Fragmentary terracotta tile manufactured by and stamped with the symbol of the Roman Tenth Legion "Fretensis" - X FR - inside a rectangle, the abbreviation representing X (decima) FRetensis.
The Roman Xth legion was the one mainly responsible for quelling the Jewish revolt against Rome and destroying the second Jewish temple. It was originally levied by Augustus Caesar in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic. After the conclusion of the Jewish revolt, Legio X was garrisoned at Jerusalem. Their main camp was positioned on the Western Hill, located in the southern half of the old city, now leveled of all former buildings. The camp of the Tenth was built using the surviving portions of the walls of Herod the Great's palace, demolished by order of Titus. The camp was at the end of the cardo maximus of Aelia Capitolina. At the time, Legio X was the sole legion assigned to maintain the peace in Judaea, and was directly under the command of the governor of the province, who was also legatus of the legion.
Condition: Fragmentary as described, with crisp impression.
Dimensions: Height: 6 inches (15.2 cm), Width: 5.5 inches (13.9 cm)
Provenance: Private Brooklyn collection.