Latin Abbreviations and Acronyms

Used on Inscriptions in Britain (and Elsewhere)

Acronym / Abbreviation Latin Expansion English Translation
A N Augustus noster ‘our Emperor’
A S a solo ‘from the ground [upwards]’
AA NN Augusti nostri ‘our Emperors (2)’
AD adiutrix ‘assistant, helper (title of the Second Legion)’
AQ(V) aqua ‘water, aqueduct’
AQ(V) aquarius ‘water-bearer (a sign of the zodiac)’
AQ(V) aquilifer ‘bearer of the legionary eagle standard’
AVG Augusta ‘the wife/mother of the Emperor, the title of the Second and Eighth Legions’
AVG Augustus ‘the Augustus (i.e. the Emperor), sacred, venerable, majestic, the most distinguished, the August’
AVGG augusti ‘the emperors (2)’
AVGGG augusti ‘the emperors (3 or more)’
B F beneficiarius ‘a soldier exempt from normal duties, usually in order to serve in a specialised advisory or administrative position’
B (F) COS beneficiarius consularis ‘a beneficiarius attached to the staff of the consular governor’
B R P N bono rei publicae natus ‘for the good of the children of the Republic’
BB FF beneficiarii ‘plural of beneficiarius, above’
BR Breuci ‘the Breuci tribe of ?’
BR Britannia ‘Britain’
BR Brittones ‘the British people’
BRI(T) Britannia ‘Britannia (either the country or the patron goddess of the Islands)’
BRI(T) Britannicus ‘literally ‘of Britain’ (a Roman cognomen or military title)’
BVC buccinator ‘military bugle-player’
C A curam agens ‘administered through the agency of …, the responsibility fell upon …, managed by …’
C A custos armorum ‘the keeper of the armoury, armourer’
C F C coniunx faciendum curavit ‘his/her wife/husband was responsible for the making [of this memorial]’
C P, C P EST cui praeest ‘whose commander is, commanded by’
C V clarissimus vir ‘a man of distinction, ‘Right Honourable’, most distinguished man’
C(ON) K(AR) coniunx carissimus ‘the loveliest of spouses’
CL(AS) BR(IT) classis Britannica ‘the British fleet’
COH, CHO cohors, cohortis ‘cohort(s), military unit(s) of around 500 men’
COS consule, consules, consularis ‘consul(s), bearing consular power, consular, the two most senior magistrates of the Roman republic’
CV(RA) cura ‘attention, care, management, administration, responsibility’
CV(RA) curator ‘manager, superintendant, guardian’
CV(RA) curavit ‘he has managed or arranged’
D D dedicavit ‘he has dedicated’
D D dii deae ‘? to the goddess’
D D domus divina ‘the divine house’
D D dono dedit ‘donated an offering’
D M deo Mercuris ‘for/to the god Mercury’
D M dis manibus ‘to the shades of the departed’
D M S dis manibus sacrum ‘to the sacred spirits of the departed’
D N dominus noster ‘our lord’
DD NN domini nostri ‘our lords (2)’
DDD NNN domini nostri ‘our lords (3 or more)’
DEABVS deabus ‘for/to the goddesses’
DEAE deae ‘for/to the goddess’
DEO deo ‘for/to the god’
DEORVM deorum ‘for/to the gods’
DIS M dis manibus (sacrum) ‘to the shades of the departed’
EM emeritus ‘a veteran soldier on a military pension’
EQ eques ‘a knight, a horseman, trooper’
EQ equitata ‘(of a military unit) part-mounted’
EX T(EST) ex testamento ‘as testified (in a will)’
EX V(OTO) ex voto ‘as the result of a vow’
F(EC) fecit ‘he makes, he is making’
F(IL) filius, filia ‘the son, daughter [of]’
FAC faciendum, faciebat ‘the making, he was making’
F(AC) C(VR) faciendum curavit ‘the making [of which] he has arranged, he arranged [this] to be made’
FE februarius ‘February, the second month’
FID fidelis ‘faithful’
GEM gemina, gemini ‘twin (title of the Fourteenth Legion), twins (a sign of the zodiac)’
H D S P heres de suo posuit ‘his heirs themselves placed this’
H E T F heres ex testamento fecit ‘his heirs placed this as stipulated in his will’
H E T P heres ex testamento posuit ‘his heirs had this made as stipulated in his will’
H ET L heredes et liberi ‘[his] heirs and [his] freedmen’
H ET L heres et libertus ‘[his] freedman and heir’
H F C heres faciendum curavit ‘his heirs attended to/were responsible for the making [of this]’
H S E hic situs est ‘he lies here, here he lies’
