Inscription to Hadrian found in Jerusalem

During a salvage operation of artefacts, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) came across a limestone block with Latin engraving. Further investigation into the message revealed that it was a dedication to the Roman emperor Hadrian.


The inscription is a dedication from Legio X Fratensis to Hadrian himself in the year AD 129/130. This is believed to be the right half of a full inscription, with left half being discovered in the late nineteenth century and is on display at the Studium Biblicum Fransicanum Museum.

The inscription translated by Avner Ecker and Hannah Cotton from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem reads as follows:

“(1st hand)To the Imperator Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, son of the deified Traianus Parthicus, grandson of the deified Nerva, high priest, invested with tribunician power for the 14th time, consul for the third time, father of the country (dedicated by) the 10th legion Fretensis (2nd hand) Antoniniana.”

Doesn’t give much away does it? But this discovery is deemed as one of the most important Latin inscriptions discovered in Jerusalem to date.


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