Epitaph of Stlakkie


Trismegistos ID: 738903

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, inv. number unknown.


Plain white marble stele slightly tapering (0.93; 0.345 to 0.38;0.22 to 0.23).


Inscribed on front face in twelve lines, two for each verse, beginning at 0.055 from the top and ending at 0.61 from the bottom.


0.015 to 0.017; very carefully cut inside guidelines still visible; small serifs; alpha with dropped bar, theta with short central bar, kappa with large oblique bars, slightly slanting mu, large round or oval omicron, rho with square loop, non slanting sigma, phi with large round loop, developed lower appendices of omega.

Place of Origin



Perhaps second half of first century A.D. (lettering)


Found by Dorothy Thorn in 1998 at Cyrene : North Necropolis , from tomb N258 Cassels.

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Said Abdelghader, 1998 , p. 269, fig. 1, whence Boter and Tybout in SEG , 51.2212; Reynolds in Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003 , pp. 169-170, fig. 3 and Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique , 2004.447, whence SEG , 53.2057; Dobias-Lalou, 2014 , p. 326.


| Δεύτερον εἰς λυκάβαντα | καὶ ἰκοστόν με περῶσαν | λυγρὸς ἀφ᾿ ἱμερτῶν εἷλε | μόρος θαλάμων (vac. 4)

| (5) ούδ᾿ὅλον εἰς πλειῶνα γά|μοις ἐπιγηθήσασαν·(vac. 3) | ἤματι δ᾿ὧι παστὸν καὶ (vac. 2) | σποδίην ἔλαχον, (vac. 5)

5 | Στλακκίη αἰνοδάκρυτος· | (10) ἀμαυροτέρηι δ᾿ὑπὸ λύπηι | θνήσκω τὴν μούνην σοι, | πόσι, παρθεμένη ❧


2 ἰκοστόν : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  εἰκοστόν (Reynolds) : SEG  <ε>ἰκοστόν (Boter SEG 51, again Tybout SEG 53)

4 Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  μόρος (Reynolds) : SEG  μόγος (Tybout SEG 51)

5-6 Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  γά|μοις (Reynolds) : SEG  ⸢γ⸣ ά|μοις (Boter SEG 51)

6 ἐπιγηθήσασαν : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  ἔπι γηθήσασαν (Reynolds) : SEG  ἐπιγη⸢θ⸣ ήσασαν (Boter SEG 51)

7 SEG  ὧι (SEG 53) : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  ᾧ (Reynolds and already SEG 51) || Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  παστὸν (Reynolds) : SEG  ⸢μ⸣ αστὸν (Boter SEG 51) || Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  καὶ (Reynolds) : SEG  καὶ {σ} (Tybout SEG 51)

10 Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique  ἀμαυροτέρηι δ᾿ὑπὸ λύπηι : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  ἀμαυροτέρηι δ᾿ὑπὸ λύπηι (Reynolds) : SEG  ἀμαυροτέρη{ι} δ᾿ὑπὸ λύπη⸢ς⸣ (Martin SEG 51 and again Tybout SEG 53)

11 θνήσκω : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003 , SEG  θνῄσκω || SEG  μούνην : Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003  μουνήν (Reynolds)

French translation

Alors que je m'acheminais vers ma vingt-deuxième année,

un lamentable sort m'a arrachée à mon aimable chambre nuptiale,

sans que j'aie joui de mon mariage jusqu'à une année complète;

et le jour où m'est échu le voile nuptial, m'est échue aussi la cendre,

à moi Stlakkiè,, qui mérite des pleurs amers; sous le poids d'un chagrin débilitant,

je meurs, après t'avoir confié, mon époux, cette unique enfant.

English translation

As I was passing towards my twenty-second year,

gloomy fate snatched me from my beloved bridal-chamber,

when I had not rejoiced in my marriage for a full year;

but on the day on which I was alotted a bridal bed was I also promised to ashes,

I Stlakkie, deserving of bitter lament; under the weight of enfeebling pain,

I die, having entrusted you, my dear husband, this only girl.

(transl. J.M. Reynolds with some changes)

Italian translation

Mentre mi incamminavo verso il mio ventiduesimo anno,

un destino terribile mi ha sottratto dall'amata stanza nuziale,

senza che io abbia goduto nemmeno per un anno intero delle nozze;

proprio nel giorno in cui ho ricevuto in sorte il talamo nuziale, eccomi condannata anche alla cenere,

io, Stlakkie, che merito amare lacrime. Sotto il peso di un dolore che mi esaurisce,

muoio, dopo aver affidato a te, sposo, questa unica figlia.


For the probable position of the stele inside a recess, flanked by two series of three niches (all features being re-used in Roman date in the Hellenistic tomb) see the other contributions in Al Muzzeini-Thorn-Thorn, 2003 ; for names of other members of the same family, cut directly on the wall, see IRCyr C.592.

Most of the corrections proposed in SEG , 51.2212 were due to hastily editing the inscription from a clumsy copy. Reynolds' definitive publication proved them useless and they were renounced in SEG , 53.2057.

Once the text was really published, only two points remained discussed. First the rare construction of ὑπό with the dative case is not admitted by Tybout for SEG; however the dative ending is sure for both the adjective and the use of this case instead of the genitive does occur especially in poetry.

The second point is the word ΜΟΥΝΗΝ. Instead of the rare noun μονήν, only attested in prose without lenghtening of the first syllable, and never used in funerary contexts, it seems better to identify it with the adjective μόνος, very often used since Homer with the lengthened first syllable. Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique , 2004.447 proposed to connect it with the feminine noun λύπη mentioned at the preceding line and understood so: 'having brought you this only sorrow (i.e. my death)'. However, Tybout's proposal (SEG , 53.2057) of a subaudible παῖδα seems eventually more convincing for the premature death of a recently married wife: she probably died in childbearth.

Metrical analysis: three elegiac couplets. At verse-line 2, apart from the shortening in hiatus of καί, there has been some discussion about ἰκοστόν. It might be an effect of iotacism, however, it is better explained as recording the Doric form of number 'twenty' with a long i and might therefore be a touch of dialectal tradition in Cyrenaica. At line 9 the final vowel of the name Στλακκίη is metrically shortened before the following vowel.

Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

All citation, reuse or distribution of this work must contain a link back to DOI: http://doi.org/10.6092/UNIBO/IGCYRGVCYR and the filename (IGCyr000000 or GVCyr000), as well as the year of consultation.