Applying the Sagan Standard to Roman History means:
Extraordinary Roman Narratives require Extraordinary Roman Evidence.
The Sagan standard is an aphorism that asserts that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence“.
Unfortunately, life isn’t that simple for Roman Historians when:
The Extraordinary Evidence confounds their Embroidered Fictions.
Diana Veteranorum, Algeria
This episode begins in 1956 when a Latin inscription was found in Diana Veteranorum, Algeria.
Diana Veteranorum (today a village called Zana Ouled Sbaa , Zana Ouled sbaa) was an ancient Roman-Berber city in Algeria.
It was located around 40 km northwest of Lambaesis and 85 km southwest of Cirta.
Diana Veteranorum was founded in the connection with the settling of Roman veterans of the Legio III Augusta in northern Africa under the emperor Trajan (98-117).
Archeological excavations at the site have yielded a large paved rectangular forum and an aqueduct. In the southeastern area, there are also the remains of a temple that may have been dedicated to the goddess Diana. Two arches have been found, the larger one of which features three openings. An inscription on it indicates that it was erected for the emperor Macrinus in 217.
A number of other inscriptions have also been discovered, and in the western part of the city several mausolea have been found.
This extraordinary inscription details the life and times of “M VALERIO MAXIMIANO”.
Epigraphic Database Heidelberg
This epic inscription is not the easiest to decipher because the continuous text [i.e. lacking the necessary gaps that group characters into words] includes numerous abbreviations.
However, the ever eager epigraphists decoded the Latin to reveal the extraordinary life and times of Marcus Valerius Maximianus – a well seasoned general [with “an almost unprecedented series of legionary commands”] who entered “the Senate with praetorian rank”.
Marcus Valerius Maximianus was an important Roman general of the period of the Marcomannic Wars during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
He was placed in charge of detachments of the praetorian fleets of Misenum and Ravenna and also of African and Moorish cavalry used for scouting duties in Pannonia.
He was appointed prefect of the lance-bearing cavalry and was in charge of the cavalry on the expedition to Syria to quell the revolt of Avidius Cassius in 175.
Maximianus was then appointed procurator of Moesia Inferior; at the same time he was given a command to drive out brigands from the borders of Macedonia and Thrace.
It appears Maximianus enjoyed Marcus Aurelius’s confidence, for he was then successively procurator of Moesia Superior and Dacia Porolissensis, after which he was adlected into the Senate with praetorian rank.
He commanded as legate first Legio I Adiutrix, then Legio II Adiutrix, Legio V Macedonica, Legio XIII Gemina and Legio III Augusta – an almost unprecedented series of legionary commands.
He was in charge of the winter quarters at Laugaricio (modern Trenčín, in Slovakia), where the final battle of the Second Marcommanic War was fought, and was afterwards decorated for his services in the Sarmatian War by the Emperor Commodus.
After this he governed Numidia. Maximianus was suffect consul around 186.
It is not known when he died.
The Inscription Man
The Diana Veteranorum inscriptions begins with the character “M”.
Somehow, or other, the epigraphists deciphered this “M” to mean “MARCO” aka “Marcus”.
Perhaps epigraphists simply like to improvise, clutch at straws, and make wild guesses.
Constantine is one of the 48 provinces (wilayas) of Algeria…
Constantine, also spelled Qacentina or Kasantina, is the capital of Constantine Province in northeastern Algeria. During Roman times it was called Cirta and was renamed “Constantina” in honor of emperor Constantine the Great.
It was the capital of the French department of Constantine until 1962.
No. 131. – Found in the excavations of the first arch outside, on the road to Marcouna, near the Forum. Stone lm 17 wide and one meter high, decorated with moldings at the top and bottom.
The face was divided into six pieces by breaks.
This is the very bow at the foot of which the stone has been found, which would have been built by the Legion and dedicated by Marcus Valerius Maximianus. who had been Legate of Commode.
It appears the Roman Historians are embarrassed because no ancient writer mentioned Marcus Valerius Maximianus.
