Letter of Gordian III concerning an earthquake (?)
( AD 243 )

( J. Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome, London, 1982, n. 21 ).

αὐτοκράτωρ Καῖσαρ Μᾶρκος Ἀντώνιος Γορδιανὸς Εὐσεβὴς Εὐτυ̣[χὴς Σεβ]αστός ἀ[ρχιε]ρεὺς μέγιστος δη̣[μαρχι]-|κῆς  ἐξουσίας  τὸ  Ϛ´ ὕπατος  τὸ  β´  πατὴρ  πατρίδος  ἀνθύπατος  Ἀφροδ[εισιέω]ν̣ τ̣ο̣[ῖς] ἄ̣ρ̣[χο]υ̣σι καὶ τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ | χαίρειν v. τὸ τῆς Ἀσίας βούλευμα τὸ καὶ ὑμᾶς καταστῆσαν εἰς κο[ινωνί]αν τῆς π̣ρ̣[ὸς] τ̣ο̣ὺ̣ς̣ ἀτυχήσαντας | ἐπικουρίας οὐκ ἐπίταγμ̣α ἦν οὐδὲ γὰρ οἷόν τε ἐπιτάγματι χρῆσθ̣αι π[ρὸς το]ὺ̣ς̣ ἐλευθ̣έ̣ρους ἀλ̣λ̣ὰ πολείτευμα | χρηστὸν ἐν μετουσίᾳ καθιστᾶν ὑμᾶς φιλανθρώπου πράξεως καὶ ο[ἵη]ς καὶ καθ’ ὑμᾶς πράττετε ἐν [κα]τα-|σκευῇ τινος ο̣ἰ̣κοδομήματος συνεπιλαμβανόμενοι τῆς ἀναστάσε̣[ω]ς τοῖ̣ς̣ δεομένοις ὑπὲρ δὲ τοῦ μέλ-|λοντος ἥκιστα χρὴ δεδιέναι τοῖς γὰρ ἐλευθέροις οὗ πλεῖστον με[τέ]χετε μόνος ἐστὶν πρὸς τὰ το[ι]α̣ῦτα | vac. νόμος τὸ ἑκούσιον stop . ἐπρέσβευον Αὐρήλιος Κτησίας καὶ Α[ἴ]λιος Καλλικράτης εὐτυχε[ῖτε] | vac. θεῖα ἀντιγραφὴ κ̣ατὰ Λαοδικ̣εῖς ἡ προτεταγμένη vac.

English translation ( Inscriptions of Aphrodisias Project ).

      Imperator Caesar M. Antonius Gordianus, Pius, Felix, Augustus, Pontifex Maximus, holding the tribunician power for the sixth time, consul for the second, father of his country, proconsul, to the Magistrates, Council and People of the Aphrodisians, greetings.
      The resolution of Asia which associated you too with those assisting the victims of misfortune was not a command, for it is not possible to issue a command to those who are free, but a good administrative act placing you among those who take part in beneficent activity of a type which you undertake also among yourselves when you help with preparations for the erection of a house for those in need. And for the future there is no necessity for fear ; for among free men, and you have a very great share of freedom, the only law in such matters is what you are willing to do. Aurelius Ktesias and Aelius Kallikrates carried out the duties of ambassadors. Farewell.
      The above (?) is the divine (imperial) reply in the matter of (?) the Laodiceans.

►  Bibliography
Pleket & Stroud, Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, XXXII, Amsterdam, 1982, n. 1097
 ; BE 1983, 382 ; AE 1984, n. 857 ; Oliver, Greek Constitutions of Early Roman Emperors from Inscriptions and Papyri, Philadelphia, 1989, n. 281 ; Feissel, Syria, 70, 1993, p. 24.
►  Source : Inscription on a column discovered at Aphrodisias, Turkey, recorded in 1966.