Rock, on one side of a road (dimensions unknown).
Inscribed on one face.
Height unknown (see commentary).
Place of Origin
Perhaps Hellenistic (context)
Seen in 1817 by P. Della Cella and in 1825 by J.-R. Pacho at Cyrene pleiades; HGL : at the beginning of the ancient road leading from Cyrene to Balagrae, in the area of the South Necropolis .
Text constituted from
Transcription from editor.
CIG Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum, I-IV, Berlin, 1828-1877 - see in bibliography 5150, from Della Cella, 1912 Della Cella, P., 19123rd ed. (Genova 1819), Viaggio da Tripoli di Barberia alle frontiere occidentali dell'Egitto fatto nel 1817 dal D.re P. Della-Cella e scritto in lettere al sig. D. Viviani professore di botanica e storia naturale nella regia Università di Genova, Milano - see in bibliography , pp. 139-140 (= Pezant, 1840 Pezant, A., 1840Voyage en Afrique au royaume de Barcah et dans la Cyrénaïque à travers le désert, traduit et augmenté de notes historiques, géographiques et botaniques, et d’une notice sur l’ancienne et moderne Cyrénaïque etc., Paris, French translation of - see in bibliography , pp. 199-200), and Pacho, 1827 Pacho, J.-R., 1827, Relation d'un voyage dans la Marmarique, la Cyrénaïque et les oasis d'Audjelah et de Maradeh, pendant les années 1824 et 1825, Paris - see in bibliography , p. 224. Cf. Dobias-Lalou, 2013 Dobias-Lalou, C., 2013, Espace des dieux, espace des hommes, espaces des vivants, espace des morts dans les inscriptions de Cyrénaïque, in A. Inglese, Epigrammata 2. Definire, descrivere, proteggere lo spazio, in ricordo di André Laronde. Atti del convegno di Roma, 26-27 ottobre 2012, Tivoli, 165-195 - see in bibliography , pp. 169-171; Criscuolo, 2015 Criscuolo, L., 2015, Osservazioni sulle iscrizioni viarie ellenistiche, Simblos: Scritti di storia antica6, 85-94 - see in bibliography , p. 87.
(Route autorisée) (?) pour chevaux.
(Road allowed) (?) for horses.
(Strada) (?) per cavalli.
(ربما تعني ضمنياً: شوارع مسموح بها (؟)) (؟) للخيول
Franz in CIG considered that Della Cella and Pacho had seen one and the same inscription and he was probably right, as Pacho's description and map point to the road issuing from the South gate towards Balagrae. Another such mention was found by Oliverio on the road from Cyrene to Apollonia (see IGCyr030800) and was probably not visible in Della Cella's time.
It has been admitted since the first travellers that the word δρόμος should be supplied and Dobias-Lalou argued after Della Cella that the inscription indicates a road allowed for horses and carriages, not a racecourse as Pacho suggested about this inscription and Oliverio about the other one.
Criscuolo now prefers a subaudible τόπος, i.e. a place where horses might stay (and Chandezon, per litteras, even suggested a grazing place). However those interesting ideas would not fit the place well. The question cannot be definitely decided.
A new way for interpretation was opened by E. Rosamilia when publishing IGCyr134400. Although he eventually does not think that both inscriptions are one and the same, he notes that Ἱππικός might also be a personal name. However Della Cella mentioned «grandi caratteri» and Pacho «lettres de plusieurs pouces». The ancient French inch was 0.028 long and as he did not say simply '2 or 3 inches' the letters seen by him were probably taller. The idea of a signpost should perhaps not be dropped.
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