No surviving ancient writer mentions Marcus Valerius Maximianus, although he was clearly a significant military figure.
Apparently, this historically “significant” figure is known “only from inscriptions”.
His career is known to us only from inscriptions, chiefly the one set up by the council of the colony of Diana Veteranorum (Zana) in Numidia when he was governor.
Marcus Valerius Maximianus: Algeria (8), Syria (1), Greece (1)
Simple Search – Epigraphic Database Heidelberg
The History Book Man
This doesn’t mean Marcus Valerius Maximianus is a stranger to history books.
The 3rd century Pannonian doppelgänger Marcus Valerius Maximianus [replete with coins] is reported to have been executed in Marseilles in 310 AD.
There is the another 3rd century Marcus Valerius Maximianus who is better know as Emperor “military brawn” Maximian from Pannonia.
Maximian (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maximianus Herculius Augustus; c. 250 – c. July 310) was Roman Emperor from 286 to 305.
He was Caesar from 285 to 286, then Augustus from 286 to 305.
He shared the latter title with his co-emperor and superior, Diocletian, whose political brain complemented Maximian’s military brawn.
Maximian was born near Sirmium (modern Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) in the province of Pannonia, around 250 into a family of shopkeepers.
Arguably, all these history book narratives are Embroidered Fictions that became fatally flawed when the inscribed life and times of Marcus Valerius Maximianus was discovered in 1956.
In other words:
Historians have been writing [for centuries] fake histories for inscribed names.
And just to confuse everyone [including themselves] the Roman Historians have a very nasty habit of disconnecting themselves from their sources by changing [aka deciphering aka translating] inscribed names into something completely different.
The traditional transmutation of “M VALERIO MAXIMIANO” into Marcus Valerius Maximianus was a crude, senseless act of vandalism unless the original objective was to confuse and/or deceive and/or misdirect.
Trenčín – Slovakia
To expunge their embarrassment [or their dislike of 3rd century doppelgängers] the ever creative Roman Historians began searching for a 2nd century means to merge the newly discovered Marcus Valerius Maximianus into their official historical narrative.
One thousand [odd] miles away from Diana Veteranorum the Roman Historians believe they have hit pay dirt.
Their answer to a maiden’s prayer is an inscription in Trenčín, Slovakia.
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around 120 km (75 mi) from Bratislava.
During the course of the Marcomannic Wars between the Roman Empire and Germanic Quadi, the Romans carved an inscription on the rock under the present-day castle in 179 CE and the place was mentioned as Laugaricio.
EXERCITVS QUI LAV
GARICIONE SEDIT MIL
L II DCCCLV
IANS LEG LEG II AD CVR F
Deceptively Deciphered Latin Text
EXERCITVS, QUI LAVGARICIONE
Legionis II DCCCLV
Marcus Valerius MaximIANuS LEGatus LEGionis
II ADiutricis) CVRavit Faciendum
Deceptively Deciphered into Embroidered English
To the victory of emperor
dedicated by 855 soldiers
of II. Legion of an army
stationed in Laugaricio.
Made to order
of Marcus Valerius Maximianus, a legate
of the Second Auxiliary legion.
The Trenčín and Diana Veteranorum inscriptions are connected by three tenuous threads.
Tenuous Thread One
The Trenčín inscription is associated with “LEG II AD” [aka Legion II Adiutrix] while the Diana Veteranorum inscription states Marcus Valerius Maximianus was [at some point in it’s history] legate of “LEGIIADIV” [aka Legion II Adiutrix].
Legio secunda adiutrix (“Rescuer Second Legion”), was a legion of the Imperial Roman army founded in AD 70 by the emperor Vespasian (r. 69-79), originally composed of Roman navy marines of the classis Ravennatis.
The legion’s symbols were a Capricorn and Pegasus.
A legatus (anglicized as legate) was a high ranking Roman military officer in the Roman Army, equivalent to a modern high ranking general officer.
