Re: Ἀντιόχου παῖς ἐσθλὸς Ὁλυμπιό[δωρος] κτλ. -> Olympiodorus, the noble son of Antiochus ... (Inscription on ancient gymnasium floor in Salamis, Cyprus)

trkyem · 7 · 1904

trkyem

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Hi!

This is another inscription on the floor of the ancient gymnasium in Salamis. Can you help me with the translation please?

Thank you

  
« Last Edit: 21 Nov, 2011, 15:51:19 by billberg23 »


billberg23

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This inscription is much more difficult, since it is fragmentary:  the right side has been broken off.  Could this paving-stone be a piece re-used from an earlier building?  In any case, we probably won't be able to provide a full translation — which is probably good, since it's twice as long as your previous inscription, and we would really run the risk of trampling on Rule #1.5 (12-word limit:  click on "The Rules" at top of page).

In general, we can say that it is again poetry (elegiac couplets), and that it commemorates the restoration and preservation of the entire building by someone whose name is probably Olympiodorus.  The restoration evidently included a pool and garden.  Here is our reading of the text, in case someone thinks a word or two can be restored:
Ἀντιόχου παῖς ἐσθλὸς Ὁλυμπιό[δωρος
καὶ τόδε σὺν πολλοῖς κτίσμασι θε[
τοίχους ἐξεσάωσε καὶ ἐξηγείρεθ' ἑ[
ὕλας τὰς χρονίας πᾶν πανα[
ἄλλο δὲ μ[ε]ῖζον ἔτευξεν ἀγακλ[
κήπων ἐν λουτρῶ τερψι[
« Last Edit: 23 Nov, 2011, 21:31:50 by billberg23 »



trkyem

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Thanks and yes there's a pool very close to it. I am aware of the limit, but didn't know this inscription would exceed it. So as it seems, the purpose of most of these inscriptions are to commemorate someone. I was really curious about their content. Thanks again.


billberg23

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So as it seems, the purpose of most of these inscriptions are to commemorate someone.
Yes, and specifically, someone who helped the polis to restore some public facility to its former use and function.  In fact, I have the impression that most extant Greek inscriptions from the Hellenistic and Roman eras are what we call "euergetic" (from Greek euergetēs, "benefactor") — that is, they honor someone who has contributed his own wealth to the good of the community.  It seems that rich people in those days competed vigorously with each other for that sort of public honor and gratitude, and everyone benefitted.  Quite a contrast with the selfish greed exhibited by the top 1% these days, isn't it?
Anyway, thanks for your own contributions here!  Keep them coming!



trkyem

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You're welcome and I thank you for translating. I'm so glad to have found this forum. I love exploring ancient ruins, but until now I couldn't understand any of the inscriptions. Thanks to you they're no longer a mystery to me. I'll go on posting as I explore new places:)



billberg23

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Thanks, Alex!  And there are also shorter, perhaps more readable, discussions of euergetism scattered here and there on the Web, e.g., http://thecampvs.com/?p=85.  For a full treatment of euergesia, the finest work I know is by Laure Marest-Caffey, Public Works in the City-States in Anatolia during the Late Hellenistic Period:  Role of Euergetism and Citizens' Initiatives (California State University 2008):  http://books.google.com/books/about/Public_works_in_the_city_states_in_Anato.html?id=rVdFPwAACAAJ
« Last Edit: 22 Nov, 2011, 16:25:39 by billberg23 »


 

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