The Honouring of the Legio Chief Physician L. Hortensius Paulinus
Gaziantep University, Faculty of Science and Letter, Department of History
Keywords: Antiocheia ad Pisidiam, L. Hortensius Paulinus, IV Flavia Felix lejyonu, II Italica lejyonu, Archiatros/Başhekim, Asklepius
An inscription dated to the beginning of the 3rd century AD, and found within the city limits of Antiocheia in 2011, honors the legion Chief Physician L. Hortensius Paulinus, who is believed to have settled in the city following his retirement. According to this inscription, L. Hortensius Paulinus assumed highly important public offices and duties in the city. This person had also served in the legio IV Flavia Felix and Legio II Italica, although the legion with which he first arrived to the East, as well as his exact assignment within these two legions, remain unclear. Possible reasons for his presence in the East might have been the exacerbation of the war between the Roman and Parthia Empires towards the end of the 2nd century AD, or the civil war between Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger since most of the legions from the Danube Basin and the Balkan Peninsula had sided with Septimius Severus during this civil war, including legio IV Flavia Felix and the Legio II Italica. The chronological order and content of the inscription suggest that L. Hortensius Paulinus had most likely traveled to the East with the legio II Italica due to the civil war; if this was indeed the case, L. Hortensius Paulinus must have arrived to the East in 193/4 AD at the earliest. The fact that the legio II Italica created by Marcus Aurelius was entirely constituted of solders from Northern Italy is strong evidence that L. Hortensius Paulinus and his family were native to this region. Another interesting aspect concerning this document is the fact that it is the first inscription found within Antiocheia mentioning the legions IV Flavia Felix and II Italica. Therefore, this new inscription not only demonstrates the presence of officials belonging to these legions in Antiocheia, but also clarifies a disputed and unclear aspect of the inscription regarding C. Flavonius Paullinus Lollianus published by Byrne-Labarre in 2006. Finally, the new inscriptions found within the city suggest that members of the legio II Italica who participated in civil wars or the Parthian campaign in the East might have settled in Antiocheia at the end of their military service.