Dedication and hymn to Isis and Serapis


Trismegistos ID: 738934

Source Description


Upper part of a white marble panel broken off obliquely below (0.38; 0.32;0.10); three vertical rows of small holes, distant 0.02 from one another, are cut on the face and should be related to a re-use; a chip, lost at the left bottom since the discovery, does not touch the inscribed area.


Inscribed on the face: a) 3 lines of prose on the whole width; b) 20 preserved lines with large margins at left (0.06) and right (min. 0.095).


Ll. 1-2 0.02; l. 3 0.013-0.015; ll. 4-24 0.005; small serifs; alpha with dropped bar, pi with equal hastae, non-slanting and rather large sigma, phi with large loop and short hasta, psi with widely open oblique strokes, horse-shoe omega.

Place of Origin



102/103 A.D. (internal-date)


Found by E. Ghislanzoni in 1916 at Cyrene : on the North side of the Acropolis , in the Iseum .

Last recorded Location

Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1982, kept inside the Strategeion , and again in 2001, moved to the Cyrene Museum

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Oliverio, 1927 , n. 1, pp. 209-211, photo pl. XXXII, 1, whence SEG , 9.192. Cf. Roussel, 1929 , pp. 149-151; Peek, 1930 , pp. 128-131; Vidman, 1969 , p. 803; Grandjean, 1975 ; Ensoli Vittozzi, 1992 , pp. 201-202; Bricault, 2005 , n. 701/0103 and pl. CXXIX; Alvar, 2008 , pp. 51, 186.


❧ Ἀγαθὴ τύχη 𐅹 (ἔτους) ρλγ· Ἴσιδι · καὶ · Σεράπιδι · Ἀγαθὸς Δαίμων νεωκόρος ἀνέθη(κε).

| Ἐγὼ τύραννος Εἶσις αἰῶνος μόνη

| (5) πόντου τε καὶ γῆς τέρμονας τ’ ἐπιβλέπω

| καὶ σκῆπτρ’ ἔχουσα καὶ μί’ οὖσ’ ἐπι⸢κρατῶ⸣ ·

| καλοῦσι δή με πάντες ὑψίστην θεὸν

5 | πάντων μεγίστην τῶν ἐν οὐρανῶι θεῶν·

| αὐτὴ γὰρ εὗρον πάντα καὶ εἱλόμην πόνον·

| (10) γραφὴ δ' ἐπὶ σφραγεῖσι δηλώσει σαφὴς

| δεικνῦσα τἀμὰ πᾶσιν ἐξευρήματα

| ἃ καὶ βροτοῖς ἔδειξα καὶ καρποὺς βίου·

10 | πόλεις τε σεμνοῖς περιβόλοις ἐτείχισα

| βροτοῖς τ’ ἔνειμα ταῦτα τρανῶς εἰδέναι·

| (15) ἐμοῦ δὲ χωρὶς γείνετ’ οὐδὲν πώποτε·

| οὐδ’ ἄστρα γὰρ φοιτῶσι τὴν αὐτὴν ὁδὸν

| ἂν μὴ ἐξ ἐμοῦ λαβῶσιν ἐντολ̣[ὰς πάρος],

15 | οὐ μή τε γαῖα καρπὸν ἦρι [τέξεται?],

| ἂν μὴ ἐπινεύσω πάντ[α]  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ± 

| (20) τίς ἂν δύναιτο τἀμ[ὰ]  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ± 

| ἢ τίς μαρᾶναι τ̣ ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ± 

| τὰ μὲν 'βί' ου [ ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ± ] 

20 | τὸ πᾶν [ ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ˉ  |  ˘  ± ] 


1 Oliverio, 1927  Ἀγαθὴ Τύχη : SEG  Ἀγαθῇ Τύχῃ

6 Peek, 1930  ἐπι⸢κρατῶ⸣ : Oliverio, 1927  ἐπιβλέπω (clear on the stone)

18 Peek, 1930  [τέξεται?] : Oliverio, 1927  [---] 

19  [c. 10 - 12] : Oliverio, 1927  [---]  : Peek, 1930  [τ' αὐξήσω καλῶς?]

20 τἀμὰ [c. 11 - 13] : Oliverio, 1927  ταν̣[---]  : Peek, 1930  τἀμ[ὰ καταβαλεῖν κράτη?]

21 τ̣ [c. 14 - 17] : Oliverio, 1927  [---]  : Peek, 1930  [τῶν ἐμῶν ἔργων σθένος?];

22 'βί' ου : Oliverio, 1927  τὰ μὲν βίος

French translation

Bonne fortune. L'an 133. Agathos Daimôn néocore à consacré à Isis et Sérapis.

Moi Isis (je suis) la seule maîtresse du temps.

Je surveille les limites de la mer et de la terre

et moi seule, sceptre en main, exerce sur eux ma puissance.

Tous de fait me nomment déesse suprême,

la plus grande de tous les dieux du ciel.

