluka locality to the South of the village of Belozem
Origin
Parembole
Dimensions
height 151 cm, width 57 cm, depth 33 cm
Institution and inventory
Letter size
height 3.5 cm
Layout description
Rectangular statue base, broken above and below, moulded in the upper and lower parts. The inscription is on the front side.
Decoration description
Text
Category of inscription
honorary inscription for emperor - prose
Date
January - May AD 238
Dating criteria
office, titulature
Images
Text

Ἀγαθῆι (vac.) τύχηι.
Aὐτοκράτο⟦ρα Καίσαρα⟧
⟦Δέκιον Καίλιον Καλβεῖνον
⟦Βαλβεῖνον Εὐτυχῆ Εὐσεβ
5Σεβαστὸν μέγιστον {μεγισ}
ἡ λαμπροτάτη μητρόπο-
λις Φιλ<ι>ππόπολις τὸν τῆς
οἰκουμένης δε<σ>πό{σ}την, {υ} ὑπατ[εύ]-
οντος τῆς Θρᾳκῶν ἐπαρχείας Λ(ουκίου)
10Οὐεττ<εν>ίου Ἰουβέν<ε>ως, ἐκ τῶν ὑπερ-
πε<όντ>ων χρημάτων. (vac.) Εὐτυχῶς.

AΓΑΘHΙ vacat ΤYΧΗΙ
AYΤΟΚΡAΤΟΡΑΚΑIΣΑΡΑ
ΔEΚΙΟNΚΑIΛΙΟNΚΑΛ......
ΒΑΛΒΕINΟNΕYΤΥΧHΕYΣΕΒ.
5ΣΕΒΑΣΤONMEΓΙΣΤΟNMΕΓΙΣ
HΛΑMΠΡΟΤAΤΗMΗΤΡOΠΟ
ΛΙΣΦΙΛ[.]ΠΠOΠΟΛΙΣΤONΤHΣ
ΟIΚΟΥMENΗΣΔΕ[.]ΠOΣΤΗNΥYΠΑΤ[..]
ΟNΤΟΣΤHΣΘΡAΚΩNEΠΑΡΧΕIΑΣΛ
10ΟYΕΤΤ[..]IΟΥIΟΥΒEN[.]ΩΣEΚΤΩNYΠΕ.
.Ε[...]ΩNΧΡΗMAΤΩN vacat ΕYΤΥΧΩΣ
Text
To Good Fortune! To Emperor Caesar Decius (sic!) Caelius Calvinus Balbinus Felix Pius, greatest Augustus. The most splendid metropolis of Philippopolis (honoured with this statue) the Lord of world, when Lucius Vettenius Iuvenis was governor of the province of Thrace, from the surplus funds. May it be fortunate!
⤦ n: 1

tag: lb
Ἀγαθῆι

lemma: ἀγαθός
tag: w

extent: unknown
unit: character
tag: space
τύχηι

lemma: τύχη
tag: w
.

