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In late antiquity or the early medieval period, a laterculus is an inscribed tile, stone or terracotta tablet[1] used for publishing certain kinds of information in list or calendar form. The term thus came to be used for the content represented by such an inscription, most often a list, register, or table, regardless of the medium in which it was published. A list of soldiers in a Roman military unit, such as of those recruited or discharged in a given year, may be called a laterculus,[2] an example of which is found in an inscription from Vindonissa.[3] The equivalent Greek term is plinthos (πλίνθος; see plinth for the architectural use).[4]

A common type of laterculus was the computus, a table that calculates the date of Easter, and so laterculus will often be equivalent to fasti.[5] Isidore of Seville said that a calendar cycle should be called a laterculus "because it has the years put in order by rows," that is, in a table.[6]

List of laterculi[edit]

Notable laterculi include:


  1. ^ The original meaning of laterculus in Classical Latin was "brick" or "tile."
  2. ^ Sara Elise Phang, The Marriage of Roman Soldiers (13 B.C.-A.D. 235): Law and Family in the Imperial Army (Brill, 2001), pp. 313, 326.
  3. ^ Duncan Fishwick, Imperial Cult in the Latin West (Brill, 1990), vol. 2.1, p. 441 online. For further examples, see for instance Brambach's Corpus Inscriptionum Rhenarum online passim.
  4. ^ Anthony Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship (Oxford University Press, 1993), p. 331.
  5. ^ Jane Stevenson, The 'Laterculus Malalianus' and the School of Archbishop Theodore (Cambridge University Press, 1995), p. 1.
  6. ^ Isidore, Etymologies 6.17: quod ordinem habeat stratum annorum; Grafton, Joseph Scaliger, p. 331 online.
  7. ^ Stevenson, The 'Laterculus Malalianus', pp. 1–3.
  8. ^ MGH, AA XIII, pp. 457–60; KFHist G 6 (2016), pp. 333–79.
  9. ^ John Robert Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1992, reprinted 2000), vol. 3, p. xxiii.
  10. ^ Roland Steinacher, "The So-Called Laterculus Regum Vandalorum et Alanorum: A Sixth-Century African Addition to Prosper Tiro's Chronicle?," in Vandals, Romans, and Berbers: New Perspectives on Late Antique North Africa (Ashgate, 2004), p. 163.
  11. ^ MGH, AA XIII, pp. 464–9.
  12. ^ J.N. Adams, The Regional Diversification of Latin, 200 BC–AD 600 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 252.