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Second-Century A.D. Inscription Found in Bulgaria

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bulgaria Philippopolis InscriptionPLOVDIV, BULGARIA—The Sofia Globe reports that a marble slab bearing an inscription dating to the second century A.D. has been unearthed at the forum of the ancient city of Philippopolis in southern Bulgaria. The city’s library, treasury, and Odeon once stood in the area where the inscription was found. Epigrapher Nicolay Sharankov said the text is thought to be the end of a letter imposing a fine on the city by Emperor Septimius Severus for supporting Pescennius Niger, his rival to the throne. It also preserves the names of Philippus and Caecilius Cerealis, two ambassadors sent by the city to the emperor. Septimius Severus seized power in A.D. 193, a period of civil war known as the Year of the Five Emperors. Pescennius Niger was eventually defeated in A.D. 194 at the Battle of Issus in Cilicia, a Roman province in what is now southeastern Turkey. Septimius Severus expected a prominent citizen of Philippopolis to pay the fine, Sharankov added. To read about Severus' building program in the city of Rome, go to "Mapping the Past: The Forma Urbis Romae."

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