Unclear instrumentum


Trismegistos ID: 738354

Source Description


Apollonia Museum, inv. number unknown.


Probably marble panel (0.23; 0.19; - depth unknown), with a flange along the upper edge; the exposed side is occupied by five features, approximately in the shape of horseshoes (two upper ones of diameter 0.09; two lower ones of diameter 0.062; the central one of diameter 0.0375); it was probably a mould for unclear metal objects.


Inscribed along the flat sides of both larger features.


Ca. 0.006.

Place of Origin



Perhaps second half of fourth century B.C. (lettering)


Found in 1929 in the Port of Cyrene, later Apollonia .

Last recorded Location

Photographed in 1929 in Apollonia Museum ; not found since.

Text constituted from

Transcription from previous editor.


Reynolds, 1976 , p. 302, n. 13, whence SEG , 27.1142.


  → Ἑρμῆς
  ← Ἄρτεμις


French translation

a) Hermès. b) Artémis.

English translation

a) Hermes. b) Artemis.

English translation

a) Hermes. b) Artemide.


The purpose of this marble, known only from a photograph, remains obscure. Channels running between some of the features and a small indentation at the centre of each one are hints for a mould. But the objects that might have been produced are not clear: the features are too circular for horseshoes and the lack of recesses for handles eliminates the hypothesis of mirrors. It is thus very difficult to explain the opposite direction of writing.

Furthermore, as the divine names are mentioned at the nominative, the objects should not be dedications and the names might be either labels for some sort of images or even used to indicate other living or inanimate objects.

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