Dedication to the Nikai (?)


Trismegistos ID: 738894

Source Description


A rock-cut altar with two compartments, one hollowed out to the right, the other shallow to the left (for one compartment (?) 0.27; 0.10;0.195); the hollow at right was closed with a stone lid and contained miniature vases.


Inscribed on the front below the right (?) compartment.


0.035-0.038, deeply cut; dissymmetrical nu, slanting, narrow and taller sigma.

Place of Origin



Perhaps end of fifth or beginning of fourth century B.C. (lettering)


Found between 2008 and 2010 by the Mission of Urbino at Cyrene : Southern Extra-Mural Sacred Zone , North-West of the Extra-Mural Temple of Demeter .

Last recorded Location

First studied in 2010 by A. Inglese in situ.

Text constituted from

Transcription from editor CDL.


Inglese, 2013 , pp. 236-238, 434, 439 (ph.). Cf. Gasparini-Rosamilia, 2016 , pp. 197, 203.




French translation

Pour les Nikai (?).

English translation

For the Nikai (?).

Italian translation

Per le Nikai (?).

Arabic translation

لأجل نايكي (؟).


This altar, found and published before the series IGCyr133300 to IGCyr133800, is situated just near the first mentioned. The support is the same, but the inscription is different and puzzling.

When publishing it, A. Inglese proposed two interpretations: 1) a masculine personal name, which she thought was also attested at Cyrene; 2) the dative plural of the name of the divine name Nike, i.e. Victory, although no parallel is known. E. Rosamilia, when publishing the rest of the inscribed altars, mentioned again this one and preferred the interpretation with the Nikai.

C. Dobias-Lalou's supplementary comment: 1) The personal name: we have now three such mentions, all from Taucheira, all from the first century A.D. (see Fraser-Matthews, 1987 , pp. 328-329, clumsily divided in two entries). Names ending with -ιος were at the time often reduced to -ις. This one is thus a variant of Nikaios. But it does not match the presumed date of the lettering and of the archaeological context. 2) The Nikai: a dedication at the dative on such altars is quite uncommon. However in the same area we have now this case for one Eumenide and Melichios (IGCyr133400). The most puzzling point in this hypothesis is the presence of Victories (and the plural!) in a cultual zone devoted to Zeus and the Eumenides.

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