IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

M.273. Christian funerary invocation

Description: Wall of a rock-cut tomb chamber, with M.273, M.274, GVCyr 38.
Text: Inscribed within a tabella ansata (w: 0.50 x h: 0.30); there is a cross in the left-hand ansa.
Letters: Fifth-sixth century; deeply cut, 0.03-0.05, square sigma, cursive omega; omicron sometimes diamond shaped. There are no superscript bars above abbreviated words.

Date: Fifth to sixth centuries CE

Findspot: Gebel Akhdar: East of Cyrene: Bir Tarakanet; found in 1959, in a rock-cut chamber on the east side of the Wadi Tarakenet.
Original location: Findspot.
Last recorded location: Findspot.


Θ(ε)ὲ Χ(ριϲτ)ὲ ζοὴν δὸϲ
Ϲαμφο̣δίο̣νι <Ϲ>
τῷ κτίϲτῃ τοῦ
ἐργαλίου τού-
5του ὑπὲρ μνήμηϲ
ἰδίαϲ ἐπύηϲ̣[εν]



English translation

Translation source: Reynolds-Ward-Perkins-Goodchild, 2003

God, Christ, give life to Samphodion, the founder of this workshop. He made it as his own memorial.


Line 1: For the formula see δὸς ζωήν in the church of the Apostles at Madeba, dated in 578-9 (available at PHI 246177), and the long discussion by M. Noth (1968) 133. Noth argues from the combination of Ζοή with ὑγιεία in a number of Syrian inscriptions that the prayer is essentially for earthly life, but more complex spiritual concept may also have been involved. See also the discussion of Ζωή and Ζάω in Kittel, Theologisches Wörterbuch zum Neuen Testament.

Line 4: An unusual word to describe a tomb, normally meaning a workshop ('atelier', Robert); the chamber contained an olive press which may perhaps be an original feature. See further on GVCyr 38.

Bibliography: Goodchild-Reynolds, 1962 no.3.1, pp. 41-46 and pl. XXIIIc, whence SEG 20.705, PHI 324470, Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1964.586; Reynolds-Ward-Perkins-Goodchild, 2003, 416.1
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


None available (2020).