IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.215. Gladiator memorial

Description: Limestone stele, damaged above (w: 0.59 x h: 1.20 x d: 0.22); the face is largely occupied by a round-headed niche with flanking columns in relief, the right one very damaged; within the niche a relief of a gladiator (a retiarius).
Text: Inscribed above (text a) and below (text b) the niche. Text a has four incised palm branches to the left and five to the right.
Letters: Second-third century 0.03 – 0.035; square sigma, square phi, cursive omega.

Date: Second to third centuries CE

Findspot: Ptolemais: near the Amphitheatre, with P.216; found before 1915.
Original location: Probably from a gladiator cemetery
Last recorded location: Tolmeita Museum


Ἑρμῆϲ ὁ πρὶν
( vac. 2) Φίλων ( vac. 2)



English translation

Translation by: Editors

(a) Hermes

(b) Hermes, who was formerly Philon


Approximately a pair with P.216. Re-used as the cover of a late tomb.

The palm branches indicates nine victories - the same number as Hippomedon in P.216

On double names for gladiators see Robert, Gladiateurs, p. 297. Neither the original name here nor the “stage-name” (which recurs among gladiators, Robert p.109) are at all innovative.

Bibliography: Ghislanzoni, 1915, 122 and fig.27a, whence AE 1915.107, whence Robert, 1940, 67; Robert, 1946, 140 f. and pl. IX; mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 104.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. View of the monument (Reynolds III.48)