IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.287. Dedication to Apollo on behalf of Nero

Description: Rectangular marble base, with sockets on top for the feet of a statue (w: 0.69 x h: 0.315 x d: 0.69); approximately a pair with C.288.
Text: Inscribed on one face on a semi-dressed surface; there is a small circular depression in the lower right corner of the face.
Letters: First century CE: lines 1-4, 0.03; lines 5,6, 0.025

Date: CE 56/57

Findspot: Cyrene: Temple of Artemis; found in 1861.
Original location: Perhaps Temple of Apollo
Last recorded location: British Museum


ὑπὲρ τῆς ⟦Νέρων⟧ος Κλαυδίου
Καίσαρος νίκης καὶ σωτηρίας
καὶ τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ πάντος
Ἀπόλλωνι Ἀποβατηρίω ( vac. 4)
5Μ(ᾶρκος) Ἀντώνιος Γέμελλος ἐκ τῶν τοῦ
( vac. 8) Ἀπόλλωνος ( vac. 8)



Italian translation

Translation source: Vitali, 1932

Per la vittoria e la salute di Nerone Claudio Cesare e di tutta la sua casa, M. Antonio Gemello, a spese del santuario di Apollo, dedicò ad Apollo, protettore dello sbarco.

English translation

Translation by: Editors

For the victory and the safety of Nero Claudius Caesar, and his whole household, to Apollo Apobaterios. M(arkos) Antonios Gemellos (i.e. M(arcus) Antonius Gemellus) (scil. made the dedication) from the (scil. funds) of Apollo.


Apparently a pair with C.288

If the date is CE 56/57, see. below, the victory hoped for would be the result of Corbulo's activities in Armenia (Tacitus, Annals XIII 34 f., available at Perseus.

On the title see G. Pugliese Carratelli, 'Theoi Apobaterioi' 281-284. We have not found another instance of Apollo as Apobaterios, but cf. Zeus Apobaterios (Arrian, Anab. 1.11.7), Artemis Apobateria at Erythrae, SEG 30.1327, (at PHI 251622), Thea Apollonis Apobateria at Teos (OGIS 309, at PHI PH256434); Apollo is, however, attested as Epibaterios, Ekbaterios, Ekbasios, see L. Robert, Nouvelles inscriptions d'Iasos, available at Persée, and reprinted, OMS III, 1509), 314 n.4. Vitali connected the titles with the cult of Apollo Delphinios, which occurs, relevantly, in Crete and Thera.

Such a dedication suggests that Nero was expected to take a journey, but if the text is of CE 56/57, there is no literary evidence to support this. Laronde, op. cit., shows that the epithet Apobatērios does not refer to Nero’s ‘debarkation’ (solemn arrival) in Cyrene in the course of his journey in Greece in 67 CE but to Apollo’s role as protector of the debarkation of the first colonists in archaic Cyrene. The city invokes the protection of the most ancient and venerable deity for Nero. C. Parisi Presice, loc. cit., suggests that the protection was for the voyage of the governor Pedius Blaesus (for whom see on M.225).

Line 6: Gemellus is also active in C.332; in C.219 lines6,7, Gemellus appears as eponymus priest in CE 56/57 which is therefore a probable date for the text; but since he is given no title here it is possible that he acted as an ordinary priest of Apollo and therefore in some other year.

Bibliography: Smith-Porcher, 1864, 12, p. 113 and pl.81 whence cited Rossberg, 1876 24, note 2, IGRR, I.1034; IBM, 1056, whence Vitali, 1932, 74, and p. 125f.; discussed Laronde, 1977, whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1978.559, SEG 27.1197; further, Parisi Presicce, 1992, 150, whence SEG 42.1688
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


None available (2020).