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Sanayeh Column

Central Beirut

· Beirut

At the intersection of the National Library – Sanayeh Garden – Spears street stands a 3rd Century AD column with an interesting inscription at its base.

The column, along with its base and capital were discovered during the 1990’s excavations performed in Down-Town Beirut by the General Directory of Antiquities.

The inscription found on the column's base states the following:

Latin

M.LVCILIVS AGRIPPINIANVS V E PROC DDNN PRINCIPVM AVGG

DVLCISSIMAE PATRIAE COLVMNAM CVM SPIROCEPHALO SVO COLLOCAVIT

M(arcus) Lucilius Agrippinianus, v(ir) e(gregius), proc(urator) d(ominorum) n(ostrorum) principum Aug(ustorum) (duorum) dulcissimae patriae columnam cum spirocephalo suo collocavit.

Translation

Marcus Lucilius Agrippinianus, distinguished man, procurator of our two lords the Augustus princeps, for his very gentle homeland set up the column with its torus base and its capital.

Meaning

The inscription mentions Marcus Lucilius Agrippinianus who donated funds to erect a SPIROCEPHALO (column, base and capital) as a dedication for a completion of a certain structure. Marcus Lucilius Agrippinianus was a knight entering the career of equestrian procurator of the colony of Berytus.

Acronym

The bold and underlined letters (VM & G) in the transcription of the inscription marked the joint reign of two emperors - Caracalla and Geta, the latter having his letter hammered after his assassination by his brother.

Date

The inscription dates between February 4th, 211 AD and February 26th, 212 AD

Importance

This inscription allow archeologists and historians understand the construction methods, the funds, the sponsors and the dedications made, as well as the architectural jargons used at the time.

Karim Sokhn

Tour Operator & Tour Guide

Acknowledgment to Karl Azzam, Archeologist

References :

Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Universitat de Barcelona, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, PROVINCIAE IMPERII ROMANI, INSCRIPTIONIBVS DESCRIPTAE, Barcelona, 3-8 Septembris 2002, ACTA II

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