IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.3. Ephebic? name

Description: Sandstone blocks, too high to measure, in the North Tower of the West Gate, inscribed, while in their present positions, on the North wall: P.1, P.2, P.3, P.4, P.5, P.6, P.7.
Text: Graffito on the raised central area of two adjacent blocks to the right of P.2; i to the left of ii
Letters: No description. ΣΤΚ monogram for συγκοίτοι.

Date: First century BCE to first century CE

Findspot: Ptolemais: West Gate, North tower, north wall.
Original location: Findspot.
Last recorded location: Findspot.






i.1: Omitted by Oliverio

Italian translation

Translation source: Oliverio, DAI, 1933-1936


English translation

Translation by: Editors

(i): . . . ] bed-fellow/s, Komanos. (ii): Bed-fellow/s

Arabic translation

Translation by: Muna Abdelhamed

(i) : . . . ] شريك/ شركاء الفراش ، كومانوس. (ii): شريك/ شركاء الفراش.


For this group of texts see commentary on P.1

i: For the name cf. P.13. Oliverio identified this person with the minister of Ptolemy Neoterus (Polyb. XXVIII. 19.2, 20.1) but this seems most improbable - the text is clearly informal and the letter-forms, though perhaps early in the sequence, very uncertainly dated.

i and ii: This monogram was ignored by previous editors, although Franz suggested, on P.9 (CIG 5203), that it might be Christian (from its alleged similarity to a Coptic cross) which is certainly wrong. It is usually found linking a pair of names; in this case, therefore, the partner may therefore have been intended for line 2 of ii. It should be resolved as the term σύγκοιτος/οι; see also P.3, P.9, P.12, P.38, P.39, P.43, P.127, P.133, and perhaps P.400, all ephebic texts. It is not always clear whether it should be resolved in the singular - so x the bedfellow of y - or in the plural: the plural usually makes better sense. The word is more frequently found in the context of heterosexual relationships; it appears to have a distinct sense from the word φίλος, which is also found linking pairs of ephebes - see P.12, where the two terms are both used. The use of a monogram certainly indicates a standardised relationship, and probably something more intimate than the military term contubernalis.

Bibliography: i only: Pacho, 1827pl. LXXIV whence CIG, Vol.III, 5205b; Oliverio, DAI, 1932-1933, 5, p.69, and Oliverio, DAI, 1933-1936, 503 (27),whence SEG 9.384, PHI 324233.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Transcription (1827, Pacho, plate LXXIV)

   Fig. 2. P.3 above, P.4 one course lower (Reynolds NS.XII.6)

   Fig. 3. Detail (Reynolds NS.XII.7)

   Fig. 4. Detail (Reynolds NS.XII.6)