Initially used to delegate power, the term became formalized under Augustus as the officer in command of a legion.
Tenuous Thread Two
The epigraphists have exceeded all bounds of comprehension by deciphering the letters “IANS” in the Trenčín inscription as “Marcus Valerius Maximianus”.
The detailed text indicates “IANS” is deciphered to mean “MAXIMIANO” [aka “Maximianus”].
The Epigraphic Database Heidelberg identifies several different “MAXIMIANO” entries and [just to make life confusing] numerous “MAXIMIANUS” entries.
003 hits: Caio Valerio Maximiano 079 hits: Galerio Valerio Maximiano 055 hits: Marco Aurelio Valerio Maximiano 010 hits: Marco Valerio Maximiano 228 hits: Maximiano 117 hits: Maximianus
In other words:
This “Marcus Valerius Maximianus” decipherment is baloney.
Tenuous Thread Three
The Trenčín inscription contains “LAV” and “GARICIONE” as adjacent words on two lines.
The epigraphists have concatenated these words to form a place name “LAVGARICIONE” which [almost] matches the character string “LEVGARICIONE” found in [the continuous text of] the Diana Veteranorum inscription.
In other words:
The epigraphists claim the Roman name for Trenčín was “LEVGARICIONE” [aka Laugaricio].
The major problem with this mainstream interpretation is that “LEVGARICIONE” probably represents two foreign language words “LEV” and “GARICIONE”.
A Foreign Language Decipherment
The inscribed “GARICIONE” probably represents the English word “Garrison”.
Old French garison, guarison, from Frankish, ultimately of Germanic origin; compare guard, ward.
Google TranslationAlbanian: Garnizon Bosnian: Garnizon Corsican: Guarnigione Croation: Garnizon Dutch: Garnizoen English: Garrison French: Garnison German: Garnison Italian: Guarnigione Lithuanian: Garnisonas Romanian: Garnizoană Slovenia: Garnizon Spanish: Guarnición Swedish: Garnison Turkish: Garnizon
While the Slavic word “LEV” translates into English as “Lion”.
The name Lev may be of different origins.
It is typically a first name, or less commonly a surname (e.g. in Czech Republic) of Slavic origin, which translates as “lion”.
Cf. Germanic form Löwe or Löw.
The name also appears in the forms Liev, Lyev, Leo and Leon.
The Etruscan/Lydian Lion Garrison
This foreign language interpretation suggests Trenčín was once an Etruscan/Lydian settlement.
The Kingdom of Lydia existed from about 1200 BCE to 546 BCE.
At its greatest extent, during the 7th century BCE, it covered all of western Anatolia.
An Etruscan/Lydian association has long been a subject of conjecture.
The Greek historian Herodotus stated that the Etruscans came from Lydia, repeated in Virgil’s epic poem the Aeneid, and Etruscan-like language was found on the Lemnos stele from the Aegean Sea island of Lemnos… a recent genetic study of likely Etruscan descendants in Tuscany found strong similarities with individuals in western Anatolia, indicating that Etruscans may have lived in or near the region at one time.
According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to use gold and silver coins and the first to establish retail shops in permanent locations.
The largest of these coins are commonly referred to as a 1/3 stater (trite) denomination, weighing around 4.7 grams, though no full staters of this type have ever been found, and the 1/3 stater probably should be referred to more correctly as a stater, after a type of a transversely held scale, the weights used in such a scale (from ancient Greek ίστημι=to stand), which also means “standard.” These coins were stamped with a lion’s head adorned with what is likely a sunburst, which was the king’s symbol.
Ancient Etruscans Were Immigrants From Anatolia
Date: June 18, 2007 – Source: European Society of Human Genetics
The lev is the currency of Bulgaria.
Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Valerius Carausius (died 293) was a military commander of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century.
He was a Menapian from Belgic Gaul, who usurped power in 286, during the Carausian Revolt, declaring himself emperor in Britain and northern Gaul (Imperium Britanniarum).
