Lot 87: Roman Inscribed Plaque Group
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 1st-2nd century AD. A group of two flat-section bronze plaque fragments comprising: one sub-rectangular with four lines of text in rustic capitals '[...]VM [...] / [...]OQVE I[...] / [...]HONO[...] / [...]OLONIA'; one sub-triangular with four lines of text in rustic capitals '[...]NDOI[...] / [...]S . TER[...] / [...](Q)VI . I[...] / [...]SOI[...]'. 234 grams total, 63-75mm (2 1/2 - 3"). Property of an Essex collector; acquired on the European art market. The sequence '[.]OLONIA' almost certainly followed the name of the Colonia or administrative centre where the plaque was set up. A Roman colonia was originally a Roman outpost established in conquered territory to secure it. Eventually, however, the term came to denote the highest status of Roman city. The Roman Republic, having no standing army, used to plant bodies of their own citizens in conquered towns as a kind of garrison. Initially these bodies would consist partly of Roman citizens, usually to the number of three hundred; but after Augustus the number was increased and thousands of Romans who retired from their legions were granted lands in many colonies in the empire with the veterans being responsible for the Romanisation of the area. Notable examples of colonia are York, Jerusalem, and Cologne. 
Condition Report: Fair condition.