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Building inscription of stoa and exedrae, dedicated by L. Servenius Cornutus and Julia Severa

Type of monument:
Inscribed architrave block.
Uluborlu (Apollonia): in the wall of Sait Bey’s garden.
Fragment of white limestone architrave, apparently complete above, upper moulding defaced.
Ht. 0.35+; W. 0.49+; Th. --; letters 0.145-0.155.
Line drawing; MB notebook copy (1956/85).
c. AD 50-75 (prosopography).

[- -]ΝΟΘ[- -]

The dimensions and lettering of this fragment are identical to those of eight other architrave fragments from Apollonia, published in MAMA IV 139a-h:

a b c d e f g h
//ΟΡΝΟ// //Π̣ΑΡΧC// //ΟΥΗΡΑ// vac.  ) ΘΕ// //ΡΕΙΑΙΤΩ̣// //ΠΑΡΑ// //ΞΕΔΡΑ// //ΛΟΥΚΑΙΑΡ//

A further fragment has recently been published by Labarre, Özsait, Özsait and Güceren 2012: 131, no.12 (//Υ̣ΚΑΙΕΝ//), making ten fragments in total.

It is clear from the two fragments MAMA IV 139a (//ΟΡΝΟ//, i.e. [Κ]ορνο[υτ-]) and c (//ΟΥΗΡΑ//, i.e. [Σε]ουηρα) that we are dealing with members of one of the most eminent Asiatic families of the first century AD, that of L. Servenius Cornutus (PIR2 S 566, honoured at Apollonia in IGR III 315, [- -Λ]εύκιον Σεροήνι[ον Λευκίου υἱὸν Αἰμιλία Κορνοῦ]τον) and his mother Julia Severa (PIR2 I 701). The Servenii were probably of central Italian origin (Levick 1967: 106); the earliest member of the family known to us is L. Servenius Capito, father of Cornutus and husband of Julia Severa (PIR2 S 565). Other Cornuti, no doubt relatives of L. Servenius Cornutus, were prominent at Apollonia in the first and second centuries AD. A small issue of bronze coinage was minted under Tiberius in the name of Κορνοῦτος εὐεργέτης (RPC I 3528); two inscriptions of the first century AD honour a certain C. Julius Patruinus Cornutus φιλόπατρις (MAMA IV 163; Labarre, Özsait, Özsait and Güceren 2012: 123-5, nos. 2-3); two fragments of an architrave block inscribed in both Greek and Latin (AE 1975, 812; Labarre, Özsait, Özsait and Güceren 2012: 126, no. 4) record the name of another Iulius Cornutus, identified by Mitchell with a prominent member of the local elite at Perge under Nero (Mitchell 1974: 37-8; I.Perge 36-41, with I.Perge I pp. 30-2); and in the second and third centuries AD the Apolloniatai celebrated games called the Αἰλεία Κορνυτεία (MAMA IV 154, probably instituted under Hadrian).

In MAMA IV the architrave was reconstructed as follows:

Θε[οῖς πατρίοις (?) καὶ Σερουηνίᾳ Κορνούται ἀπογόνωι βασιλέως Ἀττά]λου καὶ ἀρ[χιε]ρείαι τῶ[ν Σεβαστῶν Ἰουλία Σε]ουήρα [ἡ μήτηρ καὶ Λ. Σερουήνιος Κ]ορνο[ῦτος] ἔπαρχο[ς αἰραρίου στρατιωτικοῦ (?) ὁ ἀδελφὸς τὴν στοὰν καὶ τὰς ἐ]ξέδρα[ς] παρ᾿ α[ὐτῶν ἀνέθηκαν.]

According to this restoration, the stoa and exedrae were dedicated by Servenius Cornutus and Julia Severa to the ancestral deities of Apollonia and to another member of their family, Servenia Cornuta (PIR2 S 568). It was subsequently shown (in the commentary to MAMA VI 254) that Servenia Cornuta must have been the daughter, not the sister of Servenius Cornutus; the editors of MAMA VI therefore suggested that the names of the dedicators of the architrave should instead be supplemented Ἰουλία Σε]ουήρα [ἡ μάμμη καὶ Λ. Σερουήνιος Κ]ορνο[ῦτος... ὁ πατήρ].

However, the reconstruction of the architrave proposed in MAMA IV 139 cannot be correct. According to the restoration printed above, Julia Severa and Servenius Cornutus dedicated a public building at Apollonia to another member of their own family. This is unlikely: public buildings could be dedicated to deities, to members of the imperial family, to the local demos or other civic bodies (boule, gerousia), or to all three; the dedication of a public building to a private individual would be, to the best of my knowledge, without parallel.

