Description of a relief and honorary dedication to the Horae


Trismegistos ID: 738920

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, 27.


Rectangular block of white marble sculpted on one side with a relief showing a scene of healing, belonging originally to a frieze; re-cut and re-used on the opposite side which has a relief of a man half-lying; his left elbow resting on a cushion, he holds a phiale on his left hand; his right arm rests on the couch at waist level, with two fingers falling down onto the plinth, as if it were the couch. Parts are lacking at the upper left angle and on the right edge (0.87; 0.50;0.19).


Inscribed in two groups of three lines each on the plinth, (0.83; 0.13;); some lines do not begin at the left edge nor did them necessarily be cut on to the right edge.


L. 1 0.017; ll. 2-3 0.015; ll. 4-6 0.01, with serifs; pi with protruding upper bar, rho with small and nearly square loop, tall and narrow sigma, phi with a very small and flattened loop.

Place of Origin



2/3 AD. (internal-date)


Found in 1925 at Cyrene : near the Fountain of Apollo .

Later recorded Location

Observed by J.M. Reynolds before 1963 in Shahat : in the ancient Sculpture Museum.

Last recorded Location

Observed by C. Dobias-Lalou in Shahat : in 1979 in the ancient Sculpture Museum (with inventory number for sculpture 258) and again in 2010 in the new Cyrene Museum .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Oliverio, 1933-1936 , p. 67, pl. XV, figs. 22 a and b, whence, SEG , 9.63; Reynolds, 1963 ; Chamoux, 1976 .

Cf. Wilhelm, 1938 , pp. 71-72 whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1939.563; Robert, 1940 , Robert, 1946 , pp. 142-145; Lloyd-Jones, 1964 whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1965.468; Peek, 1972 , n. 7; Dobias-Lalou, 1998 , p. 211.

About the two reliefs, to the full bibliography of Chamoux, 1976 add Micheli, 1998 .


𐅹 (ἔτους) λγ´ ἐπὶ ἱερέως Παυσανία Φιλίσκω φύσει δὲ (vac. 3) Εὐφάνευς (vac. 6) παυσαμένων πάντων τῆς ἀνείας Λούκιος Ὄρβιος Λουκίου (vac. 6) πυλοκλειστὴς τὸν λυσιπόλεμ̣ον (vac. 3?)

| ἡνίκα Μαρμαρικοῦ λῆξεν πολέμοιο κυδοιμός γήθησεν Βάττου πολλὰ πόλις μερόπων

τῆμος ἀν[α]|(5)γλύψας κατακείμενον ἡδυπο{πο}τοῦντα Λεύκιος εἰνοδίωι θῆκε παρὰ προθύρωι

5 | κλεῖ[δα] πύλης διέπων, Ὧραι φίλαι, οὗ χάλις ἔσχεν Παυσανίαν ἱερῆ καιρο[ῖ]ο παυσάμεν̣ον


6 Oliverio, 1933-1936 , Chamoux, 1976  οὗ χάλις ἔσχεν : Reynolds, 1963 , Peek, 1972  οὐχ ἅλις ἔσχεν (a reading formerly printed without argument by Becatti) : Lloyd-Jones, 1964  οὐ χάλις ἔσ⸢κ⸣ εν || καιρο[ῖ]ο παυσάμεν̣ον : Oliverio, 1933-1936  καιρόθ̣ι παυσάμενον : Wilhelm, 1938  καιροὺ̣ς̣ παυσάμενον : Robert, 1940  καιρῶ̣ν̣ι παυσάμενον : Reynolds, 1963 , Lloyd-Jones, 1964  καιρὸς̣ ὁ παυσάμενο[ς] : Chamoux, 1976  καιρό[φι]ι παυσάμεν[ον]

French translation

An 30. Sous le prêtre Pausanias fils de Philiskos, mais par le sang fils d'Euphanès, quand tous furent délivrés de leurs soucis, Loukios Orbios fils de Loukios, portier, [a consacré l'image] de celui qui a mis fin à la guerre.

Quand eut cessé le tulmulte de la guerre marmarique,

le peuple de la cité de Battos se réjouit grandement.

Alors, l'ayant fait sculpter allongé, se régalant de vin,

Loukios, chargé de la clef de la porte, plaça près du porche donnant sur la rue,

aimables Heures, là où le vin s'est emparé de lui,

le prêtre Pausanias qui a mis fin au temps de guerre.

(traduction Fr. Chamoux modifiée)

English translation

Year 30. Under priest Pausanias son of Philiskos, natural son of Euphanes, when all were freed of trouble, Loukios Orbios, son of Loukios, a doorkeeper, [dedicated the image] of the man who brought the war to an end.

