Epitaph of Prokla Petronia


Trismegistos ID: 738912

Source Description


White marble stele slightly tapering, chipped off above, where a moulding is probably lost and at left lower angle of front face (0.42 to 0.465; 1.19;0.275 to 0.36).


Inscribed on front face, which is the back of the former IGCyr102300; some irregularities on the surface have lead to spaces at ll. 1, 9 and 11.


0.023; serifs; lunate epsilon and sigma, cursive mu and omega, alpha and lambda with projecting right hasta.

Place of Origin



Between september 251 and spring 252 A.D. (internal-date, reign, lettering)


Found at Cyrene before 1938 (see commentary); findspot unrecorded, but surely from some part of the Necropolis .

Last recorded Location

Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou many times, namely in 1976, 1982 and 2010 in Shahat : on the Terrace of the Department of Antiquities .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Dobias-Lalou, 1982 , whence SEG , 32.1608. Cf.  Boyaval, 2008 , whence SEG , 58.1840; Dobias-Lalou, 2014 , pp. 328-329.


[Πετρω]νία Γ(αίου) Πετρωνίου Μελίο-[ρ]ος [κ]αὶ Αἰλίας Ἀννίας Ἰσιδώρας θυγάτηρ Πρόκλα ἐναρέτως ἐν πᾶσι καὶ σωφρόνως βιώ- 5σασα ἐτελεύτα ἐτῶν με´ ἔτους σπβ´ τοῦ καὶ πρώτου 〚Αὐτοκρ(άτορος)〛 〚Καίσ(αρος) 〚Γ(αίου)〛 〚Οὐιβίου〛 〚Γάλλου〛〛 Χυαχὶ (vac. 1) β´.

| εἴδει καὶ {π} (vac. 1) πραπίδεσσιν ἐϋ|(10)φροσύνῃ τε ἀγακλείτην,

| εὐγενίῃ πινυτῄ (vac. 1) τε, κλυτόν̣ | τ' ἔργοισι γυναικῶν

| ἱστοῖσιν τ̣αλάροις τε, σο|φῶν τε διδάγμασι Μουσῶν,

| (15) νουνεχίῃ τε βίοιο σαοφρο|σύνῃ τε νόοιο,

5 | μοῦνον ἕνα ἐν μεγάροισι̣ | πάϊν γενέταισι λιποῦσαν̣

| αἰνοπαθῆ με θυ|(20)γ̣άτρα δυσάμμορον ἐνθάδε | (vac. 10?)Πρόκλαν (vac. 6) | [τλ]ηπαθέες τοκέες τῷ|δ’ ἐνέθεντο τάφῳ. | (vac.)


1 [Πετρω]νία Γ(αίου) Πετρωνίου (confirmation in Reynolds' notebook) : Dobias-Lalou, 1982  ( vac. ) Μάρ(κου) Πετρωνίου

7 Α[ὐ]τ[ο]κρά〚τορος Καίσαρος Οὐιβίου Γάλλου〛 (with probably some abbreviations) : Dobias-Lalou, 1982  (erroneously given at the accusative case)

10  ἀγακλείτην : ἄρα κλειτήν (Reynolds' suggestion)

11 κλυτόν̣ (Reynolds' suggestion) : Dobias-Lalou, 1982  κλυτοῖ[ς]

22 [τλ]ηπαθέες (Reynolds' suggestion) : Dobias-Lalou, 1982  [ν]ηπαθέες

French translation

Petronia, fille de Gaios Petronios Melior et d'Ailia Annia Isidora, Prokla, ayant vécu vertueusement à tous égards et sagement, est décédée à l'âge de 45 ans, l'an 282 qui est aussi le premier de 〚l'empereur Gaius Vibius Trébonien Galle〛 le 2 Khoiak.

Bien connue pour ma beauté, mon intelligence et ma bonne humeur,

ma bonne naissance et ma retenue, réputée pour mes travaux féminins,

ceux des métiers et des corbeilles, et pour les leçons des savantes Muses,

pour la discrétion de ma vie et la sagesse de mes pensées,

ne laissant plus à mes parents qu'un seul enfant en leur demeure,

c'est moi la malheureuse Prokla, leur fille infortunée,

que mes parents, résistant au chagrin, ont ici placée en ce tombeau.

English translation

Petronia, daughter of Gaios Petronios Melior and of Ailia Annia Isidora, Prokla, having lived with overall virtue and wisdom, deceded at age 45, in the year 282, which is also the first of 〚Emperor Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus〛 on Choiak 2nd.

Well known for my beauty and understanding, my high spirits,

noble birth and wisdom, famous for my women's works,

those of looms and baskets, and for the lessons of the clever Muses,

for the reserve of my life and the wisdom of my thoughts,

leaving to my parents but one child in their home,

I, ill-fated Prokla, their awfully suffering daughter,

was put into this tomb by my enduring parents.

Italian translation

Petronia, figlia di Gaios Petronios Melior e di Ailia Annia Isidora, Prokla, avendo vissuto virtuosamente in tutto e saggiamente, morì all'età di 45 anni, nell'anno 282, che è anche il primo dell'〚imperatore Gaio Vibio Treboniano Gallo〛 il 2 di Choiak.

Rinomata per la mia bellezza, l'intelligenza e il buon umore,

per la mia nobile nascita e saggezza, famosa per i lavori femminili,

quelli dei telai e dei panieri, e per le lezioni delle Muse sapienti,

per la prudenza della mia vita e la saggezza dei miei pensieri,

lasciando ai genitori un solo figlio nella loro casa,

sono io, sventurata Prokla, figlia molto infelice,

che i genitori, forti nel dolore, qui posero in questa tomba.


The date is given both in the Cyrenaean style of Roman times, that is year 282 in the Actian era and a month Egyptian in origin and used in Cyrenaica since the Lagid period, with the corresponding date in the Roman calendar, that is year 1 in the reign of Trebonianus Gallus, whose name was wholly erased.

Although Prokla died aged 45, no husband of hers is mentioned and she clearly lived still with her parents, who had only one other child left after her death. Alternatively, the phrase might also mean that she had a child (without being married?) and left it to her parents, but this interpretation seems much more problematic.

Prokla is praised for having been both good for homework and learned in intellectual matters, which means that she had an excellent education.

We infer the date of the find from the existence of a photograph in the archive of the late Evaristo Breccia (see Rosamilia, 2010 , p. 289 and footnote 2). 1936 is the last year when Breccia worked at Cyrene. The other photographs kept in the same envelope and deprived of any annotation showing his own concern with them were probably sent to him after his departure and before the breaking of the war.

Metrical analysis: after an introduction, the poem has six hexameters followed by a pentameter. Regular prosody.

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