The Etruscan/Lydian connection is reinforced [architecturally] in Philadelphia and Rome by brick structures built [in the 7th century CE] upon the ruins of earlier stone structures.
Alaşehir, in Antiquity and the Middle Ages known as Philadelphia is a town and district of Manisa Province in the Aegean region of Turkey.
In about the year 600 the domed Basilica of St. John was built, remains of which are the main archaeological attraction in the modern city.
An ancient town of Lydia, on the site of the present Ala-Shehr, 27 m. E. S. E. of Sardis… Its numerous temples gave Philadelphia in ancient times the epithet of “Little Athens,” but only the ruins of a single small temple are now visible.
The ground of the S. E. portion of the town is now considerably higher than formerly, and blocks of marble and numerous coins have been uncovered by digging 15 ft. below the surface.
The original inhabitants seem to have been Macedonians, and they retained their national character to the time of Pliny.
Philadelphia (ancient) – The American Cyclopædia -1879
Overall, this foreign language interpretation of the Trenčín inscription suggests the “Rescuer Second Legion” [aka Legion II Adiutrix] recorded for posterity their re-capture of the [Etruscan/Lydian] “Lion Garrison” in present day Slovakia.
Within the wider context of Roman History this suggests recovering Republics endeavoured to re-establish some semblance of the status quo after the massive destruction inflicted by Mother Nature at the Arabian Horizon.
Within the context of Leona Libby’s Old Japanese Cedar Tree Chronology the establishment of new [replacement] Legions around the Mediterranean basin immediately after the Arabian Horizon in 637 CE is understandable.
But the narrative of the Roman Empire creating new provinces up to [about] 100 AD appears to be creative fiction that providentially borrows storyline elements from the era before the Arabian Horizon.
Ptolemy’s Leukaristos and The Amber Road
Somewhere along the line some gradualist bright spark suggested the Greek “Leukaristos” [referenced by Ptolemy] became the Roman “Levgaricione” before [finally] becoming Trenčín.
Trenčín was first mentioned under the Greek name Leukaristos (Λευκάριστος), depicted on the Ptolemy world map around 150 CE.
The downside of this bright spark suggestion is that Ptolemy’s “Leukaristos” had previously been associated with Kalisz in central Poland.
Kalisz (Old Greek: Καλισία, Latin: Calisia) is a city in central Poland with 101,625 inhabitants (December 2017), the capital city of the Kalisz Region.
Calisia was a “station” on so-called “Amber Road”, mentioned by Ptolemy, formerly universally identified with Kalisz in Poland.
The Amber Road was an ancient trade route for the transfer of amber from coastal areas of the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.
As an important commodity, sometimes dubbed “the gold of the north”, amber was transported from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts overland by way of the Vistula and Dnieper rivers to Italy, Greece, the Black Sea, Syria and Egypt over a period of thousands of years.
This bright spark suggestion presents the gradualists with a difficult dilemma.
Are Ptolemy’s latitudes off by just 1°?
Besides the similarity of the names, the identification was supported by the closeness between the latitude given by Ptolemy (52° 50′) and the actual latitude of Kalisz (51° 45′ 27″).
Are Ptolemy’s latitudes off by a whopping 4°?
The validity of these arguments is currently in doubt, mainly due to the identification of Ptolemy’s Leukaristos, located at a latitude similar to that of Kalisz, with the name Laugaritio/Leugaritio certainly referring to the town of Trenčín in Slovakia (this identification is confirmed by a rock inscription made in the winter of 179/180 CE by a Roman military unit, and the biography of the unit’s commander, M. Valesius Maximianus, carved on his tomb in Diana Veteranorum in today’s Algeria).
As Trenčín is much further south than the latitude given by Ptolemy, this identification seems to imply that Ptolemy’s data on latitude of places north of the Danube had significant errors, hence making the Calisia-Kalisz identification doubtful.