When the uproar of the Marmaric war had ceased,

the people of Battos' city rejoiced a lot.

Then, having let him sculpted lying, pleasantly drinking,

Loukios, who was in charge of the door key, placed near the porch opening on the street,

friendly Horai, at the place where wine took hold of him,

priest Pausanias who brought to an end the war time.

Italian translation

Anno 30. Sotto il sacerdote Pausanias figlio di Philiskos, figlio naturale di Euphanes, quando tutti furono liberati dall'affanno, Loukios Orbios, figlio di Loukios, portiere, [ha dedicato l'immagine] dell'uomo che ha posto fine alla guerra.

Quando il tumulto della guerra marmarica cessò,

il popolo della città di Battos gioì assai.

Allora, fattolo scolpire sdraiato, intento piacevolmente a bere,

Loukios, incaricato della chiave della porta, presso il portico che dà sulla strada

pose, o amabili Ore, là dove il vino si impossessò di lui,

il sacerdote Pausanias che pose fine al tempo della guerra.


There have been manifold discussions about the relation between the two reliefs and about their relation with the inscription. In Chamoux's view ( Chamoux, 1976 ) the block bearing a frieze had been re-cut and sculpted on the opposite side with a plinth left for the attendant inscription. However Micheli, 1998 after others argued that both reliefs of late-severe time were sculpted together for a parapet or a fence. The face with the lying drinker would have been later re-cut so as to isolate this figure from the rest of the initial scene and the new view was explained by the inscription. Actually, the shape of the block is not the outcome of an accidental break and the layout of the inscription fits well with the dimensions of the plinth, which might have been initially only a rough figuration of the couch. We leave the question of styles and dates to the specialists of art history.

Various scholars offered suggestions for the reading of verse-lines 5-6. All stressed the exact correspondance between the information brought by the heading and by the poem. Some of their readings are discarded because of erroneous syntax. Some would weaken the epigram by cancelling the poetic word χάλις 'wine' or ruling out the strict correspondance between the name Pausanias and the verb παύω 'to bring to an end'. The ambiguous οὗ can here only be the locative adverb 'where'.

This Pausanias was priest in 2/3 A.D. (year 33 of the Actian era). He belonged to a well known family where adoptions were a common fact. A war, πόλεμος (l. 4) ended during his year of priesthood, making him λυσιπόλεμος (l. 3). The enemies were the Eastern Libyans of Marmarica. Interestingly enough καιρός, with its Hellenistic meaning 'time of crisis or war' also occurs in a decree of Arsinoe about a war against Libyan tribes (IGCyr0669, l. 35). This war time is also mentioned as the ἀνία (l. 2) that Pausanias 'brings to an end' with a pun on his name. Of course, he was no general and is only praised because his year was a successful one. As pointed by Robert, the poem develops the idea expressed elsewhere through the adjective καλλιέτης 'of the good year', given to some priests in inscriptions. On behalf of this happy end the priest could organise the banquets that were part of his duties and drink with a free mind. The relief, that was found on the terrace of the sanctuary of Apollo, was dedicated by the 'door-keeper' and placed near the 'porch opening on the street' and also near the place where banquets were held. Furthermore, the dedication is offered to the Horai, divinities who are often companions to Aphrodite and have amongst their duties the protection of doors. Chamoux has convincingly suspected that the banquets took place in the area just outside the Greek propylaea in the so-called 'Aphrodite's Garden'. Loukios Orbios'office was possibly related to Aphrodite's temple, situated inside Apollo's sanctuary, just across the Propylaea, which have themselves no doors. The relief might have stood somewhere in the neighbourhood.

After checking once more the stone C. Dobias-Lalou is now convinced that καιροῖο is the best reading. It is in fitting with commentators for the general meaning, has the genitive required by the syntax and allows to avoid Chamoux's *καιρόφι, which is nowhere attested. As it often occurs in the climax of epigrams, καιρός might have here a double meaning: Pausanias brought the 'war' to an end and he was probably near the end of his own 'time', i.e. his year of priesthood: two good reasons for resting and drinking!

Whereas most features in the poem belong to the epic heritage usual in poetry, it should be stressed that ἱερῆ is the dialectal accusative, evidently chosen for reasons of rhythm.

The dedicant's name, Latin Lucius, is normally transcribed Λούκιος in Greek. However, in the verse, we find the near form Λεύκιος, which relies on a Greek stem.

If Micheli is right, Loukios' offering consisted only in having the inscription appended below a re-cut relief and γλύψας would then be a euphemism.

Metrical analysis: three regular elegiac couplets.

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