The bronze edict of El Bierzo

From the Hispania Epigraphica Online Database

This bronze tablet discovered “unofficially” around 1999 actually mentions Lucius Sestius Quirinalis, using his full name, as having been a legatus in Spain – that is, governing a province on behalf of Augustus. Interestingly the province is named as Transduriana, which I had never heard of, and to judge by the cautious comments I have so far discovered, nobody else had either! There are queries raised about the composition of the bronze this is made of, the way it was discovered, the use of the title “Imperator” and the very unusual way in which Lucius first name is recorded in full rather than the more usual single letter “L”. The edict is dated 14/15th February 15 BCE, so indicates that at some point between 23BCE – his consulship – and 15 BCE, Lucius governed a part of the newly-conquered of Spain on behalf of Augustus. Presumably this explains why many years later, there is a fleeting reference in Pliny the Elder to three altars to Augustus set up by Sestius. Maybe these altars were part of Lucius’ governor’s duties.

2 Responses

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