Latin Abbreviations and Acronyms

Used on Inscriptions in Britain (and Elsewhere)

Acronym / AbbreviationLatin ExpansionEnglish Translation
A NAugustus noster‘our Emperor’
A Sa solo‘from the ground [upwards]’
AA NNAugusti nostri‘our Emperors (2)’
ADadiutrix‘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’
AVGAugusta‘the wife/mother of the Emperor, the title of the Second and Eighth Legions’
AVGAugustus‘the Augustus (i.e. the Emperor), sacred, venerable, majestic, the most distinguished, the August’
AVGGaugusti‘the emperors (2)’
AVGGGaugusti‘the emperors (3 or more)’
B Fbeneficiarius‘a soldier exempt from normal duties, usually in order to serve in a specialised advisory or administrative position’
B (F) COSbeneficiarius consularis‘a beneficiarius attached to the staff of the consular governor’
B R P Nbono rei publicae natus‘for the good of the children of the Republic’
BB FFbeneficiarii‘plural of beneficiarius, above’
BRBreuci‘the Breuci tribe of ?’
BRBrittones‘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)’
BVCbuccinator‘military bugle-player’
C Acuram agens‘administered through the agency of …, the responsibility fell upon …, managed by …’
C Acustos armorum‘the keeper of the armoury, armourer’
C F Cconiunx faciendum curavit‘his/her wife/husband was responsible for the making [of this memorial]’
C P, C P ESTcui praeest‘whose commander is, commanded by’
C Vclarissimus 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, CHOcohors, cohortis‘cohort(s), military unit(s) of around 500 men’
COSconsule, 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 Ddedicavit‘he has dedicated’
D Ddii deae‘? to the goddess’
D Ddomus divina‘the divine house’
D Ddono dedit‘donated an offering’
D Mdeo Mercuris‘for/to the god Mercury’
D Mdis manibus‘to the shades of the departed’ / To the gods below
D M Sdis manibus sacrum‘to the sacred spirits of the departed’
D Ndominus noster‘our lord’
DD NNdomini nostri‘our lords (2)’
DDD NNNdomini nostri‘our lords (3 or more)’
DEABVSdeabus‘for/to the goddesses’
DEAEdeae‘for/to the goddess’
DEOdeo‘for/to the god’
DEORVMdeorum‘for/to the gods’
DIS Mdis manibus (sacrum)‘to the shades of the departed’
EMemeritus‘a veteran soldier on a military pension’
EQeques‘a knight, a horseman, trooper’
EQequitata‘(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]’
FACfaciendum, 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’
FEfebruarius‘February, the second month’
GEMgemina, gemini‘twin (title of the Fourteenth Legion), twins (a sign of the zodiac)’
H D S Pheres de suo posuit‘his heirs themselves placed this’
H E T Fheres ex testamento fecit‘his heirs placed this as stipulated in his will’
H E T Pheres ex testamento posuit‘his heirs had this made as stipulated in his will’
H ET Lheredes et liberi‘[his] heirs and [his] freedmen’
H ET Lheres et libertus‘[his] freedman and heir’
H F Cheres faciendum curavit‘his heirs attended to/were responsible for the making [of this]’
H S Ehic situs est‘he lies here, here he lies’
HERHercules‘Hercules, the strongman of the demi-gods’
HERheres, 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)’
IIIVIRtriumvir‘a member of the board of three’
IIVIRduumvir‘a member of the board of two’
IMPimperator‘Emperor, victorious general’
IOMIupitter Optimus Maximus‘Jupiter Best and Greatest’
K(AR)carissima/carisimus‘the most caring, the dearest, the loveliest’
Kkalendis‘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’
LEGlegatus‘legate (senior military rank)’
LEGlegio‘legion (military unit of about 5,000 citizen troops)’
LIBlibens‘freely, of one’s own volition’
LIBlibrarius‘military book-keeper’
MATRmatres‘mothers, mother-goddesses’
MILmiles‘a soldier’
MILmilia‘a thousand’
MILmilitavit‘military service’
MILmilliaria‘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’
NVMnumen‘holy spirit, divine will’
NVMnumerus‘number, a company of soldiers’
OP(T)optimus‘the best’
OP(T)optio‘military officer just beneath the rank of centurion’
ORDordinarius‘a regular soldier receiving normal pay’
ORDordo‘order, rank, class’
P Fpia fidelis‘loyal and faithful (title of the Sixth Legion)’
P S D Npro salute dominus noster‘for the well-being of our lord (i.e. the Emperor)’
P S ET Spro 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’
POSposuit‘he has placed [this]’
PR PRpraefectus praetorio‘commander of the Praetorian Guard (at Rome)’
PR PRpraeses provincae‘governor of the province, provincial governor’
PR PRprinceps prior‘a senior centurion’
PR PRpro-praetore‘propraetor, a magistrate with praetorian power’
PRpraefectus‘a prefect, senior officer’
PRpraetor‘praetor, the second most senior magistracy of the Roman republic’
PRpridie‘before today’
PRprimus‘the first’
PRprinceps‘first among equals (another name for the emperor)’
PRpro‘for, before, in front of’
PRprocurator‘manager, overseer, deputy’
PRprovincia‘the province’
PRA(EF)praefectus‘prefect, senior officer’
Q C Aquorum curam agit‘the undertaking of which has been managed by …’
R Creficiendum curavit‘reponsible for the restoration [of]’
REFrefecit‘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 Mvotum solvit libens laetus merito‘willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’
V S L Mvotum solvit libens merito‘willingly and deservedly in fulfillment of a vow’
V Vvaleria victrix‘Valiant and Victorious (titles of the Twentieth Legion)’
VETveteranus‘a veteran (soldier)’
VEXvexillarius‘the bearer of the ‘vexillium’ or military standard’
VEXvexillatio‘flag-section, a number of normally unrelated military units formed together under a single standard’
VIvixit‘he has lived [for], his age is’
VICvicit‘he has lived [for], his age is’
VICvictor, victrix‘victorious (male)’, ‘victorious (female; title of the Sixth, Fourteenth and Twentieth Legions)’
VICvictoria‘victory, the goddess Victoria’
VICvicus, vicani‘village’, ‘villager’
VXuxor‘wife, husband, spouse’
VXvixit‘he lived [for]’
XVVIRquindecimvir‘a member of the board of fifteen’

Commonly used names, words and phrases were often abbreviated.


Common Titles were abbreviated as follows

PONT. MAX.Pontifex Maximus, Chief pontiff
TRIB. POTtribunicia potestas, with tribunician power
COS.consul, the highest political office
P.P.pater patriae, ‘Father of the country’