Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Why mauseus......

I met a couple of aquaintences from the US in the flesh the other week when they visited York and one of them asked me "why Mauseus?".

I am a student of the Roman usurper Carausius (287-93AD) who took Britain away from Roman control temporarily. My avatar is his portrait, taken from a base silver coin of the reign. Mauseus is one version or reconstruction of one of his names, Marcus Aurelius Mauseus Carausius. There are other spellings or reconstructions of that part of his name.
On the coins it rarely appears in any form and I don't think I've seen anything other than the initial M. The reconstruction comes from the single piece of known epigraphy from the reign, a milestone from Old Penrith (RIB 2290-2), that expands it as far as MAVS.
We are lucky for this to survive as the milestone was reused after Britain was retaken and a Constantius I inscription was put on the opposite end, the Carausius end being buried. There is an erased inscription on the middle and this is probably from the reign of another rebble, Allectus, who succeeded Carausius and represents the only known potential inscription of that reign (erased because it would still be visible in the stones upended state).