IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.450. Honours for Mnaso

Description: Panel of medium-grained white marble (w: 0.310 x h: 0.360 x d: 0.065). Right-hand corner broken away, chipped along all edges.
Text: Ιnscribed on the face. The occasionally uneven spacing of letters (note especially line 7) suggests that there were already chips on the face to be avoided when the text was cut.
Letters: Perhaps first century BCE - first century CE: not measured. Τhere are small serifs on many letters, mu has two slanting outer strokes and two short ones internally, the second upright of nu is a little shorter than the first, sigma normally has approximately straight strokes at top and bottom.

Date: Perhaps first century BCE - first century CE.

Findspot: Cyrene: Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, found in 1977 during excavations: area C13,1,2. .
Original location: Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore.
Last recorded location: Cyrene Museum, Storeroom of the American excavations (Inv. no. 77-1167)


καὶ Κό[ραι]
Μνασὼ Εὐκλε[ίδα]
5 καὶ ἱερατεύσαισαν
Ἀρίσταρχος Θευχρήστω
( vac. 1) τὰν γ( vac. 1)υναῖκα ( vac. 2)



English translation

Translation source: Reynolds, 2012

To Demeter and Kore: (scil. the statue of) Mnaso (scil. daughter) of Eukleidas who has been ?advocate and priestess, his wife; Aristarchos (scil. son) of Theuchrestos (scil. dedicated)


The personal names of the husband and wife and of their fathers are all attested in Cyrene and the husband was probably identical with a homonym said to be of the first century CE (see C.48) He was certainly a member of the city’s ruling class, just as his wife was a leading figure in the cult of Demeter - that she had been a priestess needs no comment but ὑπερδικήσαισα is an unusual term; the verb also figures in a previously unpublished inscription from the Temple of Demeter at Teucheira T.25. Liddell and Scott, referring to its use in the form ὁπερδικέω, in Boeotia (most recently L. Darmezin, Les affranchisements par consécration en Béotie et dans le monde grec hellénistique, Paris, 1999, 27,11, whence PHI 314287) translate ‘act as advocate for’; could it be that she was charged with pleading the case for initiation of those who had presented themselves for the mysteries? It is possible that she had died before the statue was erected - she had certainly ceased to hold either of the offices with which she is credited.

Bibliography: Reynolds, 2012, A.23, whence Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique, 2013.480, SEG 62.1795.11.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face (Donald White)

   Fig. 2. Face (Donald White)