Ptolemy (52° 50′)
Trenčín 48° 53′ 31″ N
This is purely a self-inflicted gradualist dilemma.
Firstly, Ptolemy’s Geographia gazetteer was updated as location co-ordinates changed.
The contents of Ptolemy’s Geographia indicate it was a living document which incorporated inherited knowledge from the Greek tradition.
Ptolemy’s Geographia also incorporates knowledge contributed by successive generations of geographers and cartographers.
It seems more likely, especially given the work of Pomponius Mela, that the lives of Marinus of Tyre [“little is known”] and Claudius Ptolemy [“few reliable details”] were invented [or appropriated] for the Roman Narrative after the Geographia arrived in Italy.
The digitised gazetteer confirms the Greek heritage of the Geographia because it includes the ancient Western Red Sea coastline mapped by Eratosthenes [276-194 BC].
Secondly, Peter James has identified that today’s parallel of latitude [North of the Mediterranean Sea] have deviated by about 4° since the time of Hipparchus [circa 190-120 BC].
Born in Marseille, Hipparchus placed its latitude on the same latitude as Byzantium (Istanbul, today).
A parallel of latitude through both locations is shown in Figure 4.
The one by Hipparchus deviates from today’s parallel of latitude by an angle of about 4° and it would put the North Pole near the northern tip of Russia (Bol’shevik Is), outside the limits of the modern permanent pack ice and some 1000-1500 km from its present location.
Gunnar Heinsohn sheds more light on the Kalisz/Calisia/Trenčín debate when he notes that [officially] Kalisz has no building strata from the 1st to the 7th century.
In Poland, the stratigraphic situation resembles Ingelheim’s because sites with Early Medieval 8th/9th strata of Hill Forts or Viking settlements contain 1st/2nd c. Roman artifacts or coins.
They are regarded as heirlooms although no on-site 1st/2nd c. Roman or later strata are found through which such artefacts could have been bequeathed over 700 years from parents to children.
Moreover, Polish Przeworsk-Wielbark sites of Antiquity (1st-3rd c.) are nowhere super-imposed by building strata of Slavic tribal centres or Viking sites of the Early Middle Ages (8th-10th c.).
It is not understood why the exquisite locations and soils of Wielbark sites are not used by Early Medieval Slavs.
Why such a waste of prime space?
On the other hand, Wielbark sites and Early Medieval Slavic sites have many material items in common, e.g. Imperial Roman coins, glass beakers, locks and keys.
If it weren’t for the 700 years placed between the two cultures by mainstream chronology, one might conclude that they are contemporary.
Early Medieval Slavs simply could not have continued building upon Wielbark foundations because the two cultures existed side by side at the same time in the 8th-10th c. period.
Again, such an assumption appears to touch on the absurd.
Yet it would solve Poland’s greatest historical enigma, which concerns the country’s oldest city, Kalisz.
It is first mentioned, as Calisia, by Claudius Ptolemy (90-168 CE).
Yet, there are no building strata in Kalisz from the 1st to the 7th c. CE.
700 years after Ptolemy, however, Kalisz is indeed one of the most impressive sites in all of Poland.
Still, there must have been something going on at Kalisz already in the time of Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) when he described the sailing boats of the Venedi-Slavs of Antiquity.
And, indeed, Late Latène coins of the 1st c. BCE – possibly some of their molds, too – have recently been discovered around Kalisz (Rudnicki et al 2009).
Stratigraphically, thus, Kalisz appears to tell us that Ptolemy did not write about Calisia in the 2nd but in the 9th c. CE.
Archaeologically, that would be the appropriate conclusion to draw.
Chronologically, however, it would be absolute anathema.
From an archaeological point of view, Poland’s proud Kalisz traditionalists would be right that their city already existed in Antiquity.
Yet, they would have to be content with an Antiquity that is 700 years younger than they would like it to be.
Today, they are frequently ridiculed because the identity of Calisia (source of 2nd c.) and Kalisz (fortress of 9th c.) is frequently denied for chronological reasons although the identification was considered credible because the latitude of Kalisz (51°45’27”) is quite close to Ptolemy’s latitude for Calisia (52°50’).
