( AD 121 )


( Johnson, Coleman-Norton & Bourne, Ancient Roman Statutes, Austin, 1961, p. 180, n. 238 


     This inscription, discovered at Athens, Greece, in 1890, is in four parts. It contains the end of a document giving the date, the letter from Plotina, widow of Trajan, to Hadrian, the letter from Plotina to the school at Athens, and the rescript of Hadrian. Of these documents the second and the fourth are given here.
     Theotimus, the head of the Epicurean school at Athens, was a Roman citizen and, therefore, could not legally name as a beneficiary in his will any foreigner, nor could the will be written in any language except Latin ( Ulpian, 22, 2 = FIRA 2, 284 ; Gaius, Inst. 2, 285 ). At Plotina's request Hadrian gave permission to Theotimus and his successors to write in Greek the portion of their wills that concerned the succession and to name for the post a non-Roman, if the best candidate was acquired thereby.

II.   II.
     [M. Annio Vero II. Cn. A]rrio Augure co[s]. | A Plotina Augusta. |
[Quod studium meum] erga sectam Epicuri sit, optime scis, d[om]ine. Huius successioni a te succurrendum | [est : nam, quia n]on licet nisi ex ciuibus Romanis adsumi diad[o]chum, in angustum redigitur eligendi || [facultas. | Rogo e]rgo nomine Popilli Theotimi, qui est modo diado[c]hus Athenis, ut  illi  permittatur  a  te  et  Graece  | [t]estari circa ha[n]c partem iudiciorum suorum, quae ad diadoches ordinationem pertinet, et peregrei|nae condicionis posse substituere sibi successorem, s[i i]ta suaserit profectus personae ; et quod Theotimo | concesseris, ut eodem iure et deinceps utantur fut[uri] diadochi sectae Epic[u]ri, eo magis, quod opseruatur, || quotiens erratum est a testatore circa electionem [di]adochi, ut communi consilio substituatur a studio|sis eiusdem sectae qui optimus erit : quod facilius fiet, si e[x] compluribus eligatur. |
   Letter from Plotina Augusta in the consulship of Marcus Annius Verus for the second time and of Gnaeus Arrius Augur.
   You know very well, sir, how great my interest in the school of Epicurus is. Your help is needed for its successful continuation : for the means of selection are narrowly reduced by the fact that only Roman citizens are allowed to assume the presidency of the school. I request, therefore, in the name of Popillius Theotimus, who is now president of the school at Athens, that he shall be permitted by you to make provision by testament in Greek in respect to this part of his jurisdiction which pertains to the installation of a succeeding president ; and that he shall be allowed to name as his successor a person of foreign status if the accomplishments of such person incline him thereto ; and that future presidents of the school of Epicurus shall use also hereafter the same right as that which you allow to Theotimus, so much the more because of the custom that whenever the wrong person has been named for the succession by the testator the most suitable person is appointed in his place by a general council of the devotees of the said school. This will be done the more easily if selection may be made from a large number.
IV.   IV.
     [I]mp. Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Aug. Popillio Theotimo. Permitto Graece testari de eis quae pertinent ad diado|chen sectae Epicureae. Set cum et facilius successorem [el]ecturus sit, si ex peregrinis       quoque      substituendi     facul|tatem [h]abuerit,  hoc  etiam  praesto  en deinceps ceteris, q[ui] diadochen habuerint : licebit uel in pe<re>greinum uel || in ciuem Romanum ius hoc transferri.
   Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus to Popillius Theotimus.
   I grant permission for provision to be made in Greek by wills concerning those matters that pertain to the successor to the presidency of the Epicurean school. Moreover, since indeed the choice of a successor will be easier if he also has the right to name a successor from persons of foreign status, I also approve this for him and for all others who hold the presidency : it shall be permitted for this right to be bestowed either on a person of foreign status or on a Roman citizen.