IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.114. Dedication to Zeus and Rome

Description: Five blocks from an architrave, with traces of moulding above; the original face has been cut presumably to remove an earlier inscription.
Text: Inscribed on the face.
Letters: Augustan - first century CE; 0.30.

Date: Augustan - first century CE

Findspot: Cyrene: Agora, North Stoa, from the limestone architrave blocks of the Doric entablature; found in 1919.
Original location: North Stoa, architrave.
Last recorded location: Standing in front of the Stoa (2008)


Ζηνὶ Σωτῆρι καὶ Ῥώμ[αι ---]αι καὶ Σε[βαστῶι ---]



1: Ῥώμαι καὶ Σε[βαστῶι] Ghislanzoni, 1925; Ῥώμ[αι αἰωνίαι . . . ]αι καὶ Σε[βαστῶι θεῶι Καίσαρι Gasperini, 1965

English translation

Translation by: Editors

For Zeus Saviour and Rome [ . . ] and for Au[gustus? . . .


For the building see Stucchi, Agora 147f., 220f. Oliverio, Scavi 20 states that the architrave had been re-inscribed several times but there seems no evidence for more than one such re-use; it is reasonable to suppose this as Augustan in date on grounds both of palaeography and of historical probablility, but it seems less certain that Gasperini was right to associate this with the Cyrene decrees of 7/6 BCE; C.95 shows that there was already a priest of Augustus at Cyrene in 16/15 BCE.

Gasperini showed conclusively that for architectural reasons the fragment with ῬΩΜ[...] does not adjoin that with [...]ΑΙΚΑΙΣΕ and that the intervening gap contained at least 3-4 letters and possibly 10-11 more if another whole architrave block stood between the two. He proposed an epithet after Ῥώμ[αι and another goddess, ; but his αἰωνίαι, suggested by Roma Aeterna, does not seem to be attested among Greek cults of Ῥώμη and is in any case rather too long for the gap at its shortest and too short if it was longer, while the interruption of the two Roman concepts of Rome and Augustus by a second local one such as Libya seems unlikely; very tentatively we propose something on the lines of Ῥώμ[αι Εὐεργέτιδι θε]αῖ, approximately on the analogy of OGIS 594 (PHI 64218), Ῥώμην θεὰν εὐεργέτιν at Delos. At the end Gasperini's supplements were intended to fill the space likely to heve been inscribed, on the supposition that the gap after ΡΩΜ was the smallest possible and that the inscription was disposed symmetrically in relation to the whole architrave. For the cult of Rome at Cyrene, probably combined with that of the imperial house, see also C.2, C.692. For the conjunction of Zeus, Rome and Augustus we have found no exact parallel unless Keil's supplements to IGRR IV.1534 (PHI 251624) from Erythrae are accepted, giving [θεαῖ Ῥώμῃ καὶ Σε]βαστῶι Καίσαρι [?καὶ διὶ Σωτῆρι] Οὐρανίωι ; but cf Plutarch, Vita Flaminini 16, Ζηνὰ μέγαν Ῥώμαν τε Τῖτον θ'ἄμα Ῥωμαίων τε πίστιν (Perseus), and IGRR IV.95 (PHI 75349) from Mytilene where there was a priest θεᾶς Ῥώμης καὶ τῶ Σεβαστῶ Διὸς Καίσαρος Ὀλυμπίω πατρὸς τᾶς πατρίδας. The cult of Zeus Soter at Cyrene is attested by a Ηellenistic inscription on an altar in the Agora (IGCyr100000) and one in the Sanctuary, C.289. Gasperini loc.cit. collects evidence to suggest that he was predominantly a θεὸς ἀγοραῖος. See further Marengo, op.cit.

Bibliography: Ghislanzoni, 1925, 413, whence AE 1927.141, SEG 9.127, PHI 323981, Vitali, 1932, 273, Oliverio, 1931, 20 and 31, Oliverio, 1940, 412, Romanelli, Africa Romana, 227 and Romanelli, 1943, 90; reexamined and republished Gasperini, 1965 218-220 cf. p. 156 and pl. XXXVII, 3,4, whence Gasperini, 1967a, 32 and fig. 215, Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1972.622a, Marengo, 1988, 92.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. View from very far

   Fig. 2. All the blocks (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 3. Block 1 (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 4. Block 2 (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 5. Block 3 (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 6. Block 4 (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 7. Block 5 (2008, H.Walda)