Dedicatory inscription

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Weihaltar with a dedicatory inscription by T. Flavius ​​Constans . The altar is exhibited in the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne. Inventory number: 670.

A dedicatory inscription ( Latin tituli sacri ) was used in antiquity to document a votive offering to a deity in the form of an inscription . Dedicatory inscriptions could be obtained from public figures, the military or private individuals. They could be attached directly to the consecrated object or on an additional table ( tabula ). Inscriptions on fair bears have a special position . These have often been preserved and provide information about people and the worship of deities.


Consecrations usually included the name of the dedicant , the name of the deity being sacrificed, and a verb describing the dedication. These basic information can be supplemented by references to the occasion of the consecration. In Roman culture in particular , dedicatory inscriptions were formalized. Often, the initial letters or simple abbreviations are sufficient to reproduce the desired formula.

Common Latin formulas were for example:

DD d (onum) d (edit) "Has given as a gift"
DSIM D (eo) S (oli) I (nvicto) M (ithrae) "To the undefeated sun god Mithras"
HDD in h (onorem) d (omus) d (ivinae) "In honor of the divine imperial house"
IOM I (ovi) O (ptimo) M (aximo) "The greatest and best Jupiter"
SAC sac (rum) "Consecrated to the deity"
SMD S (acrum) M (atri) D (eum) "Consecrated to the Mother of Gods"
VSLM V (otum) S (olvit) L (ibenter) M (erito) "The vow gladly redeemed according to its merit"