IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.173. Honours for Commodus

Description: Fifty fragments of marble, all heavily burned, from a panel (originally w: 3.00 x h: 0.35 x d: 0.04 - 0.05).
Text: Inscribed on one face.
Letters: Second century CE 0.04 - 0.05; heavily rubricated. In lines 1-3 the stops, with the exception of the ivy leaf at the end of line 1 are simply painted; in lines 4, 5 they are incised and painted; the palm branches which flank line 5 are painted only.

Date: CE 185-192

Findspot: Cyrene, Valley Street, Temple of Commodus; the greater part was found in 1957, in situ as fallen when the Temple was destroyed, but several fragments from the right end were in Cyrene museum before 1941, presumably found during construction of modern buildings in the area.
Original location: Temple of Commodus, from the front of the base of the main cult-statue
Last recorded location: Cyrene Museum (2008).


Αὐτοκράτορα̣ Κα̣[ίσα]ρα Λούκιο[ν Αἴλιον Αὐρ]ή̣λιον Κ[όμμοδ]ον Εὐ[σ]εβῆ ((leaf))
, Εὐτυχῆ Σε[βα]στὸ̣[ν Σ]αρματικὸν̣ [Γερμανικὸν] μέγισ̣[τον Βρε]ταννικὸν
τὸν σωτῆ[ρα] καὶ εὐεργέταν ἁ π[όλις ἁ] [Κυρανάων] ἁ̣ μα̣[τρόπολις] τᾶ̣ς̣ Ἑξα - ( vac. 1)
πόλιος̣ [ἀ]φιερώσαντος Λ(ουκίω) Σεμ̣[πρ]ω̣νίω [...] Ι̣Γ [c. 8 τ]ῶ κρατίστω̣
5 ( vac. 6) ((palm)) ( vac. 2) ἀνθυπάτω ( vac. 5)ἐπ’ἀγαθῷ ( vac. 12?)


5             palm     ΑΝΘΥΠΑΤΩ          ΕΠΑΓΑΘΩ                        


4: [...]ιγ[...] omitted by Goodchild (so Robert, SEG)


Between 185, when Commodus became Felix, and his death at the end of 192.

The use of the accusative case should indicate that the cult statue was of the emperor in divine form, perhaps as Herakles (fragments of a colored Herakles were found in the neighbourhood, although not certainly from this temple.

In line 1 there is evidence of a half-hearted attempt at erasure, clearly abandoned before it had got very far, possibly after Severus had reinstated the memory of Commodus; rather incongruously, the erased letters were not re-inscribed, but they were simply painted and the whole text was in fact plastered over. Special merits of Commodus in Cyrene are unknown.

Line 3: The title Metropolis for Cyrene is common in the second half of the second century. This description of the Cyrenaican cities as Hexapolis is the only clearly dated instance. The sixth city must be the Hadrianic foundation of Hadrianopolis which must presumably have been reasonably prosperous at this time.

Line 4: The proconsul is not otherwise known.

Line 5: The large space before the end of the line may have been filled by e.g. τῷ κυρίῷ.

Bibliography: Goodchild, 1961, 1, whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1962.366 AE 1963.140, SEG 20.727, (whence PHI 324487); reprinted Goodchild-Reynolds, 1976, 216-228, pl. 77, 78, 79.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Reconstructed fragments (BSR 1632, 7)

   Fig. 2. Reconstructed fragments (BSR 1632, 8)

   Fig. 3. Reconstructed fragments (BSR 1632, 9)

   Fig. 4. Reconstructed fragments (BSR 1632, 10)

   Fig. 5. Reconstructed fragments (BSR 1632, 11)

   Fig. 6. View of reassembled group, left part (Reynolds VIII.1)

   Fig. 7. Left end (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 8. Centre left (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 9. Centre left (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 10. Centre (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 11. Right end (2008, H.Walda)

   Fig. 12. View of reassembled group, right part (Reynolds VIII.5)