IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.166. Building inscription for cisterns

Description: Re-used marble stele of a type commonly used for funerary texts, but also for some public texts (w: 1.10 x h: 0.43 - 0.50 x d: 0.23 - 0.25).
Text: Inscribed on what must have been a front face, which was never completed. This face was never exposed, and is therefore in good condition.
Letters: Second century CE: Latin, 0.025 - 0.03; Greek, 0.03; lunate epsilon and sigma, cursive omega; a leaf at the end of line 5

Date: 165-169 CE

Findspot: Cyrene: East Church, re-used for a third time as a threshold in the south west entrance; found in 1956
Original location: The major public cisterns in this east area of the city lie not far SE of the East Church and this inscription is most likely to have come from them.
Last recorded location: Standing in the nave of the East Church.


ex auctoritate et indulgentia optimorum maximorumque imperatorum M(arci) Aureli An-
( vac. 2)tonini Aug(usti) Armeniaci et L(uci) Aureli Veri Armeniaci Parthi(ci) Maximi recep-
( vac. 2)tacula pecunia p(ublica) ( vac. 40)
( vac. 8 lines)
<Ναι>υιανὸς ὁ κρ(άτιστος) ( vac. 35)
5 θεμελίων κατεσκεύασεν καὶ ἀφιέρωσεν μετὰ Σειλίου((leaf))
Πλαυτίου Ἀτεριανοῦ τοῦ κρατίστου ταμί<ου> ( vac. 15)



English translation

Translation by: Editors

(Latin) By the authority and generosity of the best and greatest emperors Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, victor in Armenia, and Lucius Aurelius Verus, victor in Armenia, greatest victor in Parthia, cisterns (i.e. were built), from public funds.

(Greek) -ouianus the most excellent . . . of foundations constructed and consecrated, with Silius Plautius Haterianus, the most excellent quaestor.


The use as a threshold was its third usage - no trace survives of its first as a stele; the inscriptions are the record of its second, when it perhaps stood in the place of a lintel above the door of a cistern. The cutter abandoned his work on this bilingual text uncompleted, for the wholly Greek version, C.167, on the reverse face. That differs from this original Greek version in setting out the facts in a more elaborate form and in using a quasi-Doric dialect instead of the κοινή. It is possible also that between the drafting of the first and second versions the imperial titles had altered; in the this first version only Verus is called Parthicus Maximus, in the second (C.167) the space available strongly suggests that Marcus was similarly described and that both were also Medicus. Verus held the title Parthicus Maximus from 165, Marcus from 166.

Line 3: For de/ex pecunia publica from public money, cf. also T.5).

Line 4: The name is restored from C.167: the error is unusual.

Line 5: Silius Plautius Haterianus: only here and in C.167, but he must belong to a family of Silii Plautii prominent at Lepcis Magna in the second and third centuries; see IRT 635, 632, 542.

Bibliography: Reynolds, 1959, 3.a, fig. 4, whence SEG 18.740, PHI 324444; see alsoAE 1960.200
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face (Reynolds VI.23)

   Fig. 2. Face

   Fig. 3. Face

   Fig. 4. Face