Honors for Markos


Trismegistos ID: 738929

Source Description


Limestone column drum, broken off below and partly at left and chipped off above, with surface in poor condition (-; 0.67; -), diameter 1.25.


Inscribed on the face, each verse-line occupying two text-lines and beginning at the same point at left, with alternate inset of their second part.


0.04-0.045; alpha with straight bar, lunate epsilon and sigma, kappa with very long and slightly curved bars, pi with equal hastae, phi with tall hasta, cursive omega.

Place of Origin



Second to third centuries A.D. (lettering, context)


Found in 1925 at Cyrene , Temple of Apollo : from the East face of the Peristasis of the second century A.D. temple.

Last recorded Location

Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1983 and again in 2001, replaced as part of the (very lacunar) second column from South.

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone with help of J.M. Reynolds' notes (CDL).


† Oliverio, SECir 81 and fig. 68 and Gallavotti, 1963 , pp. 458-459, whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1964.563; Peek, 1972 , n. 8.


| ἀμφιθαλῆα κλυτὸν [Μ]ᾶ[ρ]κον | θαλέθοντα ⸢γ⸣ ο[ν]ε̣ῦ̣σιν

| Μαρκιανῷ τε πατρὶ καὶ γεινα|μένῃ Κλεοπάτρηι | (5) σαῖσιν, Ἄπολλο[ν], [ἐ]γὼ ταῖσδε | [ἐ]π̣έ̣γραψα̣ θ̣[ύρα]ις. ❧

| [ ˉ  ˘ ] Α [ ˉ ] α τε ˉ  [Μ]ᾶρκον φίλον, | [ὦ] ἄνα, Ι̣ [ ˉ  ± ] 

5 | [ ˉ  ˘  ˘  |  ˉ  ˘ ] ρ̣ι τε̣ὴν [δ]ά̣φνην | (10) [ ˉ  ˘  ˘  |  ˉ ]  [ἵ]π̣π̣οις
- - - - - -?


1 Gallavotti, 1963  [Μ]α[ρ]κον : SECir  [χ'] ἁ̣[γνόν] (Oliverio's reading)

6 Peek, 1972  θ̣[ύρα]ις : SECir  σ[....] ς : SECir  σ[τήλαι?]ς (Pugliese Carratelli's suggestion, metrically impossible) : Gallavotti, 1963  [ἀ]ν̣έ̣γραψα̣ σ[οροῖ]ς

7 [c. 5] Α[..] α : Peek, 1972  [ᾖ ῥα φἰ]λη[σ]α : SECir  [---] ΛΗ̣[.] α || τε [- max.3 -]  : Peek, 1972  τέ[κος] : SECir  τ̣έ[κνον]

8 [ὦ] ἄνα, Ι̣ [---]  : Peek, 1972  [ὦ] ἄνα,[πόλλ]α̣ : SECir  [---] ΑΝΑΙ[---] 

9 [c. 11] ρ̣ι : Peek, 1972  [νῦν δ' ὅτε χει]ρὶ || Peek, 1972  ρ̣ι τε̣ὴν [δ]ά̣φνην : SECir  ΡΙΤ[.] ΗΝ [ὄρ]φνην

10 [εὐάρμασιν ἵ]π̣π̣οις : SECir  [---]  [γν]ή̣σιοι Π[---]  : Peek, 1972  [κρατέων στεφά]νο̣ι̣σ̣ι̣ν̣

French translation

Le célèbre Markos, qui s'épanouit pour ses parents tous deux florissants,

Markianos son père et Kléopatrè qui l'a mis au monde,

j'inscris, moi, son nom ici contre tes portes, ô Apollon.

 [---]  mon cher Markos, ô seigneur,  [---] 

 [---]  le laurier qui t'appartient  [---] 

avec ses chevaux - - - - - -?

English translation

The famous Markos, blossoming for his parents both flourishing,

Markianos his father and Kleopatra who gave him birth,

I write down his name here by your doors, oh Apollo.

 [---]  my dear Markos, oh lord,  [---] 

 [---]  the laurel which belongs to you  [---] 

with his horses - - - - - -?

Italian translation

Il famoso Markos, fiorente per i suoi genitori entrambi prosperi,

Markianos il padre e Kleopatra che lo generò,

ho scritto qui alle tue porte, o Apollo.

 [---]  mio caro Markos, o signore,  [---] 

 [---]  l'alloro che a te appartiene  [---]  con i suoi cavalli - - - - - -?

Arabic translation

ماركوس المشهور، البرعم المُتفتِّق (جالباً) لوالديه ، على حد سواء، النجاح أو الرخاء، ماركيانوس والده وكليوبترا التي ولدته ، اكتب اسمه هنا بجانب أبوابك ، يا أبولو. [---] عزيزي ماركوس ، يا إلهي، [---] [---]الغار (إكليل) الذي هو مِلكٌ لك [---] مع خيوله - - - - - -؟


The peristasis of the so-called 'fourth Apollonion' is dated from the second century A.D. (see Stucchi, 1961 , pp. 71-75) and the lettering might be later. The restored position of this drum allows to read the inscription easily, which is not the case for some dedicatory inscriptions cut upon other columns.

As pointed out by J. and L. Robert, Oliverio's and Gallavotti's restorations lead to a funerary interpretation, in contradiction both with the support and with the very words of the poem: designation of Markos as 'flourishing' and address to Apollo. Peek agreed with the Robert on that point.

The adjective ἀμφιθαλής is commonly used for people having both father and mother still living. This meaning is somewhat heavily commented upon by the second part of verse-line 1.

Who is the 'I' at line 3 remains unclear: either an undefined person or one of Markos' friends (cf. φίλον) or his own father (if τέκνον should be restored as Oliverio suggested) or mother (in Peek's view, with a sudden change of person which seems very awkward).

The lost parts of verse-line 4 probably contained the imperative of a verb addressed to Apollo, whereas verse-line 5 probably mentioned a victory for which Markos was celebrated in such a prestigious place. If he was crowned with Apollo's laurel, the event had taken place at Delphi. In this second sentence the subject has changed and seems to be Markos, either after a stop or through the use of a relative pronoun.

This agonistic interpretation is not contradictory with the information gathered from GVCyr037. If by chance the Markos mentioned there is the same man, he would have become priest of Apollo later on, whereas in the present poem he seems to be rather young. However many of Peek's restorations are based upon the idea that Markos is here mentioned as priest of Apollo.

Metrical analysis: in spite of the fragmentary condition of the poem, it is possible to detect its metrical scheme. Verse-lines 1-3 have two hexameters followed by one pentameter. Lines 4 and 5 are hexameters. If a pentameter followed, it should have taken two lines, which would not have both stood on the same drum. However, it is quite plausible that the lower drum (which is lacking) bore the end of the inscription. If by any chance GVCyr037 is the continuation of this one, it does begin with a pentameter. But after it the aforementioned metrical scheme is not followed. Prosody: at line 2 in πατρί the final vowel is taken as long on behalf of the caesura.

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