IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.216. Gladiator memorial

Description: Limestone stele (w: 0.60 x h: 1.20 x d: 0.22) the face largely occupied by a round-headed niche with flanking columns in relief; within the niche a relief of a heavy-armed gladiator.
Text: Inscribed above and below the niche. Text a, above the niche, with nine palm branches above. Text b is below the niche, with line 3 a graffito added below.
Letters: Second – third century: 0.03; square sigma, diamond-shaped phi, cursive omega; ligatured ΠΥ in lines 2 and 3 of b. Guidelines visible in b.

Date: Second to third centuries CE

Findspot: Ptolemais: near the Amphitheatre, with P.215; found before 1915.
Original location: Probably from a gladiator cemetery
Last recorded location: Tolmeita Museum


Ἱππομέδων ὁ πρεὶν (sic)
Καρπόφοροϲ οὗ πυ(γμαὶ) θ´
( vac. 3) πυ(γμαὶ) θ´ ( vac. 3)




b.2: Καρπόφορο(ς) Robert, 1940
b.3: omitted by Ghislanzoni and Robert.

English translation

Translation by: Editors

(a) Hippomedon

(b) Hippomedon, who was formerly Karpophoros, who had nine fights. Nine fights.


Approximately a pair with P.215.

The figure is described by Ghislanzoni as a Samnite gladiator, whence Brinkerhoff (loc.cit); for a correction see Robert, loc.cit, (Hellenica III) p.65.

The nine palm branches stand for the nine victories mentioned in lines 2-3, the same number as Hermes in P.215.

a, b.1: The “stage-name” here, being that of an epic hero, is of a type favoured by gladiators, Robert Gladiateurs p. 299.

b.2, 3: πυγμαί θ' means that he fought nine contests; for the use of this term for gladiatorial fights, Robert, Gladiateurs p. 16f.

Bibliography: Ghislanzoni, 1915, 123 and fig.27b, whence AE 1915.108, whence Robert, 1940, 68; Robert, 1946, 140 f. and pl. X; mentioned by Brinkerhoff, Kraeling, 1962a, 187, 207, whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1964.589; mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 104..
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. P.216, upper part, with P.342 above (Reynolds XIII.33)

   Fig. 2. Upper part of the face (Reynolds XIII.33)

   Fig. 3. Monument (Reynolds III.49.1)