Cyrene Museum, 530 (fragm. a) and 558 (fragm. b).
Two adjacent fragments of a marlacious limestone block, fragment a broken off at left, right, back and above (0.27; 0.082;0.105); fragment b broken off at left and back (0.13; 0.17;0.185); due to the geological nature of the stone, the larger fractures at back and also at left of fragment a are curved so regularly that they might seem to have been cut in a workshop.
Inscribed on the face in five lines, each displayed symmetrically along the vertical axis.
0.02 very carefully cut, with slight serifs; dotted theta, very slightly slanting mu and sigma.
Place of Origin
Probably first half of third century B.C. (lettering)
Found before 1977 at Cyrene pleiades; HGL : exact findspot unrecorded.
Last recorded Location
Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1977 in Shahat : Cyrene Museum .
Text constituted from
Transcription from stone (CDL).
Not previously published.
[---] [---] fils de [---] nos, thessalien, chef des imprécations.
[---] [---] son of [---] nos, Thessalian, leader of the imprecations.
[---] [---] figlio di [---] nos, tessalo, capo per le maledizioni.
This inscription has no parallel and raises different questions. The use of the koine is a clue for an international context, perhaps in relation with the Ptolemaic domination. The layout confirms that Θεσσαλός is here used with its original value of an ethnic and not as a personal name. The latter would have stood at line 3. It is not clear whether line 2 was inscribed or left blank.
The word ἐπαρά 'imprecation' is known since Homer, where it describes a malediction spelled by a father against his son. This noun and the corresponding verb ἐπαράομαι are used in several contexts implying the respect of a sacred right: oath, asylum right, faithfulness towards allies and so on.
As for ἡγεμών 'leader, chief', it was already used in the Hellenistic kingdoms as an official title for the 'chief-commander' of military groups but also in non-military contexts for the chief of a chorus. Complemented with ἐπαρῶν the word should indicate a man who uttered the malediction on behalf of a group. Might we think either of some form of treaty where this Thessalian would act on behalf of a city or of the development of a new cult, such as the royal cult, if this Thessalian was commissioned by a Ptolemy? Those are but weak hypotheses.
Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
All citation, reuse or distribution of this work must contain a link back to DOI: http://doi.org/10.6092/UNIBO/IGCYRGVCYR and the filename (IGCyr000000 or GVCyr000), as well as the year of consultation.