IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.312. Christian invocation

Description: Block of limestone (w: 0.69 x h: 0.38 x d: 0.37).
Text: Inscribed on one face.
Letters: Perhaps fourth century: line 1, 0.065; line 2, 0.075; lunate sigma.

Date: Perhaps fourth century CE

Findspot: Ptolemais: Village, lying among debris between the Museum and the sea; found in 1977.
Original location: Unknown.
Last recorded location: Tolmeita Museum.


ἠ φίλοϲ ἶ
ἠ δὲ ἐχθρόϲ ((crux))



English translation

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

You are either a friend or an enemy.

French translation

Translation source: Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique

Que tu sois ami ou ennemi.

French translation

Translation source: Feissel, 2006

Si tu es ami, salut! Si tu es ennemi, va te pendre!

English translation

Translation by: Charlotte Roueché

If you are a friend [welcome]! If you are an enemy [get lost]!


It is tempting to suggest that the findspot, taken with those of P.311 and P.313, may indicate that there was a church near the modern seashore; but it may be that material from elsewhere on the site was dumped here pending re-use in modern times.

The somewhat enigmatic statement might be a reference to Matthew XII. 30, ὁ μὴ ὢν μετ’ ἐμοῦ κατ’ ἐμοῦ ἐστίν ('who is not my friend is an enemy'). But Feissel, art. cit., points out that the necessary end of each line is missing - either completed on a further block, or perhaps implicit; this would give an attested formula.

Bibliography: Reynolds-Ward-Perkins-Goodchild, 2003, 199.2, whence Dobias-Lalou, Bulletin Épigraphique, 2004.456, SEG 53.2062, and further Feissel, 2006 999
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face (Reynolds III.35.1)