The deniers favour either the Czech city of Olomouc (Latin Iuliomontium with a Roman camp) or the Slovakian city of Trenčín (Latin Laugaricio with a Roman inscription of 179 CE) as the namegiver for Ptolemy’s Kalisz.
Poland’s archaeologists, to go along, would not have to change much in terms of chronology.
Yet, they would have to swallow that Kalisz’s Early Medieval period is Calisia’s Antiquity.
The resistance against moving Antiquity 700 years closer to us would make such an acknowledgement extremely demanding.
Once Early Medieval Kalisz is accepted as part of Antiquity, whose age must be shortened by some 700 years, Early Medieval Vikings have to undergo the same reassignment to Antiquity, without however, having to change their 8th-10th c. chronology.
As Kalisz would shed its mysterious hiatus and directly connect with the 700 older Late Latène coins found in its realm, so would the Vikings turn into immediate successors of Julius Caesar’s Late Latène Norsemen with clinkered and riveted sailing ships whose ports had been visited by a fleet of Emperor Augustus.
How did so many 1st-3rd century Roman elements
make it into the 8th-10th century Viking age?
Gunnar Heinsohn – University of Bremen
The mainstream enthusiasm for the Trenčín inscription partly rests upon it providing “evidence of the presence of Roman soldiers in central Europe”.
Trenčín… For a long time it was considered the northernmost known presence of the Romans in Central Europe.
It denotes the site as Laugaricio and for long time it was the most northern known evidence of the presence of Roman soldiers in central Europe (until the Roman fort by Mušov and marching camps by Olomouc and Hulín were found).
Wikipedia promotes the Romans in Central Europe narrative by stating “II legion” was “stationed” in Trenčín [aka Laugaricio, Levgaricione, Leukaristos].
Done by 855 Legionaries of the Augustus victorious army, who are stationed in Laugaricio…
Done under supervision of Maximus legatus of II legion.
However, using “stationed” in the translation is pushing at the boundaries of academic decency.
Furthermore, the Wikipedia translation has dropped the word “Auxiliary” from the English translation that appears in Wikimedia: “Second Auxiliary legion”.
This is a significant omission.
The “Auxiliary” designation indicates the soldiers were “provincials” i.e. not Roman.
(Provincials who aspired to citizenship gained it when honourably discharged from the auxiliaries).
The Roman army, for most of the Imperial period, consisted mostly of auxiliaries rather than legions.
Encyclopaedia Metropolitana – Volume XXIII – 1845 – Page 53
This Romans in Central Europe storyline is further undermined when it’s remembered that the Marcus Valerius Maximianus discovered in 1956 was [also] Pannonian i.e. not Roman.
Marcus Valerius Maximianus was an important Roman general of the period of the Marcomannic Wars during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. He was born (year unknown) in the Roman colony of Poetovio (modern Ptuj, in Slovenia), where his father, also called Marcus Valerius Maximianus, was a local censor and priest.
Ptuj (Latin: Poetovium/Poetovio) is a town in northeastern Slovenia that is the seat of the Municipality of Ptuj.
Ptuj, the oldest recorded city in Slovenia, has been inhabited since the late Stone Age and developed from a Roman military fort.
Ptuj was located at a strategically important crossing of the Drava River, along a prehistoric trade route between the Baltic Sea and the Adriatic.
By the 1st century BC, the settlement was controlled by Ancient Rome as part of the Pannonian province.
Overall, the curious duplication of Legion “Numbers” suggests there was no central control.
Arguably, “Legions” [like inscriptions] were purely a “provincial” affair.
… the epigraphic evidence suggests “Roman times” was an era of “independent” city states.
This would explain why the “numbering of the legions is confusing”.
The numbering of the legions is confusing, since several legions shared the same number with others.
And why a “Legio Secunda” was created [roughly] every 50 years.