Epitaph of a dog


Trismegistos ID: 738902

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, 1631.


Miniature pillar of smooth limestone with moulding and cornice at the top on three sides (0.25; 0.085;0.10).


Inscribed on front face of the slightly tapering shaft (0.065 to 0.07; 0.21;0.073 to 0.082), a) inside a cartouche just under the moulding (0.055; 0.005;), b) lower, beneath the figure, superficially carved, of a hunting dog with no visible ears and a tall and slender tail, sitting, looking leftwards.


0.004; dotted theta, smaller omicron, rho with very small loop, slanting sigma, open omega.

Place of Origin



Probably third or second century B.C. (lettering)


Found in 1969 in the area of Faidia .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Dobias-Lalou-Gwaider, 1997 , n. 5, pl. II.b-c, whence SEG , 47.2176. Cf. Chamoux, 2001 , pp. 1308-1310, whence SEG , 51.2207.


Τύραννος κύων

| Ἐνθάδε δὴ κεῖμαι | ὑ̣π̣[ὸ] γα̣ί̣ης, δέσπο|τα̣, πολλὰ πονή|(5)σας


French translation

Le chien Tyrannos.

Ici je gis sous la terre, mon maître, après bien des fatigues.

English translation

The dog Tyrannos.

Here I lay under the earth, dear master, having endured much toil.

Italian translation

Tyrannos, il cane.

Qui giaccio sotto terra, padrone, dopo tante fatiche.


The findspot is situated about 17 km from Cyrene southwards. The dog, who from the image seems to have been a hunting-dog, was probably buried in a country-estate near which his master used to go hunting.

For dogs' epitaphs, see bibliography at Chamoux, 2001 and also Mendez Dosuna, 2007 .

Metrical analysis of b): we have here a dactylic heptameter, probably produced by adjunction of δέσποτα inside a regular hexameter, with trihemimeric and bucolic caesurae.

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