Fratricide and other grimness

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I’ve devoted a couple of POTDs to the Cendere Bridge in SE Turkey (see here and here). It is an amazing piece of Roman engineering that has attracted the attention of academics for more than a century. French epigraphers Louis Jalabert and René Mouterde were the first to study and publish its inscriptions in 1929.*

These tell, in part, how four cities of the region honored Emperor Septimius Severus and his family.

In the photo above Keith points to one of two inscriptions cut into vertical blocks that form a part of the bridge’s railing. The Latin (for the curious) is found here.

Three more inscriptions are located on columns positioned on the bridgehead. These columns were once adorned with statues. Emperor Septimus and his wife Julia Domma stood on one end. Their two sons, Caracalla and Publius Geta stood on the other. While their images are long gone, dedicatory inscriptions are still visible.

Three of the four columns are still standing. The fourth, that of Geta, was removed after Caracalla assassinated him (while clinging to his mother, it is said!) and sought to erase his memory.

It’s that old Cain and Abel stuff.


*See Jalabert, Louis, and René Mouterde, Les inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie (IGLS) I, Commagene and Cyrrhestique (BAH 12), Paris, 1929.


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A last minute trip of Bible Land Explorers is coming together. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Galilee are in the mix. Dates are May 25 through June 4, 2019. Late fees have been waived for a short time, but you need to grab your seat quickly. Inclusive price out of Washington Dulles is $3,963. Other departure cities are possible. Write me at markziese@gmail.com for more information or check our full list of study-travel opportunities here.