IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.469. Dedication of a statue of Kore

Description: Rectangular base of medium-grained white marble carrying a statue of draped woman; base made in one piece with its statue (base w: 0.585 x h: 0.105 x d: 0.040).
Text: Inscribed on forward face.
Letters: Line 1, ave. 0.05; lines 2-3, 0.02; lunate epsilon and sigma; somewhat poor quality lettering (it is possible that it was not cut by a professional letterer but by the sculptor or his assistant); unconventional (though common) spelling in lines 1,3; and unconventional grammar in line 3.

Date: Late second to early third centuries CE

Findspot: Cyrene: Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore: from south ring wall, E14 mound (S29).
Original location: Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore.
Last recorded location: Cyrene Museum, Storeroom of the American excavations (Inv. no. 77-940)


Ἑλβία Τειμαρέτα κατ’ὄναρ ((leaf))
χρηϲμόν λαβοῦϲα ἀνέθηκε Δήμητρι καὶ Κό-
ρηι Κόρηϲ ἄγαλμα τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ ϲείτου ( vac. 7)



English translation

Translation source: Reynolds, 2012

Helvia Timareta, having received an oracle in a dream, dedicated to Demeter and Kore the statue of Kore, the Kore who presides over the wheat


Helvia Timareta probably belonged to the family of Helvius Rufus, a clerk of the city of Cyrene who died in CE 89-90 (C.607); the family may be one of Italian immigrants to Cyrene but could, alternatively, be Greek recipients of Roman citizenship at a comparatively early date. She uses the koine dialect normal in the city by the mid second century CE

The receipt of divine instructions in dreams is a quite common feature in the ancient world. Also common is the dedication of a statue of one deity to another. It was more normal to regard Demeter as the Goddess who presided over the corn than Kore (although she is of course widely associated with corn). The formula used for her position is not a common one and recalls the Greek title of the Roman praefectus annonae (ὁ ἐπὶ τοῦ σίτου).

The reason for the dedication is not stated but might well be the occasion of an especially good harvest.

Bibliography: White, 1981, 23-4 (the statue); Kane-Reynolds, 1985, 455-6 (the statue), 462-3 (the text); SEG 35.1721, AE 1985.844; Reynolds, 2012, A.41.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face (Donald White)