IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

C.64. Dedication offering a mosaic floor to Hermes

Description: Mosaic floor panel (w: 1.83 x h: 1.53), within a simple geometric mosaic.
Text: Black mosaic lettering on a white ground; the surface has been damaged since it was first read.
Letters: Line 1, 0.06-0.19; line 2, 0.21-0.32; lunate sigma and epsilon.

Date: Second century CE

Findspot: Cyrene, Temple of Hermes, on the floor in front of the plinth for the cult statue; found in 1936
Original location: Findspot
Last recorded location: Findspot


θεῷ μεγάλῳ Ἑρμ<ᾶ>ι
Ἰανουάριοϲ δοῦλ(οϲ)
εὐχὴν ἣν εὐξ̣ά̣μην
ὑπέρ τε ϲωτ[ηρί]αϲ
5 καὶ νείκηϲ Τι̣[(βερίου)] Κλ̣(αυδίου)
Ἰάϲονοϲ Μάγνου̣
ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων



6: Μάγνω SECir, 1961-1962
8: ἐψηφοθέτηϲ[α] SECir, 1961-1962

English translation

Translation by: Editors

For the great god Hermes, Ianuarios (i.e. Januarius), slave, as the votive offering which I offered for the safety and victory of Ti(berios) Klaudios (i.e. Ti(berius) Claudius) Jason Magnos (i.e. Magnus), from my own means I laid the mosaics.

Arabic translation

Translation by: Muna Abdelhamed

من أجل المؤله العظيم هيرميس، إيانوريوس (إو جانوريوس)، عبدٌ ، كأعطية نذرية الي قدمتها من أجل سلامة وانتصار تيـــ (بريوس) كلاوديوس جاسون ماغنوس، عملت هذه الفسيفساء من ممتلكاتي الخاصة (مالي الخاص).


The existence of this small shrine in close proximity to the so-called house of Jason Magnus, like the colossal statue of Herakles which stood at the entrance to the atrium of the house, should probably be connected with the ephebic cult of these two gods: see C.51.

For μέγας as an epithet of Hermes, particularly in Egypt, see e.g OGIS 716, Panopolis (available at PHI 219130) and on the epithet in general, Br. Müller, ΜΕΓΑΣ ΘΕΟΣ, 322). In the present context of gratitude to the god it might also be a reflection of an acclamation, cf. Petersen ΕΙΣ ΘΕΟΣ, 196f; and it could also imply a connexion in the dedicator's mind with the θεοὶ μεγάλοι of Samothrace, cf. B. Hemberg, Die Kabiren, 26f. and 93f.

Jason Magnus appears also in C.242 and C.243, C.405, lines 1, 2, and C.306, lines 1, 2, the latter dated between 176 and 180, and probably in C.421, C.661, line 2. The prayer for his safety and victory may indicate that he was for a time a soldier, or possibly a competitor in some overseas contest.

Bibliography: SECir, 1961-1962, 111, fig. 85 (from a photograph), whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1964.568; Discussed by Mingazzini, 1966, 12-17, whence SEG 60.1838, Oliver, 1970, p. 101.b; Venturini, 2013 no. 23; mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 163, 167.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. View (1936, October 2, Department of Antiquities, E.2597)