Car j'ai moi-même découvert toutes choses et j'en ai assumé la peine.

(10) L'écriture, claire sur les sceaux, le prouvera,

montrant à tous mes inventions,

que j'ai révélées aux mortels aussi bien que les fruits de la vie.

J'ai fortifié les cités par des enceintes vénérables

et aux mortels j'ai assigné de connaître ces savoirs distinctement.

Sans moi, rien jamais n'exista:

ni les astres ne se meuvent sur le même parcours,

s'ils n'ont pas [d'abord] reçu l'ordre de moi,

ni la terre au printemps ne risque de [porter] des fruits,

si je n'ai pas approuvé tous les  [---] .

(20) Qui serait capable de  [---]  mes  [---] 

ou d'épuiser  [---] ?

Les  [---]  de la vie  [---] 


English translation

Good fortune. Year 133. Agathos Daimon neocoros dedicated to Isis and Serapis.

I Isis (am) the only ruler of time,

sole inspector of the limits of the sea and the land,

and, with sceptre in hand, their sole master.

In fact all name me supreme goddess,

the greatest of all gods in heaven.

For I myself have discovered everything and took on the toil.

(10) The writing, clear on the seals, will prove it,

revealing to all my inventions,

which I disclosed to mortals as well as the fruits of life.

I have fortified the cities with reverend walls

and to the mortals I have allotted to know those skills distinctly.

Without me, nothing has ever come to existence:

neither do the stars move on the same journey,

without having [first] received from me the instructions,

nor will the earth [bear] fruit in spring

if I did not not approve all the  [---] .

(20) Who would be able to  [---]  my  [---] 

or to exhaust  [---] ?

The  [---]  of life  [---] 


(J. Alvar's translation with some changes)

Italian translation

Buona Fortuna. Anno 133. Agathos Daimon neokoros ha dedicato a Iside e Serapide.

Io Iside (sono) la sola padrona del tempo,

sorveglio i confini del mare e della terra,

e io sola, scettro alla mano, esercito su di essi il mio potere.

In effetti mi chiamano dea suprema,

la più grande di tutti gli dèi del cielo.

Io stessa infatti ho scoperto tutte le cose e mi sono sobbarcata la fatica.

(10) La scrittura, chiara sui sigilli, lo proverà,

mostrando a tutti le mie invenzioni,

che ho rivelato ai mortali, come pure i frutti della vita.

Ho fortificato le città di cinte venerabili

e ai mortali ho assegnato di conoscere questi saperi distintamente.

Senza di me nulla è mai esistito:

né gli astri si muoverebbero sulla stessa traiettoria,

se non avessero [prima] ricevuto l'ordine da me,

né la terra in primavera [porterebbe] frutti,

se io non avessi approvato tutti i  [---] .

(20) Chi sarà capace di  [---]  miei  [---] 

o di distruggere  [---] ?

I  [---]  della vita  [---] 



This poem offers the topics of a hymn and praises the goddess Isis for her virtues in the same way as aretalogies (for those see Peek, 1930 and Vidman, 1969 ). Like the one from Kyme, it offers the formulation of self-speaking ('self-predication', cf. Alvar, 2008 , p. 186, footnote 121, who improperly mentions this text as a 'prayer'). The one from Andros is also a verse-composition of dactylic rhythm, as hymns are in general. This is the only one in iambic rhythm, nearer to ordinary talk, as stressed by Peek. The reason might be that the offering was more important than the hymn in the dedicant's mind. See more about GVCyr025.

Isis is here presented as the creator of everything and as the author of all inventions, an idea developed by the Evemerists. Peek's restorations for ll. 20-21 convey plausible ideas, but it has seemed too hazardous to fix them in the text. Conversely, his supposition that the end of l. 6 was erroneously modelled on that of l. 5 seems convincing, as the repetition would be very awkward. Other commentators did not follow him on this point.

The dedicant evidently made the offering after some favour received from the goddess (cf. Grandjean, 1975 , p. 6). He acts during year 102/103 (133 Actian era) as a neocoros and might be identified with a priest mentioned in another dedication to Isis (IRCyr C.154), which should thus be slightly later.

We take l. 4 as a sentence with the subaudible verb 'to be' and l. 5 as another sentence. Some translators adopted another construction, taking the whole as one sentence, but this does not fit well with the particles of line 5.

Two occurrences of iotacism are Εἶσις (4) and σφραγεῖσι (10).

Metrical analysis: the iambic trimeters are regularly composed. Only one occurrence of a dactyl for -μνοῖς περι- (4th foot, 13) and one of an anapaest for -τ καὶ εἱ- (3d foot, 9), both substituted for a iamb.

For the sake of rhythm, we have γείνετο instead of γένετο (15). As to hiatus, the result of contraction is written in the crasis τἀμά (11, 20), whereas synizesis should be admitted for μὴ ἐξ (17) and μὴ ἐπι- (19).

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