Dedication by a Ptolemaic officer


Trismegistos ID: 738873

Source Description


Small fragment of a marble block, broken off above, below and at left (dimensions unknown).


Inscribed on the face.


Height unknown, very carefully cut, with small serifs; alpha with dropped bar, epsilon with short central bar, circular letters of the average size, rho with a square loop.

Place of Origin



Between 156 and 145 B.C. (lettering, reign)


Found and photographed probably before World War II, probably at Cyrene : apparently on the Fountain Terrace .

Present Location

Only known from a photograph in the archive of the Department of Antiquities.

Text constituted from

Transcription from photograph (CDL).


Not previously published.


[Ὑπὲρ βασιλέως Πτολεμαίου θεοῦ Εὐ]ε̣ρ̣γ̣έτο[υ ............................]  τῶν ἀρχι-[σωματοφυλάκων ..........]  [ἀνέθη]κεν καὶ - - - - - -


French translation

 [---]  [Au nom du roi Ptolémée Dieux] Evergète, [Un tel], du corps des gardes du corps, a consacré  [---]  et  [---] .

English translation

 [---]  [On behalf of king Ptolemy God] Euergetes, [So-and-so], of the body-guards, dedicated  [---]  and  [---] .

Italian translation

 [---]  [Per il re Tolemeo Dio] Evergete, [il tale], delle guardie del corpo, ha dedicato  [---]  e  [---] .


Although alphas with dropped bar are common in the Roman period, there has been a taste for this drawing during the second half of the second century B.C. in inscriptions related with Ptolemaic authorities, namely IGCyr015300, IGCyr063400, IGCyr063700 and IGCyr101600, all dating from the reign of Ptolemy VIII Euergetes II. Conversely the square loop of rho is not so common.

This oddity of lettering helps to decide that the Ptolemy mentioned at line 1 can only be the second Euergetes, here mentioned for himself and not as the father of Ptolemy IX Soter II. The genitive implies the preposition ὑπέρ and consequently the high probability that no line preceded our line 1, a fact that the damaged condition of the stone would not allow to decide.

In the lacuna at the beginning of line 2, the man with the aulic title ton archisomatophylakon should have been mentioned with name and father's name, followed either by another title or by a word at the accusative mentioning the monument dedicated (which might also remain subaudible).

Moreover, Lucia Criscuolo ( per epistulam ) kindly adds two arguments helping to tighten the chronology between 156 and ca. 145: 1) this aulic title, attested for the first time in Egypt in 156/5, lasted for about one century; 2) from 145 on, in dedications with the formula ὑπέρ, the name of Ptolemy VIII is always followed by that of one or two queen(s), a mention for which there is no space here.

After καί another verb is expected, such as ἀφιέρωσεν, yet attested up to now only in dedications of the imperial period. Alternatively, another word at the accusative is also possible, see IGCyr092000.

Creative Commons Attributions-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

All citation, reuse or distribution of this work must contain a link back to DOI: and the filename (IGCyr000000 or GVCyr000), as well as the year of consultation.