HER Hercules ‘Hercules, the strongman of the demi-gods’
HER heres, heredes ‘heirs’
HIS(P) Hispan(i)a ‘of Spain, Spanish (title of the Ninth Legion)’
I O M (D) Iovi Optimo Maximo (Dolicheno) ‘to/for Jupiter Best and Greatest (of Doliche)’
IIIVIR triumvir ‘a member of the board of three’
IIVIR duumvir ‘a member of the board of two’
IMP imperator ‘Emperor, victorious general’
IOM Iupitter Optimus Maximus ‘Jupiter Best and Greatest’
K(AR) carissima/carisimus ‘the most caring, the dearest, the loveliest’
K kalendis ‘the first day of the month’
L(EG) A(VG) legatus Augusti ‘legate of the Emperor, governor’
L(EG) L(EG) legatus legionis ‘legionary legate, commander of a legion’
LEG legatus ‘legate (senior military rank)’
LEG legio ‘legion (military unit of about 5,000 citizen troops)’
LIB libens ‘freely, of one’s own volition’
LIB libertus ‘freedman’
LIB librarius ‘military book-keeper’
MAT mater ‘mother’
MATR matres ‘mothers, mother-goddesses’
MIL miles ‘a soldier’
MIL milia ‘a thousand’
MIL militavit ‘military service’
MIL milliaria ‘one-thousand strong (of a military unit)’
N(VM) A(VG) numen Augusti ‘the living spirit of the Emperor, the divine will of the Emperor’
NEP nepos ‘grandson’
NVM numen ‘holy spirit, divine will’
NVM numerus ‘number, a company of soldiers’
OP(T) optimus ‘the best’
OP(T) optio ‘military officer just beneath the rank of centurion’
ORD ordinarius ‘a regular soldier receiving normal pay’
ORD ordo ‘order, rank, class’
P F pia fidelis ‘loyal and faithful (title of the Sixth Legion)’
P S D N pro salute dominus noster ‘for the well-being of our lord (i.e. the Emperor)’
P S ET S pro se et suis ‘for himself and his own (i.e. his family)’
P(AT) P(AT) pater patriae ‘literally ‘father of the fatherland’, father of his country’
POS posuit ‘he has placed [this]’
PR PR praefectus praetorio ‘commander of the Praetorian Guard (at Rome)’
PR PR praeses provincae ‘governor of the province, provincial governor’
PR PR princeps prior ‘a senior centurion’
PR PR pro-praetore ‘propraetor, a magistrate with praetorian power’
PR praefectus ‘a prefect, senior officer’
PR praetor ‘praetor, the second most senior magistracy of the Roman republic’
PR pridie ‘before today’
PR primus ‘the first’
PR princeps ‘first among equals (another name for the emperor)’
PR pro ‘for, before, in front of’
PR procurator ‘manager, overseer, deputy’
PR provincia ‘the province’
PRA(EF) praefectus ‘prefect, senior officer’
Q C A quorum curam agit ‘the undertaking of which has been managed by …’
R C reficiendum curavit ‘reponsible for the restoration [of]’
REF refecit ‘the restoration’
T(ORQ) A(RMIL) P(HAL) torquibus, armilis [et] phaleris ‘[awarded with] neck-rings, arm-bands [and] military ornaments’
T(RIB) P(OT) tribunicia potestas ‘the powers of a tribune (of the people)’
TR(IB) tribunus ‘[military] tribune, tribune [of the plebs]’
TR(IB) tribus ‘tribe, nation’
V S L L M votum solvit libens laetus merito ‘willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’
V S L M votum solvit libens merito ‘willingly and deservedly in fulfillment of a vow’
V V valeria victrix ‘Valiant and Victorious (titles of the Twentieth Legion)’
VET veteranus ‘a veteran (soldier)’
VEX vexillarius ‘the bearer of the ‘vexillium’ or military standard’
VEX vexillatio ‘flag-section, a number of normally unrelated military units formed together under a single standard’
VI vixit ‘he has lived [for], his age is’
VIC vicit ‘he has lived [for], his age is’
VIC victor, victrix ‘victorious (male)’, ‘victorious (female; title of the Sixth, Fourteenth and Twentieth Legions)’
VIC victoria ‘victory, the goddess Victoria’
VIC vicus, vicani ‘village’, ‘villager’
VX uxor ‘wife, husband, spouse’
VX vixit ‘he lived [for]’
XVVIR quindecimvir ‘a member of the board of fifteen’

For further information I would direct the reader the excellent table of ‘Abbreviations used in Inscriptions’, in The Archaeology of Roman Britain by R.G. Collingwood (1930 chap.xi pp.178-184).