Dedication to the Nymphs by Mego


Trismegistos ID: 738917

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, inv. number unknown.


White marble block, already broken off at the left upper angle when found (0.55; 0.63;0.26); the upper right angle, which was also broken, but adjacent, has been lost between 1960 and 2001 (hence height 0.52): probably re-used from a base, as shown by two holes for the feet of a statue on the reverse face.


Inscribed on the face in two parts: a) on four lines; b) in two lines.


a) 0.03-0.035, deeply cut, with serifs; beta with larger lower loop, tall non-slanting sigma, upsilon with short hasta and widely open upper part; b) 0.015 not deeply cut; same shapes.

Place of Origin



18/17 B.C. (lettering, prosopography)


Found in 1933 at Cyrene : Spring of Kyra , also called Cave of the Nymphs, at the entrance of a small rock cut chamber immediately to the East.

Later recorded Location

Seen by G. Pugliese Carratelli in 1960 on the terrace of the epigraphical storeroom of the Cyrene Museum .

Later recorded Location

Seen and photographed by J.M. Reynolds at unknown date, also near the Cyrene Museum .

Last recorded Location

Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 2001 in Shahat : in the new storeroom of the Cyrene Museum .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


G. Pugliese Carratelli in SECir , n. 166; Gallavotti, 1963 ; Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1964.572. Cf. Goodchild, 1971 , p. 112; Marengo, 2007 ; Luni, 2014 , p. 141 (context of find).


[Μεγώι Θε]οχρήστω [συνι]αρειτεύοισα [Δι]ο̣νυσίωι ❧ Σωτᾶ̣ τ̣ὸν (vac. 1) βωμὸν ταῖς 5Ν̣ύμφαις ἱδρύσατο. (vac. 6 cm)

| Τὸν βωμὸν Νύμφαις Ἀχελωΐσιν ἁ Θεοχρήστω

| καὶ Κριτολᾶς ἀγαθὰ παῖς ἀνέθηκε Μεγώι


2 [συνι]αρειτεύοισα : SECir  [συνι]αριτεύοισα

6 Ἀχελωΐσιν (iota on the stone; reading rightly suspected by Gallavotti and by J. and L. Robert in absence of photograph) : SECir  Ἀχελῷσιν

French translation

Mégô fille de Theochrestos, prêtresse en même temps que Dionysios fils de Sôtas, a dressé cet autel pour les Nymphes.

Aux Nymphes de l'Achélôos la vertueuse fille de Théochrestos

et de Kritola, Mégô a consacré cet autel.

English translation

Mego daughter of Theochrestos, acting as priestess with Dionysios son of Sotas, established this altar for the Nymphs.

To the Nymphs of Achelous, the good child of Theochrestos

and of Kritola, Mego, dedicated this altar.

Italian translation

Megò figlia di Theochrestos, sacerdotessa insieme a Dionysios figlio di Sotas, ha edificato questo altare per le Ninfe.

L'altare alle Ninfe dell'Acheloo, di Theochrestos

e di Kritola la figlia virtuosa Megò ha dedicato.


The stone has clearly been re-used and once supported a statue. As the place where it has been found may be identified with probability as a shrine of the Muses (see IRCyr C.318), the inscription should correspond to the second use, although the shape is not the most usual for an altar.

This is one instance amongst others of a woman mentioned as 'being priestess together with' an eponymous priest of Apollo. Marengo has demonstrated that they are priestesses of Artemis.

The year when Dionysios son of Sotas was eponymous priest (year 13 in the Actian era), he made transformations of the spring Kyra (IRCyr C.317), so that Mego's interest in the ajdacent Nymphs' sanctuary is probably related to the same event.

Metrical analysis: one very regular elegiac couplet; the caesura at line 7, with a short stop between adjective and noun, emphasizes the 'goodness' of Mego.

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