Dedication to Zeus


Trismegistos ID: 6067

Source Description


Cyrene Museum, 19+355.


At least seven fragments of a white marble stele with the lower front side protruding m. 0.05 ahead of the upper side, which has the form of an aediculum; moulded cornices on top and below of the inscribed face; in the aediculum, a relief of which survives only the lower part of two figures, one seated, the other standing; all fragments had been provisionally pasted together before being photographed for editio princeps; later on, some of the fragments were detached, one of which was registered again with a different inventory number; amongst the four inscribed fragments, three, being adjacent, are here named together a (inv. number 19), which keeps the right original edge, but has lost four lines below since 1951 (as measured in 1976 0.25; 0.30;0.28); another loose fragment (inv. number 355), here named b, belonged to the left lower part (0.18; 0.11;0.15); dimensions of the whole monument as measured for publication 0.42; 0.82;0.32.


Inscribed on the lower part of the face (preserved height 0.36).


0.02 at ll. 1-5; 0.017 at ll. 7-11.

Place of Origin



Probably third quarter of fourth century B.C. (lettering)


Found between 1939 and 1942 by G. Pesce in excavations at Cyrene : Temple of Zeus .

Last recorded Location

Both fragments seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1979 in Shahat : Cyrene Museum .

Text constituted from

Transcription from stone (CDL).


Pesce, 1951 , pp. 84-86, n. 1, fig. 1, whence SEG , 17.796; Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique , 1953.251; Morelli, SECir , 244 (only fragment b, as unpublished). Cf. Marengo, 1985 , whence SEG , 36.1461.


[Ζηνὶ? Λυκα?]|ί̣ω[ι c. 5]  [.......]  [κ]ατ[έ]σκα-[ψαν ....] Ν ἐπ̣έθηκ-αν [.....]  κα[ὶ] τοὶ να- 5[κόροι? ἐ]ποιήσαντο. ( vac. ) [᾿Επὶ] |Θ̣ρ̣ά[σ]|ωνος (vac. 4) [Δ]|άμων Ἐ|π̣ιγένευς [Ἑπὶ Σ] |τρατ[ο]|μάχω . |Ἰάσων [Ἀ]|γχιστράτω 10|Κάλ[λις Ἀρ]|ισταγόρα - - - - - - -


1 [Ζηνὶ Λυκα?]ί̣ω[ι] : Pesce, 1951  [Διὶ Ὀλυμπί]ωι : SECir  [---] Υ̣Ω[---] 

3-4 Pesce, 1951  ἐπ̣έθηκ|αν (more consistent with the stone) : Pesce, 1951  ἐν̣έθηκ|αν

4-5 Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique  τοὶ να|[κόροι?] : Pesce, 1951  ΤΟΙΝΑ | [---] 

6 [᾿Επὶ] Θ̣ρ̣ά[σ]ωνος : Pesce, 1951  [᾿Επὶ ...] ΟΙΑ[.] ωνος : SEG  [...] ΟΙΑ[.] ωνος

8 Pesce, 1951  [᾿Επὶ Σ]τρατ[ο]μάχω : SEG  [Σ]τρατ[ο]μάχω

French translation

[A Zeus Lykaios les? ---]  ont fait creuser et ont placé au-dessus [---]  et les [néocores?] ont mis à exécution. (vac. 1 line) [Sous] Thrasôn, (vac. 4) Damôn fils d'Epigénès. [Sous] Stratomakhos, Iasôn fils d'Ankhistratos, Kallis fils d'Aristagoras, [---] .

English translation

[To Zeus Lykaios the? ---]  dug and set upon [---]  and the [neokoroi?] made. (vac. 1 line) [Under] Thrason, (vac. 4) Damon son of Epigenes. [Under] Stratomachos, Iason son of Anchistratos, Kallis son of Aristagoras, [---] .

Italian translation

[A Zeus Lykaios i? ---]  scavarono e vi collocarono [---]  e i [neokoroi?] fecero. (vac. 1 line) [Sotto] Thrason, (vac. 4) Damon figlio di Epigenes. [Sotto] Stratomachos, Iason figlio di Anchistratos, Kallis figlio di Aristagoras, [---] .


Our fragment b bears the same inventory number as IGCyr122800. This should be a mistake. The stone was already recomposed from several fragments when published. Due to the movings of the stones from one storeroom to the other, the fragments were dissociated.

The lettering strikingly resembles that of IGCyr084000, whence the date proposed here; Pesce said third or second century, which seems impossible.

Pesce proposed to restore the name of Zeus Olympios, an epithet known in the same temple only in the second century A.D. (IRCyr C.423); the epithet Lykaios, mentioned by Herodotus (4.203) about this very place, would fit the lacuna and seems more probable for that time.

This inscription seems to be a dedication mentioning some building works made on behalf of a group of benefactors, perhaps while on office, if νακόροι should be restored at ll. 4-5.

Lines 6-10, for which Pesce only gave a general commentary, without clear restorations, passed on without interpretation in SEG, whence the idea that Stratomachos at line 8 was a grand-father's name (so Marengo, 1991 , pp. 409, 500), in spite of the space left between lines 7 and 8. Pesce was certainly right in thinking that lines 6 and 8 mentioned an eponymous priest, the first one followed by one benefactor's full name, the second one by at least two of them. A better examination of the surviving fragment b allows to improve the reading of line 6 and to get a name already attested in Cyrenaica: Θάρσων and Θράσων are two variants of a same name, both in use in the region. For the latter, we have one occurrence as father's name of a military officer by the time of our inscription (IGCyr091000, a.7).

Pesce thought that the two figures on the relief, the male one seated, the feminine one standing, might be Zeus and Hera. The latter was indeed worshipped later in Zeus' temple. It should just be stressed that there is no room at line 1 for a second divine name and the preserved ending pertains to a masculine epithet, so that the dedication should be intended for Zeus only.

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