April 19th 1916

For those of you still struggling with your ‘Liddell and Scott’ to interpret the inscription on Roger Mott’s “Balkan find” (see previous post), ‘The Balkan News’ comes to your rescue:

“We present our readers with a translation, as we fear that the original text might be Greek to some, not to say all, of them.

‘The city (erected this tablet in honour of) Manius Salarius Sabinus, the head of the gymnasium and benefactor, who very often in times of dearth sold (corn) far below the market price, and when the armies of the Lord Caesar passed through, supplied to their stores 400 bushels of wheat, 100 bushels of barley, 60 bushels of beans and 100 firkins of wine at far less than the market price, and contributed 370 francs towards the repair of the gymnasium, and at the festivals gave gratuities to the tables of the councillors and ex-mayors and to those citizens who shared the banquet, and in all other respects frequently proved of service to the city. Pereisi as son of Phila, who is also called Biesias, and Herod, son of Beithys, supervised (the memorial) in the year 269.’

Some contractor, this Sabinus! We don’t fancy we have come across any of his descendants in Macedonia today. If there are any, we should like to meet them…

The inscription seems to belong to 123 A.D., and the Caesar referred to  would in that case be Hadrian, that much travelled statesman-emperor who paid a visit to Britain and organised a strong defence line to rescue northern England from the depredations of the savage Scot.”

An interesting discovery by Roger Mott and the Royal Scots Fusiliers. Hopefully the tablet will find a safe home and that we will all be able to inspect and enjoy it one day, when the war is over.

 

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