tag: #text
⤦ n: 2

tag: lb
Aὐτοκράτορα

lemma: Αὐτοκράτωρ
tag: w
Aὐτοκράτο

tag: #text
ρα

tag: del
Καίσαρα

lemma: Καίσαρ
tag: w
⤦ n: 3

tag: lb
Δέκιον Καίλιον Καλβεῖνον Βαλβεῖνον

type: emperor
ref: Balbinus
tag: persName
Δέκιον Καίλιον Καλβεῖνον

tag: del
Δέκιον

tag: name
Καίλιον

tag: name
Καλβεῖνον

tag: name
Καλ

tag: #text
βεῖνον

tag: unclear
⤦ n: 4

tag: lb
Βαλβεῖνον

tag: name
Εὐτυχῆ Εὐσεβῆ

tag: del
Εὐτυχῆ

lemma: Εὐτυχής
tag: w
Εὐσεβῆ

lemma: Εὐσεβής
tag: w
Εὐσεβ

tag: #text

tag: unclear
⤦ n: 5

tag: lb
Σεβαστὸν

lemma: Σεβαστός
tag: w
μέγιστον

lemma: μέγας
tag: w
μεγισ

tag: surplus
⤦ n: 6

tag: lb

tag: w
λαμπροτάτη

lemma: λαμπρός
tag: w
μητρόπο λις

lemma: μητρόπολις
tag: w
μητρόπο

tag: #text
⤦ n: 7

break: no
tag: lb
λις

tag: #text
Φιλιππόπολις

ref: Phil
tag: placeName
Φιλ

tag: #text
ι

tag: supplied
ππόπολις

tag: #text
τὸν

tag: w
τῆς

tag: w
⤦ n: 8

tag: lb
οἰκουμένης

lemma: οἰκουμένη
tag: w
δεσπόστην

lemma: δεσπότης
tag: w
δε

tag: #text
σ

tag: supplied
πό

tag: #text
σ

tag: surplus
την

tag: #text
,

tag: #text
υ

tag: surplus
ὑπατεύ οντος

lemma: ὑπατεύω
tag: w
ὑπατ

tag: #text
εύ

tag: supplied
⤦ n: 9

break: no
tag: lb
οντος

tag: #text
τῆς

tag: w
Θρᾳκῶν

type: ethnic
ref: Thrace
tag: placeName
ἐπαρχείας

lemma: ἐπαρχία
tag: w
Λουκίου Οὐεττενίου Ἰουβένεως

type: official
ref: Vettenius
nymRef: Λούκιος Οὐεττένιος Ἰουβένης
tag: persName
Λουκίου

ref: Lucius
nymRef: Λούκιος
type: praenomen
tag: name
⤦ n: 10

tag: lb
Οὐεττενίου

nymRef: Οὐεττίος
ref: Vettenius
type: gentilicium
tag: name
Οὐεττ

tag: #text
εν

tag: supplied
ίου

tag: #text
Ἰουβένεως

nymRef: Ἰουβένης
ref: Iuvenis
type: cognomen
tag: name
Ἰουβέν

tag: #text
ε

tag: supplied
ως

tag: #text
,

tag: #text
ἐκ

lemma: ἐκ
tag: w
τῶν

tag: w
ὑπερ πεόντων

lemma: ὑπερπαίω
tag: w
ὑπε

tag: #text
ρ

tag: unclear
⤦ n: 11

break: no
tag: lb
π

tag: unclear
ε

tag: #text
όντ

tag: supplied
ων

tag: #text
χρημάτων

lemma: χρῆμα
tag: w
.

tag: #text

extent: unknown
unit: character
tag: space
Εὐτυχῶς

lemma: εὐτυχῶς
tag: w
.

tag: #text
Apparatus
Letters in ligature:
5 νμε, νμε;
6 πρ, ημη;
8 με, νησ, τηνυ;
9 ησ, ωνε;
10 νωσ, ων, πε;
11 πε, ημ, ων, ωσ.
Apparatus:
The text of the inscription follows the edition of Mihailov and is rendered with changes after a comparison through personal observation by N. Sharankov.
2-4 The name and titles of the emperor had been subject to damnatio memoriae, but are still legible.
5 ΜΕΓΙΣΤΟΝΜΕΓΙΣ
7 ΦΙΛΠΠοΠΟΛΙΣ (the first omicron is inscribed inside of the second pi)
8 ΔΕΠοΣΤΗΝΥΥΠΑΤ
10 ΟΥΕΤΤΙΟΥΙΟΥΒΕΝΩΣ
10-11 ΥΠΕΙ | ΠΕΩΝ
Commentary

The inscription honours Emperor Balbinus, whose reign continued for only 99 days. The authorities in Philippopolis were probably in a hurry to erect the statue and therefore the inscription contains numerous errors.

The correct name of the provincial governor was Lucius Vettenius Iuvenis, as attested in an unpublished inscription in honour of Emperor Gordian III from Discoduraterae. He is also mentioned in a partially preserved inscription honouring the same emperor from Augusta Traiana (IGBulg 1564). Vettenius Iuvenis was also governor of the province of Lower Moesia under an unknown emperor (IGBulg 646).

We should mention the use of the verb ὑπερπαίω, attested only in some inscriptions from the territories of Philippopolis and Augusta Traiana dated to the second quarter of the III c. AD, always in the same formula (IGBulg 1515; IGBulg 1564; IGBulg 1565; IGBulg 1566; AE 2006, 1247; AE 2006, 1248). The city authorities, which erected these inscriptions, were probably trying to avoid accusations of dissipation in a period of economic crisis.

Fragments of a gilded bronze statue were found near the statue base.

Bibliography
Mihailov, Georgius. Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria repertae. Vol. III.1, 1961.

Mihailov, Georgius. Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria repertae. Vol. V, 1997.

Kalinka, Ernst. Antike Denkmäler in Bulgarien. In: Schriften der Balkankommission. Antiquarische Abteilung Vol. IV, 1906.