Epitaph of Krispina and Sabinos


Trismegistos ID: 738907

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, 2073.


Stele of local limestone, red from earth, broken off at top obliquely and at right below; (0.38; 0.94;0.20); inside an oval medalion (0.35; 0.40; -), two carved busts, at left a girl in a mourning attitude, at right a boy with a round face and short hair on the forehead.


Inscribed under each bust (a at left on 5 lines, b at right on 6 lines); both poems are not exactly displayed in columns, but the segments of lines belonging to each of them are separated by stops.


0.02; alpha with dropped bar, pi with both equal vertical strokes, very small omicron, phi with tall hasta.

Place of Origin



First century A.D. (lettering)


Found between 1972 and 1975 in Martūbah .

Last recorded Location

Observed in 1993 by Dobias-Lalou in Shahat : Cyrene Museum (photography not possible).

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Mohamed-Reynolds, 1996 , n. 2 (no image) and Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1997.710 and AE , 1996, 1670 (Laronde), whence SEG , 46.2212. Cf. Dobias-Lalou, 2014 , p. 324.


section a

| Σῶμα μὲν οὗτος | ἔχι παιδὸς τάφος, | εἰς μακάρων δὲ χῶ|ρον Κρι<σ>πίνας ψυχὰ | (5) ἐνῳκίσατο. (vac.) | (vac. 1 line)

section b

| Δάκρυα πατ[ρὶ] | λιπὼν ἱερὸ[ς] | παῖς ἔνθα [Σα]|βῖνος κεῖ[ται?] | (5) τὸν κούφη [γ]α̣ῖ[α] | τάφοισ[ιν] ἔχο̣[ι].


b.2 λιπὼν ἱερὸ[ς] : Mohamed-Reynolds, 1996 , Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique , AE   (linebreak omitted, λιπών given at l. 1 and ἱερός omitted, whence a shift of the following lines and a different metrical analysis)

b.3 ἔνθα : Mohamed-Reynolds, 1996  ἐνθά[δε]

b.3-4 [Σα]|βῖνος : Mohamed-Reynolds, 1996  [Ἀλ]|βῖνος : Mohamed-Reynolds, 1996  [Καλ]|βῖνος

French translation

a) Un corps d'enfant est enfermé dans cette tombe ; l'âme de Krispina, elle, a pris demeure au pays des bienheureux.

b) N'ayant laissé que des larmes à son père, un merveilleux enfant, Sabinos, gît ici; légère soit la terre qui le retient en sa tombe !

English translation

a) A child's body is enclosed into this tomb; but Krispina's soul has gone to settle down in the land of the blessed ones.

b) Having left but tears to his father, a wonderful child, Sabinos, lies here; may be light the earth that keeps him in his tomb!

Italian translation

a) Un corpo di fanciulla è racchiuso in questa tomba; ma l'anima di Krispina ha preso dimora nella terra dei beati.

b) Lasciate al padre solo le lacrime, un meraviglioso bambino, Sabinos, qui giace; gli sia lieve la terra che copre la sua tomba!


The date is suggested on J. Reynolds' assesment: 'Julio-Claudian or Flavian'

Mohamed and Reynolds in their contribution of 1996 intended to give a provisional discussion of the area of new discoveries in the Cyrenaican 'Far East' rather than a thorough epigraphical publication, the more so that the placement of the stone in the Cyrene Museum prevented to take any photograph. Dobias-Lalou had the opportunity to study the stone with them in 1993 and again later on and they agreed with her observation about the line that had slipped away in part b.

The erection of one and the same monument and the young age of the deceased, attested both through the wording and the busts, allow to suppose that they were sister and brother and died at the same time or within a small span of time. Nothing is known about the reason of their death.

At b. 3-4 the name of the boy should be restored either with a short syllable beginning with a consonant or with a long syllable beginning with a vowel, leading to the elision of the final α of ἔνθα. Although Ἀλβῖνος would be possible, we prefer Σαβῖνος, which is already attested in Cyrenaica.

Metrical analysis: for each child, an elegiac couplet.

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