JIIA.it

Journal of Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Archaeology

Lingue e culture del Mediterraneo antico

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Jonathan Prag


TITOLO: "Il miliario di Aurelius Cotta (ILLRP 1277): una lapide in contesto."

Since its publication in 1955, the so-called Cotta milliarium, has occupied an uneasy position among the earliest milestones of the Roman Republic. The apparently early date, combined with the remote location has caused disquiet among many; a disquiet exacerbated by the stone's unique position among Sicilian inscriptions, as both the earliest Latin inscription in Sicily, and the province's only milestone.
This paper does not question the proposed attribution. Instead it attempts to provide a historical and cultural context for the object as a whole.
The stone may seem unusual among Roman milestones, but it is less unusual in its local setting. The 'simple' conception of a milestone, as understood in the later Empire, especially at such an early date, is probably misleading. Wider consideration of the first Punic war context (in conjunction with, e.g., the Entella tablets), of Roman military tactics, and of later practices in relation to roads, are all suggestive, as is contemporary (Roman) epigraphic culture. The context constructed in this paper in turn offers one possible solution to a Livian locus desperatus (Livy XXVII.8.17).








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