Nor is it clear that we need to introduce a reference to Servenia Cornuta at all. The editors of MAMA IV attractively combined fragments e (ΡΕΙΑΙΤΩ̣) and h (ΛΟΥΚΑΙΑΡ) to give the phrase [- - ἀπογόνωι βασιλέως Ἀττά]λου καὶ ἀρ[χιε]ρείαι τῶ[ν Σεβαστῶν]. However, these titles can equally well be applied to Julia Severa as to Servenia Cornuta. Both women could have claimed to be descendants of the Attalid royal family, assuming that they were indeed relatives of the second-century senator C. Julius Severus (PIR2 I 573; Halfmann 1979: 151-2, no. 62), known from an inscription from Ankara to have been a descendant of Attalos I (I.Ankara 72-3; Levick 1967: 106-7; Mitchell 1974: 35, 37-8).

A further argument can be adduced in favour of referring these titles to Julia Severa. In MAMA VI 263 (Akmoneia), Julia Severa is described as ἀρχιέρειαν κα̣[ὶ] ἀγωνοθέτιν τοῦ σ̣ύμπαντος τῶν [θ]εῶν Σεβαστῶν [οἴ]κ̣ου, and in Ramsay, Phrygia II 647, no. 550 (IGR IV 656: Akmoneia) as ἀρχιερείαι καὶ ἀγωνοθέτ[ιδι]. It is hence very tempting to combine the new fragment (//ΝΟΘ//) with MAMA IV 139e and h to give the titles of Julia Severa: [- - ἀπογόνωι (vel sim.) βασιλέως Ἀττά]λου καὶ ἀρ[χιε]ρείαι τῶ[ν Σεβαστῶν καὶ ἀγω]νοθ[έτιδι].

The reason why the editors of MAMA IV restored a dedication to Servenia Cornuta was presumably the dative ἀρ[χιε]ρείαι. However, we could equally well explain this dative on the assumption that Cornutus dedicated the monument ‘along with’ (σύν) his mother Iulia Severa. In that case, the text would follow the same structure as (e.g.) the dedication of the Augustan basilica at Ephesos to Artemis Ephesis, Augustus, Tiberius, and the demos of the Ephesians by C. Sextilius Pollio and his wife and son (restored, in part, from the accompanying Latin text): [βασ]ιλι[κὴν στοὰν Ἀρτ]έμι[δι Ἐφεσίαι... Γάιος Σεξτ]ίλ[ιος Ποπλίου υἱὸς Οὐ]οτουρία Πω[λλίων σὺν Ὀφελλίαι Αὔλου θυγατρὶ Κορνηλία Βάσσηι τῆι γυναικὶ καὶ Γαίωι Ὀφελλί]ωι Κορν[ηλία Πρόκλ]ωι τῶι υἱῶι... [ἀνέθηκεν] (AE 1993, 1498).

The editors of MAMA IV restored fr. 139b (//Π̣ΑΡΧC//) to give the title [ἔ]π̣αρχο̣[ς αἰραρίου στρατιωτικοῦ] (praefectus aerarii militaris), an office which is not otherwise attested for L. Servenius Cornutus. However, Cornutus is known to have acted as quaestor of the province of Cyprus (MAMA VI 254; 262), and there is nothing to impede us restoring the fragment [ταμίας δήμου Ῥωμαίων ἐ]π̣αρχε̣[ίας Κύπρου].

I therefore propose that the whole text, incorporating the two new fragments, should be restored as follows:

d a b c j h e i g f
vac.  ) ΘΕ// //ΟΡΝΟ// //Π̣ΑΡΧC// //ΟΥΗΡΑ// //Υ̣ΚΑΙΕΝ// //ΛΟΥΚΑΙΑΡ// //ΡΕΙΑΙΤΩ̣// //ΝΟΘ// //ΞΕΔΡΑ// //ΠΑΡΑ//

Θε[οῖς Σεβαστοῖς καὶ τῶι δήμωι Λ. Σερουήνιος Κ]ορνο[ῦτος ταμίας δήμου Ῥωμαίων ἐ]π̣αρχε̣[ίας Κύπρου σὺν Ἰουλίαι Σε]ουήρα[ι τῆι μητρὶ αὐτο]ῦ̣ καὶ ἐν[γόνηι βασιλέως Ἀττά]λου καὶ ἀρ[χιε]ρείαι τῶ[ν Σεβαστῶν καὶ ἀγω]νοθ[έτιδι τὴν στοὰν καὶ τὰς ἐ]ξέδρα[ς] παρ᾿ α[ὐτῶν ἀνέθηκαν].

L. Servenius Cornutus, quaestor populi Romani provinciae Cypri, with Julia Severa his mother, descendant of King Attalos and high-priestess of the Augusti and agonothete, dedicated the stoa and the exedrae from their own resources to the divine Augusti and the people (of Apollonia).


Line drawing of MAMA XI 5 (Apollonia 5: 1956-85)

Line drawing of MAMA XI 5 (Apollonia 5: 1956-85)