greek inscription

Εἰκὼν ἡ λίθος
εἰμί. Τίθησί με
Σείκιλος ἔνθα
μνήμης ἀθανάτου
σῆμα πολυχρόνιον.

Ὅσον ζῇς φαίνου
μηδὲν ὅλως σὺ λυποῦ
πρὸς ὀλίγον ἐστὶ τὸ ζῆν
τὸ τέλος ὁ χρόνος ἀπαιτεῖ.


Σείκιλος Εὐτέρ[πῃ]

— 

Seikilos Epitaph (c. 1st century CE)

“I am an image, a stone. Seikilos placed me here: a long-lasting token of undying memory.

While you live, shine.
By no means at all grieve.
Life exists only for a short while:
Time requires its completion.

Seikilos for Euterpe.”

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Theater of Aspendos

Aspendos, Pamphylia, Turkey

161-180 CE

96 m. diameter

12,000 seatings


A statue of the building’s architect, Zeno, stands in the south parodos. The inscription under the statue records the thanks of the people for the gift of the theatre and says that Zeno was given a large garden near the stadium for his work. Inscriptions in Greek and Latin on either side of the skene read that the wealthy brothers Curtius Crespinus and Curtius Auspicatus built the theatre and dedicated it to “the Gods of the Country and the Imperial House.” In the 3rd century AD a parapet was built between the orchestra and the cavea to protect the audience from gladiatorial and wild animal shows.

Roman Glass Beaker with Greek Inscription, c. 1st Century AD

Made from greenish-transparent glass, this small beaker or cup features several decorative bands including a wreath pattern, and near the base, a row of chevrons. Below the wreath, an inscription in Greek suggests the beaker’s festive function: “rejoice and be merry.”

To create this beaker, the glassmaker used a three-piece mold. Because the seam of the mold was not completely tight, some of the molten glass seeped out of the mold. As was common practice, the glassmaker incorporated the mold mark into the design in order to better conceal it. The Romans introduced the technique of inflating glass into molds in the early first century AD and this technique has been used continuously in glassmaking centers around the Mediterranean.

Photograph of Greek inscription at the Bollingen “Tower” of C.G. Jung; the inscription itself dates to 1950.

The central figure is Homunculus-Mercurius-Telesphorus, wearing a hooded cape and carrying a lantern. He is surrounded by a quaternary Mandala of alchemical significance, with the top quarter dedicated to Saturnus, the bottom quarter to Mars, the left quarter to Sol-Jupiter (“male”) and the right quarter to Luna-Venus (“female”). The Greek inscription translates to approximately:
“Aion (Time, Eternity, the Eon) is a child at play, gambling; a child’s is the kingship. Telesphorus ("the Accomplisher”) traverses the dark places of the world, like a star flashing from the deep, leading the way to the Gates of the Sun and the Land of Dreams"

Time is a child at play, gambling; a child’s is the kingship is a fragment attributed to Heraclitus.

to the Gates of the Sun and the Land of Dreams is a quote of the Odyssey (24.11), referring to Hermes the psychopomp leading the spirits of the slain suitors away.

                Ὁ.ΑΙΩΝ.Π
            ΑΙΣ.ΕΣΤΙ.ΠΑΙΖΩ
            Ν.ΠΕΤΤΕΥΩΝ.Π
            ΑΙΔΟΣ.Ἡ.ΒΑΣΙ
               ΛΗ [♄] ΙΗ  
ΤΕΛΕΣ                             ΦΟΡΟΣ  
ΔΙΕΛΑΥ                           ΝΩΝ.ΤΟ  
 ΥΣ.ΣΚ                           ΟΤΕΙΝ  
 [☉ ♃]            [☿]            [♀ ☾] ΟΥΣ
                                             ΤΟΥ
ΚΟΣΜΟΥ.                         ΤΟΠΟΥ
Σ.ΚΑΙ.ὩΣ.                          ΑΣΤΗΡ.
ΑΝΑΛ              ΑΜΠΩ         Ν.ΕΚ.ΤΟ
Υ.ΒΑ             ΘΟ [♂] ΥΣ.      ὉΔ
                  ΗΓΕΙ   ΠΑΡ᾽
               ΗΕΛΙΟΙΟ.ΠΥΛΑΣ.Κ
                 ΑΙ.ΔΗΜΟΝ.Ο
                    ΝΕΙΡΩΝ  

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Tomb of Amyntas 

Fethiye, Turkey

350 B.C 

 
The tomb was named after the Greek inscription on the side, reading “Amyntou tou Ermagioiu” meaning “Armyntas son of Hermagios”. What makes the tomb of Amyntas unique from other tombs is its size, most mountain side tombs are the size of a small room, this tomb’s height is equivalent to one of a full-sized temple.

King Silko’s Silver Crown, 5th Century AD

This silver crown comes from the necropolis of Ballana situated south of Abu Simbel, the site is today submerged by the waters of Lake Nasser. The tomb in which the crown was found, without doubt, is that of a local potentate judging by the abundance and quality of the material uncovered in the 1930s by W.B. Emery. It falls within the category of culture called X-Group (or Ballana Culture) which developed after the breakup of the Empire of Meroë into small kingdoms or principalities. This period is between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 6th century AD.

