ClL 3. 12336 =AJ 139, inscription, Scaptopara, Thrace, AD 238 (extract)


To Emperor Caesar Marcus Antonius Gordian Pius Fortunate Augustus, petition from the villagers of Scaptopara and of Griseia ... We live and have our property in the village mentioned above which is exposed to harm because it has the advantage of hot springs and is located between two of the army camps which are in your (province of) Thrace. Previously, as long as the inhabitants remained undisturbed and free from oppression, they reliably paid their tribute and met their other obligations . .But when at times some persons started to become insolent and to use force, then the village started to decline. A famous festival is held two miles from our village, and those persons who stay there for fifteen days for the festival do not remain in the vicinity of the festival itself, but leave it and come down on our village, forcing us to provide them with hospitality and purvey many other items for their enjoyment without payment. In addition to these persons, soldiers too, who have been dispatched somewhere else, leave their proper routes and come to us, and similarly intimidate us into furnishing them with hospitality and provisions, and pay no money. Moreover, the governors of the province and indeed your procurators, are regular visitors here to use the hot springs. We unceasingly receive those in authority, as we are required to do, but being unable. to put up with the others, we have repeatedly approached the governors of Thrace, who in accordance with the letters of the divine emperors, have ordered that we are to remain undisturbed. For we made clear that we could no longer put up with it but intended to leave our ancestral homes because of the violence of those who. descend on us ...


Trans:
Campbell, Brian. The Roman Army: A Sourcebook (Routledge 1994).