IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

M.45. ?Presence inscription

Description: Large block, may be a building block of the Roman fort. From a group of inscribed stones, M.45, M.46, M.47, M.48, M.49, and M.55.
Text: Graffiti on a poor surface in sizeable but roughly cut letters suggesting an informal text.
Letters: L presumably for ἔτους, possibly with a superscript bar.

Date: First - third century CE

Findspot: South of Berenike: Esc-Sheleidima; found and photographed by members of an Italian army unit in 1927.
Original location: Roman fort.
Last recorded location: Findspot (1927)


(ἔτους) [---]
[---]Ι̣Ι̣ Ἀρ̣ι̣πα<χ?>θι[ϲ---]


L [---]


2: ΡΙ might be Π

English translation

Translation by: Charlotte Roueché

Year [- . . . ] ? Aripachthis [ . . .


All or most of this group of texts seems to be from the Roman fort, one of a line of forts which probably marked the innermost defences of the Syrtic Limes. The line was probably established in the first century CE after the Marmaric War. Most have a more or less formal appearance.

The high proportion of Latin texts in this remote place must be due to the presence of soldiers and suggests a garrison unit recruited in the west – the cognomen Reburus (M.49.i) pointing to Spain or Gaul. But it is clear that Greeks of local origin (M.49.iv, vi) came here too and may well be civilian visitors to the shrine, though local recruiting is also possible.

Bibliography: For the fort see Goodchild, 1953, 67
Text constituted from: Transcribed from photographs (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. View of the group, M.45-M.55 (1927, Department of Antiquities, F. 1058)

   Fig. 2. M.46 and M.45(detail from F. 1058)