Bierzo Edict

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The Bierzo Edict, also referred to as the Edict of Augustus from El Bierzo and the Bembibre Bronze is a controversial document dated to 15 BCE found in El Bierzo in Spain in 1000. The document is a bronze tablet measuring 24.15 cm x 15.6 cm. At the top it has a moulded 3 cm ring.[1]

This has been described as a single edict by Augustus[2] and as two edicts, one issued on 14 February and the other on 15 February.[1][3]


Imp(erator) · Caesar · Divi · fil(ius) · Aug(ustus) · trib(unicia) · pot(estate) ·
VIIII · et · pro·co(n)s(ule) · dicit · Castellanos · Paemeiobrigenses · ex ·
gente · Susarrorum · desciscentibus ·
ceteris · permansisse · in officio · cog
novi · ex omnibus · legatis · meis · qui ·
Transdurianae · provinciae · prae/fuerunt · itaque · eos · universos · im
munitate · perpetua · dono · quosq(ue)
agros · et quibus · finibus · possede
runt · Lucio · Sestio · Quirinale leg(ato) ·
meo · eam · provinciam · optinente{m} ·
eos · agros · sine · controversia · possi
dere · iubeo
Castellanis · Paemeiobrigensibus · ex
gente · Susarrorum · quibus · ante · ea ·
immunitatem · omnium · rerum · dede
ram · eorum · loco · restituo castellanos
Allobrigiaecinos · ex gente · Gigurro
rum · volente · ipsa · civitate · eosque
castellanos · Allobrigiaecinos · om
ni · munere · fungi · iubeo · cum ·
Susarris ·
Actum · Narbone · Martio ·
XVI · et · XV · k(alendas) · Martias · M(arco) · Druso · Li
bone · Lucio · Calpurnio · Pisone


"The emperor Caesar Augustus, son of The Divine, in his ninth tribunitial power and proconsul, says: I knew from my legates which presided over the Transdurian province [note, this province disappears during Augustus also] that the inhabitants of the Paemeiobrigensian hillfort [= castellum, it could just mean a community in general], belonging to the people of the Susarri, had remained faithful, while the rest became dissidents. Therefore, I bestow them a permanent immunity and the possession of their land [it therefore did not become ager publicus], with the same boundaries which they had when my legate Lucius Sextus Quirinalis governed this province [historical note, this area was supposedly pacified after the Cantabrian Wars, BC29-19, and this edict is from BC15]. To the inhabitants of the Paemeiobrigan hillfort [again, castellum], of the people of the Susarri, and onto which I bestowed full immunity, I restore to their place the people of the Aliobrigiaecinan hillfort [castellum], of the people of the Gigurri, into the same civitas, and order that these from the Alobrigiaecino hillofrt fulfill all the obligations together [within] the Susarrans. Said in Narbo Martius (Narbonne) the 16th and 15th days before the kalends of March, being consuls M. Drusus Libo and L. Calpurnius Piso."


An international symposium was organised by the city museum of León, Spain in 2001 which discussed the inscription and various anomalies including the lead content of the bronze, various textual issues, the two dates and the title given to Augustus.[4]


  1. ^ a b Richardson, John S. (2002). "The new Augustan edicts from northwest Spain," (PDF). Journal of Roman Archaeology. 15: 411–415. Retrieved 30 May 2011. 
  2. ^ Eck, Werner (2007). The Age of Augustus (2nd ed.). Wiley. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-4051-5149-8. 
  3. ^ a b Rodger, Alan (2000). "Attractio inversa in the Edict of Augustus from El Bierzo". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik: 266–270. JSTOR 20190775. 
  4. ^ coord. Luis A. Grau Lobo y J. L. Hoyas, The bronze Bembibre: an edict of the Emperor Augustus 15 BC: Museo de León Museo de León, Junta de Castilla y León, Consejería de Educación y Cultura, 2001.[1]

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