The original reading of the inscriptions’s left-hand fragment by Carrara in De’ Scavi di Salona is below on the left and that of Higham’s, from King Arthur: The Making of the Legend, on the right. The final letter in Carrara’s line 7, E, is no longer visible as that portion of the fragment was lost after that original reading was made. It has been questioned whether the letter had really been there.
The errors in the original reading are:
Line 1: Missing R and U as well as inverting O and R in ARTORIUS
Line 2: Missing E in GALLICAE
Line 4: Missing a ligatured T in ITEM
Line 6: Misinterpreting a C for a G
Line 8: Ligaturing the O with the P rather than the R in PROVINCIAE
Line 8: Missing L in LI
So, Carrara never seems to have made the error of adding something that was not there. Moreover, the misinterpretation such as occurred line 6 is unlikely to have occurred with the letter following ARM since not many letters are readily mistaken to be an E. Consequently, the missing word was probably ARMENIOS. It may well be that the start of the top horizontal bar of a ligatured E at the top right corner of the M is still visible:
In a private email, Prof. Higham communicated the following:
“… this may help to authenticate the 19th C reading (it is certainly consistent with that), but I doubt if a modern epigraphist would consider it sufficient to demonstrate the presence of an E on its own. ”
If it were to be determined that a remnant of a letter survived it would limit the possibilities to the consonants B, D, F, P and R. The only possible vowel would be the letter E. This negates the possibility that the inscription has the word ARMORICOS as asserted by Dr. Malcor. It also rules out her more recent suggestion of ARMATOS.
There was a smaller inscription of Castus, shown below.
LEG V MA[…] PR
VI VICTRICI […]