This page cannot be viewed in frames

Go to page

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Soranus – outstanding Batavian warrior

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Epitaph of Soranus
Epitaph of Soranus | Photo: Gerard Geldenhouwer, 'Historia Batavica', 1530 - Bijzondere Collecties, Amsterdam

A unique epitaph has survived to our times from the tombstone of a certain Soranus – a Batavian (Germanic tribe) soldier serving in the Roman army during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 CE). We are not sure if the inscription was written at the request of the deceased or the emperor himself, in exchange for his merits.

The man was probably a member of the imperial mounted personal guards called equites singulares Augusti and, as we can read, was very skilled. Such a description is rarely found in the tombstones of Roman soldiers, on which we can usually learn about a military career.

This is I, once the best known of the Pannonian shores and the first and strongest among one thousand Batavi. I managed – let Hadrian tell you how – to swim across the wide waters of the Danube with all my equipment, and while a shot from a bow hung up in the air and fell, I hit it with my arrow and snapped it, I the one that no Roman or Barbarian was ever able to outperform. Here it happened, here I have put down my deeds in memory in stone. Let’s see if anyone can do better after me. I am an example to myself; the first who managed such a thing.

Sources
  • Damian Nitecki, Soran - żołnierz batawski armii rzymskiej z czasów pierwszych Antoninów, "Miles Romanus", 1, 2020, s. 3-11.

IMPERIUM ROMANUM needs your support!

Your financial help is needed, in order to maintain and develop the website. Even the smallest amounts will allow me to pay for further corrections, improvements on the site and pay the server. I believe that I can count on a wide support that will allow me to devote myself more to my work and passion, to maximize the improvement of the website and to present history of ancient Romans in an interesting form.

Support IMPERIUM ROMANUM!

News from world of ancient Rome

If you want to be up to date with news and discoveries from the world of ancient Rome, subscribe to the newsletter.

Subscribe to newsletter!

Roman bookstore

I encourage you to buy interesting books about the history of ancient Rome and antiquity.

Check out bookstore

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: