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    The Unknown Roman Ruler

    Tuesday, June 4, 2019 Last Updated 2019-10-25T12:19:42Z
    Although Gargilius Antiquus is not a new name to historians, it could never be determined which part of the Roman Empire fell under his command.

    Recently, underwater archaeologists were exploring Israel’s Mediterranean coast when they found a huge rock.

    The seven lines inscribed on its surface were the sort of thing that historians live for—a missing puzzle piece that makes the big picture clearer.

    It described Antiquus as the Roman governor of Judea shortly before the Jewish revolt that occurred in AD 132–136.

    Not only did it give poor Antiquus his job back (in the history books) as the man who ruled Judea before the famous Bar Kochba uprising, but the artifact is only the second inscription found from the Roman era that names the territory.

    A portion of the 1,900-year-old block is missing.

    Even so, it remains the longest inscription found off the coast of Israel. Weighing a hefty 600 kilograms (1,320 lb), it might once have been the base of a statue.


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