The individual whose corpse was adorned with this crown was probably one of the kings of these small principalities who succeeded the domination of the kings of Meroë. It could be identified as Silko, dating back to the 5th century, who was proclaimed in a Greek inscription within the temple of Kalabsha, “King of Nobatae and all of Ethiopians”. The crown still includes a set of representations from a repertoire directly inspired from ancient Egyptian iconography; however, its symbol and its form are no longer Egyptian.

The crown is composed of two parts, a diadem and a crest. The diadem is decorated with a frieze of Horus falcons between two rows of small squares and circles….

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Rare Thracian Gold Inscribed Ring, 5th Century BC

Only four Thracian inscriptions of any length have ever been found, this ring being one of them. It’s from Ezerovo, Bulgaria and it has an inscription in Thracian but the letters used are ancient Greek:  ΡΟΛΙΣΤΕΝΕΑΣΝ / ΕΡΕΝΕΑΤΙΛ / ΤΕΑΝΗΣΚΟΑ / ΡΑΖΕΑΔΟΜ / ΕΑΝΤΙΛΕΖΥ / ΠΤΑΜΙΗΕ / ΡΑΖ // ΗΛΤΑ

The words have been  separated as:  ΡΟΛΙΣΤΕΝΕΑΣ NΕΡΕΝΕΑ ΤΙΛΤΕΑΝ ΗΣΚΟ ΑΡΑΖΕΑ ΔΟΜΕΑΝ ΤΙΛΕΖΥΠΤΑ ΜΙΗ ΕΡΑ ΖΗΛΤΑ

i.e.:  “Rolisteneas Nerenea tiltean ēsko Arazea domean Tilezypta miē era zēlta.”

Proposing the following translation:  “I am Rolisteneas, a descendant of Nereneas; Tilezypta, an Arazian woman, delivered me to the ground.”

Greek Bronze Inscribed Axehead, 6th Century BC

An axe dedicated by a butcher, Western Greek, made in Sybaris, Calabria about 520 BC.

This elaborate bronze axehead, decorated with palmettes andvolutes, was clearly not intended for everyday use. Axes sometimes had ceremonial uses, and could be carried like scepters, their symbolism deriving from their use in killing animals for sacrifice. The Greek inscription on the side of this axe makes its special nature clear. It translates: “I am the sacred property of Hera-in-the-plain: Kyniskos the butcher dedicated me, a tithe from his works.”

We do not know the location of the sanctuary of Hera-in-the-plain. However, the inscription does evoke this individual from the ancient world: we know his name, his occupation, and something of his mentality. He obviously felt that he should thank the gods for his prosperity, and perhaps also that his wealth might continue if he shared it with them.

Inscribed Macedonian Bronze Shield, Hellenistic, 1st Half of the 3rd Century BC

Hammered from a single heavy sheet, of convex form, the rim rounded and folded over, with geometric decoration composed of a Macedonian star at the center, its twenty-four rays encircled within a double band flanking a Greek inscription, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ DHMHTPIOY, “Of King Demetrios,” surrounded by seven concentric arches, each centered by an eight-rayed star, three concentric bands along the edge.

2

 Greek Stater from Thespiai, Boeotia, 387–374 BC

Obverse: A Boeotian shield. Reverse: Aphrodite Melanis facing right wearing an earring, Her hair slightly disheveled and set with jewels. In the field at the right, a large crescent; a small one under the curve of the neck, on which is a necklace and a pendant. Inscription in Greek at left and right.

Mythologically the coins of Thespiai are of value, as they prove that in addition to Eros, who was the god especially revered at that city, Aphrodite Melainis or “Black Aphrodite” (Paus. ix. 27) was there worshiped as a Moon-goddess. The crescent, the constant mint-mark of Thespian money, is the symbol of this goddess.

Thespiai (or Thespiae) was an ancient Greek city in Boeotia. It stood on level ground commanded by the low range of hills which run eastward from the foot of Mount Helicon to Thebes, near modern Thespies. What stands out historically about this ancient city is that during the Persian invasion of 480 BC, Thespiai and Thebes were the only Boeotian cities to send a contingent to back up the Spartans at Thermopylae, Thespiai sent a force of 700 hoplites who remained to fight beside the Spartans on the final day of the battle. In 1997, the Greek government dedicated a monument to the Thespians who fell alongside that of the Spartans. After the battle, Thebes was the final Boeotian state to side with the Persians, and in doing so they denounced both Plataea and Thespiai to Xerxes I as the only Boeotian states to side with the Greeks. After Xerxes burned down their city, the remaining Thespian inhabitants furnished a force of 1800 men for the confederate Greek army that fought at Plataea (479 BC). More about the Thespians

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Greek Gold Snake Belt, 3rd-2nd Century BC

Formed from a sheet strap, with hatched ribs along the exterior, each end with a sheet collar embellished with a twisted wire filigree palmette framed above and below by bands of plain wire framing a beaded wire, with terminals in the form of coiled snakes, each head stippled, one terminal with five snakes, the other with four, a Greek inscription lightly incised on the interior.