IRCyr   Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica

P.54. Ephebic list

Description: Upper right corner of a marble panel (w: 0.155 x h: 0.155)
Text: Inscribed on one face.
Letters: Second century: 1.1, 0.02; lines 2 f., 0.015; superscript bar above the figure in line 2.

Date: CE 128-138

Findspot: Ptolemais: West Church; found in 1935.
Original location: Unknown
Last recorded location: Tolmeita Museum


[ἐφ’ἱερέως Ἀπόλλων]ος Καίσα-
[ρος Τραιανοῦ Ἁ]δριανοῦ Σε-
[βαστοῦ Ὀλυ]μπίου τὸ ((stop))((stop)) β´
[c. 12] ἀκαδημεα̣-
5[ρχc. 10] Φαινιανὸς
[c. 11ο]υ̣ καὶ Φ[---]


[.........]ΜΠΙΟΥΤΟ Β


1: [ἔτους . . . Αὐτοκράτορ]ος κτλ. Applebaum, 1950 M.N. Tod suggested ἐφ' ἰερέως κτλ or [ὑπὲρ τῆς Αὐτοκράτορ]ος Καίσα[ρος τοῦ δεῖνος διαμονῆς καὶ σωτηρίας . . .
4: . . . τὴν] Ἀκαδημε[ίαν . . . Applebaum, 1950
6: Applebaum omits this line.

English translation

Translation by: Charlotte Roueché

When the priest of Apoll]o was Caesar [Trajan] Hadrian Augustus Olympius, for the second time: [ . . .] Akademearch [ . . . ] Phainianos [ . . .


The text is ephebic, see below; probably not a dedication to or for the emperor, whose name is in no way distinguished from what follows, but a standard list of ephebic officials and ephebes with a dedication to Hermes and Herakles. This should begin with a date, here, no doubt, expressed by reference to the emperor. In a regnal year the figure is normally given before the name, but to restore accordingly leaves the figure 2 which follows Hadrian's name unexplained, since it is impossible to connect it exclusively with the immediately preceding Olympios; and it cannot be a regnal year with the figure in an unusual position (Hadrian's second year is CE 118/119), since Hadrian did not become Olympios until 128/9. In similar Cyrenaican texts, whatever alternative systems of dating are used (an Actian and/or a regnal year may appear), there is always also a reference to the local eponymous priest of Apollo, and it seems possible that Hadrian held this priesthood at Ptolemais, and held it twice.

Line 4: Akademiarch: The title recurs in an ephebic context at Ptolemais under Commodus P.55, but this is its earliest known appearance so far; it implies that the Ptolemaitan ephebes received some philosophical teaching. Its holders may be identical with the ephebarchs who head the list of gymnasium officials in the Augustan text P.79 and it would be possible to restore 4/5 here as ἐφήβαρχοι καὶ ἀκαδημέα/ρχοι

Bibliography: Applebaum, 1950, F.1, with comments by M.N.Tod, whence Robert, Bulletin Épigraphique, 1951.245; discussed, Reynolds, 1990, 65, note 1, whence SEG 40.1602; mentioned Kenrick, 2013, 103.
Text constituted from: Transcription (Reynolds).


   Fig. 1. Face (Reynolds II.3)

   Fig. 2. From left: P.165.a, P.204, P.54 (Joyce Reynolds)