IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

A.8. Fragmentary decree of Roman legate

Description: Fragment from the upper left corner of a stele of white marble, probably Attic, with moulded pediment and traces of acroteria above (w: 0.18 x h: 0.25 x d: 0.12).
Text: Inscribed on one face.
Letters: 0.01; first century BCE

Date: First century BCE

Findspot: Apollonia: found during excavations in the East Church, in 1920.
Original location: Unknown.
Last recorded location: Cyrene Museum


ἐπίκριμα Γνα[ίου Κορνηλίου Λεντόλου Ποπλίου υἱοῦ]
Μαρκελλίνο[υ πρεσβευτοῦ ἀντιστρατήγου περὶ τῆς]
διαφορᾶς ὑ[πὲρ --- τῆς πόλεως τῆς]
Ἀπολλω[νιάτων --- πρὸς τὴν πόλιν]
5τὴν Κυρ[ηναίων ---]



English translation

Translation by: Joyce M. Reynolds

Decree of Cnaeus [Cornelius Lentulus] Marcellinus [son of Publius, legate with propraetorian powers], concerning the dispute [over . . . between the city] of the Apollonians [and the city of] the Cyrenaeans [ . . .


Almost certainly Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, Pompey's legatus pro praetore in the Libyan Sea in 67 BCE, see DPRR Corn2082; also in five other Cyrenaican inscriptions discussed with this one by Reynolds, art.cit., four of them from Cyrene (C.132, C.280, C.271, C.688) and the fifth P.100 from Ptolemais.

The decree was apparently concerned with a dispute between Cyrene and Apollonia, by now an independent city, whose occurrence is one indication of the public insecurity in Cyrenaica during the period between the death of the last king Ptolemy in 96 BCE and the imposition of formal Roman control which was ordered in 74 BCE but probably not effectively organised until 67 (see Badian, art.cit.). Pompey's interest in the establishment of peace here in the context of his activities against piracy in this area of the Mediterranean is easily understood. For piratical activities along the Libyan coast see J.M. Reynolds, A Civic Decree from Benghasi (1973-74) 19 f.

Line 4: If this line is correctly interpreted, it contains the earliest surviving use of the town name (so Laronde, op.cit.) but it could be a reference to the temple of Apollo.

Bibliography: Mentioned Oliverio, 1929, 142-3, Romanelli, 1943, 49; published Reynolds, 1962, 6, with illustration pl. XIII.2, whence SEG 20.709, PHI 324473, Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1964.560, Badian, 1965, 119-121; republished Reynolds, 1976, 10 and pl.LX. Discussed by Laronde, 1987, 457-461, whence Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1988.1012, SEG 38.1868; mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 255
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Squeeze (C. Dobias-Lalou, 1977: MFA est CD 155)