Honors for a son of Markianos


Trismegistos ID: 738947

Source Description


Three adjoining fragments of an inscribed limestone column drum (dimensions unknown).


Inscribed on the surface probably in 10 lines, with missing parts at right and left; an alternate inset of the pentameters is probable.


Height unknown; deeply and carefully cut, letters with small serifs, resembling that of GVCyr036: dropped bar alpha, 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)


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

Present Location

Known only from an ancient photograph.

Text constituted from

Transcription from photograph (JMR and CDL).


Not previously published.



| [ ˉ  ˘  ˘ ] νοῦ κλυτὸν ἔρνος ἁβ[ρὸν γόνον?  ˉ ]  [ὃν ἔτικτε] | [Μαρκι]ανὸς ἱερεὺς, ἄστρον ὁμηλικίη̣[ς]

| [εἶπον σύ]μ̣π̣αντές τιν’ ἔχειν περικαλλέα φω̣νήν, | ἧ̣ς σοφίης πραπίσιν ἁρμονίην ἔλαχε[ν]·

5 | (5) [τὸν δ'] ἦμο̣ς̣ [ν]οστεῖν [Κυρην]αίω̣ν πόλις ἔ̣[γνω] | [ᾗ φώνῃ] θαλερῇ Ἕ̣λ̣λα[δο]ς ἀρχέ[χορον?],

| [πατέρι? ε]ὐχομένῳ καλ̣[έ]ειν μακαρ̣[ ˘  ˘  |  ˉ  ± ] 

| [ ˉ  ˘ ] ίην οἴκοιο κασιγνήτων ἱερή̣[ων] | [ ˉ  ˘ ]  ι ον παῖδας στέμμασι γηθομέ̣[νους]

10 | (10) [ ˉ  ˘  ˘ ]  [τόσσ'] ἐφάμην καί τοι τελέσειε[ν Ἀπόλλων] | (vac.)


3 [εἶπον] (Peek's reading) : φασίν (Peek's reading; both verbs oddly placed at the end of the line)

5 [τὸν δ'ἦμ]ο̣ς̣ [ν]οστεῖν [Κυρην]αίω̣ν πόλις ἔ̣[γνω] (Peek's reading) : [τὸν] Φ̣ο̣[ῖβ]ος τείμ̣[ησε] κ̣αὶ ὃν πόλις ἐ[στεφάνωσεν] (Peek's reading)

6 ἀρχέ[χορον?] : ἀρχέ[γονον] (Peek's reading) : ἀρχέ[τυπον] (Peek's reading)

7 καλ̣[έ]ειν μακαρ̣[..]  [---]  : κα[λέ]ειν μακάρ[ας ποτὶ δεῖπνον] (Peek's reading)

8 [c. 7] ίην : (or) [εὐσεβ]ίην : [εὐκλε]ίην (Peek's reading)

10 [c. 6]  [τόσσ'] ἐφάμην : [πλείω δ'οὐκ] ἐφάμην (Peek's reading) || καί τοι : καίτοι (Peek's reading) || [Ἀπόλλων] (Peek's reading)

French translation

Le glorieux rejeton de  [---] nos, le gracieux [fils qu'engendra]

le prêtre Markianos, étoile parmi la jeunesse contemporaine,

dont tous disaient qu'il avait une voix magnifique,

obtint pour son intelligence un lot en harmonie avec son habileté ;

lorsque la cité des Cyrénéens apprit qu'il revenait

grâce à sa voix florissante en chef [de choeur?] de la Grèce,

pour son père qui faisait le voeu d'appeler bienheureux  [---] 

la  [---]  de la maison de ses frères prêtres

 [---]  ses enfants se réjouissant de leurs couronnes

 [---]  [c'est tout ce que] j'ai dit et puisse [Apollon] le réaliser !

English translation

The glorious offspring of  [---] nos, the gracious [son whom] priest Markianos

[begot], star amongst those of the same age,

whom everybody said that he had a wonderful voice,

obtained for his mind a lot concording with his skills;

when the city of the Cyrenaeans knew that he was coming back

thanks to his flourishing voice as the head of [choirs?] in Greece,

for his father who vowed to call mostly happy  [---] ,

the  [---]  of his brothers priests' house

 [---]  the children being delighted with their crowns

 [---]  [that is all] I said and may [Apollo] achieve it!

Italian translation

Il glorioso rampollo di  [---] nos, lo splendido [figlio che] il sacerdote Markianos

[generò], stella tra i coetanei,

che tutti dicevano avesse una voce meravigliosa,

ottenne per la sua intelligenza una sorte in armonia con le sue abilità;

quando la città dei Cirenei seppe che stava tornando,

grazie alla sua voce fiorente, come capo dei [cori?] della Grecia,

per suo padre che aveva fatto voto di chiamare beato  [---] ,

la  [---]  della casa dei suoi fratelli sacerdoti

 [---]  i figli deliziati delle loro corone

 [---]  [è tutto quanto] ho detto e possa [Apollo] realizzarlo!


This inscription is known only from an ancient photograph, from which J.M. Reynolds made a first transcription at an unknown date. She then took advice from W. Peek. In the latter's archive (Nachlass Peek, Berlin, kindly communicated by Kl. Hallof) are two copies and three tentative readings, one of which dated 1970. However, Peek did not insert this item into his published collection ( Peek, 1972 , given for edition in February 1971), probably because he was not quite satisfied with the restorations. Moreover, there is in J.M. Reynolds' notebooks a fourth tentative reading, undated, also attributed to W. Peek. C. Dobias-Lalou took advantage of all four sketches with due reference in the apparatus. However, as Peek was evidently not wholly satisfied with any of them, we did not mention all his tentative readings. Groups of words are clear enough, but it is very difficult to connect them into well-formed sentences.

Both the support of the inscription and its content offer many similarities with GVCyr036 and probably also with GVCyr037: at least two of them were cut on a column drum of the peristasis of the temple of Apollo as rebuilt in the second century A.D., all three seem to mention the same family composed of a father Markianos, priest of Apollo, a son Markos, also priest of Apollo and a daughter Markiane, priestess of Artemis. This third piece apparently mentions another son, here praised for his voice and his intellect. This inscription should clearly be placed after the two others, as it mentions the 'brotherly priests' (in fact a priest and a priestess), to whom the present hero is compared. It has in common with GVCyr036 the mention of a 1st person as responsible here for the final vow, there for the inscription.

The name Markianos would offer a good restoration at the beginning of both lines 1 and 2. However, this would make the family stemma even more complicated. So we choose to restore this name only at line 2 for the priest. The name at line 1 should be another name of Latin origin ending with -anus refering to a forefather.

At line 4, no additional word being possible at the beginning, we suggest the possessive ἧς, referring to σοφίη, although the result is rather clumsy.

At line 6, we suggest ἀρχέχορος, for which see Euripides, Tr. 151.

At line 7, it is difficult to choose for the meaning of the phrase καλέω μακάρας between 'to call someone very happy' or 'to call (for lunch) the immortals'.

Metrical analysis: the dactylic rhythm is obvious. As rather large parts of the centre of each line is preserved, we are able to determine whether the line is a hexameter or a pentameter. The result is a somewhat surprising sequence of both verses, which cannot form pure elegiac couplets.

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