Apollonia Museum, Storeroom of the French Mission, 96-Ao-A2.SURF384.
Fragment shoulder of a vase, black-glazed Attic ware (or perhaps Gnathian?), decorated with a frieze of notched waves and triple petals painted in white (0.13; -; -).
Scratched above the frieze in one curved line.
0.006-0.01, irregularly although rather carefully cut; the letters of the second word are taller than those of the first one; rho with very small loop, still slanting sigma, very tall phi.
Place of Origin
Perhaps fourth or third century B.C. (context, lettering)
Found by chance on the surface in 1996 at Port of Cyrene, later Apollonia pleiades; HGL .
Last recorded Location
Seen by C. Dobias-Lalou in 1997 at Sūsah : Apollonia Museum, Storeroom of the French Mission .
Text constituted from
Transcription from object (CDL)
Not previously published.
Hèrakleidès à Aphrodite (?).
Heracleides for Aphrodite (?).
Herakleides per Afrodite (?).
The name Heracleides has not the dialectal form; this is rather rare for private inscriptions before the third century B.C. In the port of Cyrene, it might testify of a non-Cyrenaean traveller.
What remains of the last preserved letter might belong to an epsilon. If so, it might belong to a personal name beginning with Ἀφεν(ο)-. However, father's names are not usual in such graffiti (in spite of IGCyr003100). As what remains of the transverse stroke is curved and does not wholly touch the hasta, rho seems a better reading and would allow to read Aphrodite's name. This goddess is mentioned in several inscriptions of the city of Cyrene, in an area at the South-East of the Sanctuary of Apollo, which might be the 'Aphrodite's garden', mentioned by Pindar, Pyth. 3.25-24. We had up to now no inscribed mention of the goddess in the port of the city, except a possible link with Kallikrateia (IGCyr033300, see Chamoux, 1998 Chamoux, F., 1998, Callicrateia, divinité protectrice du port de Cyrène, in E. Catani, S.M. Marengo (eds.), La Cirenaica in età antica: Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Macerata, 18-20 Maggio 1995, Ichnia1, Pisa-Roma, 137-143 - see in bibliography ). The extramural Doric temple West of the port has been hypothetically attributed to Aphrodite because the action of Plautus' Rudens, inspired from a Greek comedy by Diphilos, takes place near a temple of Venus on the coast near Cyrene (see White in Goodchild-Griffiths Pedley, 1976 Goodchild, R.G., Griffiths Pedley, J., White, D., Humphrey, J.H. (eds.), 1976, Apollonia, the port of Cyrene: excavations by the University of Michigan, 1965-1967, Libya Antiqua (LibAnt)Suppl. 4, Tripoli - see in bibliography , p. 83). This graffito is but a slender clue in favour of that hypothesis.