Epitaph of Dionysis


Trismegistos ID: 105905

Source Description


White marble tapering stele, with a moulding above on three sides (0.41; 0.96;0.29).


Inscribed on front face under the moulding (0.365-0.39; 0.86;0.25-0.275), in 10 lines grouped by pairs.


0.025; triangular letters with projecting right stroke, lunate epsilon and sigma, slanting mu, sometimes smaller omicron, 'upside-down M'-shaped omega

Place of Origin



Perhaps third century A.D.


Found in November 1910 by the Norton mission at Cyrene : in the North Necropolis , in the area East of tomb N270 Cassels.

Last recorded Location

Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1982 and again 2004 in Shahat : in a row displayed on the Terrace of the Office of the Department of Antiquities .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Robinson, 1913 , n. 35 and fig. 25, also p. 504; Peek, 1955 , n. 1102. Cf. Santucci-Uhlenbrock, 2013 , pp. 11-13 (area of discovery); Dobias-Lalou, 2014 , pp. 327-328


| Οὔνομα μὲν Διονύσις | ἔφυ δὲ πατρὶς Κυράνα | (vac. 1 line)

| καὶ παῖδ⸢α⸣ ς γενόμαν καὶ | παιδῶν παῖδας ἐσεῖδον | (vac. 1 line) | (5) καὶ βιοτᾶς λαχόμαν πλὴν | δύ' ἐτῶν ἑκατόν·
(vac. 1 line)

| θνήσκω δ' οὐ νούσοισι | δαμεὶς, εὕδων δ' ἐνὶ κοίτῃ· | (vac. 1 line) | τοῦτον ἔχω μισθὸν λύ|(10)σθιον εὐσεβίης.


9-10 λύ|σθιον : Robinson, 1913  δ̣ύ|σθιον : Robinson, 1913  ⸢λ⸣ ύ|σθιον (von Gaertringen's suggestion per epistulam, corrigenda p. 504)

French translation

Dionysis est mon nom et Cyrène, ma patrie ;

j'ai engendré des fils et connu les fils de mes fils

et le sort m'a donné une vie où deux ans manquaient pour faire cent.

Je meurs non parce que la maladie m'a dompté, mais en plein sommeil dans mon lit;

je trouve là l'ultime contrepartie de ma piété.

(trad. C. Dobias-Lalou at Dobias-Lalou, 2014 , légèrement modifiée)

English translation

My name is Dionysis, my homeland Cyrene;

I fathered sons and saw the sons of my sons;

the fate granted me with a life of hundred years but two.

I do not die subdued by any illness, but while sleeping in my bed,

getting thus the last reward of my piety.

Italian translation

Il mio nome è Dionysis, la mia patria Cirene;

ho generato figli e visto i figli dei miei figli;

la sorte mi ha concesso una vita di cento anni meno due.

Muoio non vittima di una malattia, ma mentre dormo nel mio letto.

Questo è il premio ultimo per la mia pietà.


At line 1, the personal name Διονύσιος has its ending reduced to -ις, a fact which is well attested from first century A.D. onwards.

At line 3, παῖδες is plausibly a mistake. However some confusions do happen elsewhere between nominative and accusative plural.

At line 3, γενόμαν is used for the transitive verb ἐγεινάμην, a choice that might be explained by the metrical requirement; as for Peek, he suggests that the intended verb was τεκόμαν.

At lines 9-10, λύσθιον has υ for οι, a well attested change for the Imperial period.

Metrical analysis: one dactylic hexameter and two elegiac couplets.

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