Praksô, the Samian, Gone at 22

ΑΜΥΝΤΑΣ [P. Oxy.iv. 1904, no. 662, p. 64. ]

“Tell me, woman, who are you and who is your father?
Tell me what kind of terrible sickness you died from.

My name is Praksô, the Samian, Friend.
I was an offspring of Kalliteleus, but I died in childbirth.

Who provided this tomb? Theokritos, the man
They married me to. What age did you make to?

I was three times seven plus one. Were you childless?
No, I left a three-year old behind at home.”

(1)φράζε, γύναι, τίς ἐοῦσα καὶ ἐκ τίνος, εἰπέτε πάτρην,
καὶ ποίας ἔθανες νούσου ὑπ᾿ ἀργαλέης.
οὔνομα μὲν Πραξὼ Σαμίη, ξένε, ἐκ δὲ γονῆος
Καλλιτέλευς γενόμαν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔθανον τοκετῶι.
τίς δὲ τάφον στάλωσε; Θεόκριτος, ὧι με σύνευνον
ἀνδρὶ δόσαν. ποίην δ᾿ ἦλθες ἐς ἡλικίην;
ἑπταέτις τρὶς ἑνὸς γενόμαν ἔτι. ἦ ῥά γ᾿ ἄτεκνος;
οὔκ, ἀλλὰ τριετῆ παῖδα δόμωι λιπόμαν

The funerary stele of Thrasea and Euandria, c. 365 BC

One thought on “Praksô, the Samian, Gone at 22

  1. Ancient epitaphs are so fascinating. Prakso was almost certainly just a regular young woman and yet here she is being mourned by people thousands of years later in a medium she wouldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams. I hope she had a good life and I hope her family was able to heal from losing her

Leave a Reply