Medicae: Women Doctors from the Roman Empire

Some more Non-Elite Latin from the tireless Brandon Conley

  1. AE 1937, 0017.
inscription for blog
(Image from EDH)

Hic iacet Sarman/na medica vixit / pl(us) m(inus) an(nos) LXX Pientius / Pientinus fili(us) et / Honorata norus / titolum posuerunt / in pace

“Here lies Sarmana the doctor. She lived around 70 years. Pientius, her son Pientinus, and daughter-in-law Honorata placed this monument. In peace.”


  1. AE 2001, 00263

C(aius) Naevius C(ai) l(ibertus) Phi[lippus] / medicus chirurg(us) / Naevia C(ai) l(iberta) Clara / medica philolog(a) / in fro(nte) ped(es) XI s(emis) / in agr(o) ped(es) XVI

“Gaius Naevius Philippus, freedman of Gaius, doctor and surgeon. Naevia Clara, freedwoman of Gaius, doctor and scholar. (Tomb size) 11.5 feet wide, 16 feet deep.”


  1. CIL 1.497
(Image from Arachne)

D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum) / Iuliae Saturninae / ann(orum) XXXXV / uxori incompara/bili me[dic]ae optimae / mulieri sanctissimae / Cassius Philippus / maritus ob meritis / h(ic) s(ita) e(st) s(it) t(ibi) t(erra) l(evis)

“A sacred rite to the spirits of the dead. To Julia Saturnina, age 45, an incomparable wife, the best doctor, the most noble woman. Gaius Philippus, her husband, (made this) for her merits. She is buried here. May the earth be light on you.”


  1. CIL 6.09616

D(is) M(anibus) / Terentiae / Niceni Terentiae / Primaes medicas li/bertae fecerunt / Mussius Antiochus / et Mussia Dionysia / fil(ii) m(atri) b(ene) m(erenti)

“To the spirits of the dead. To Terentia of Nicaea, freedwoman of the doctor Terentia Prima. Mussius Antiochus and Mussia Dionysia, her children, made this for their well-deserving mother.”

  1. CIL 13.02019
(Image from EDCS)

Metilia Donata medic[a] / de sua pecunia dedit / l(ocus) d(atus) d(ecreto) d(ecurionum)

“Metilia Donata, a doctor, gave this with her own money. This spot was given by decree of the decurions.”

  1. CIL 11.06394

…xia viva fecit / Tutilia Cn(aei) Tutili leib(erta) / Menotia hoc moniment(um) / fecit Octavia[e] Auli l(ibertae) / Artimisiae medicae

…(?) “Tutilia Menotia, freedwoman of Gnaeus Tutilus, made this monument for the doctor Octavia Artemisia, freedwoman of Aulus.”

Memnon’s Speaking Stone: Two Poems by Julia Balbilla

Julia Balbilla is a Roman poet from the time of Hadrian. She composed Greek verse. For more of her poems see Rosenmeyer 2008 below and Brennan 1998 for additional historical context

Julia Balbilla, Two Poems

In Memnonis pede sinistro. C. I. 4727 coll. Add. III p. 1202.

“I, Balbilla, heard from the stone when it spoke
Either the divine voice of Memnon or Phamenoth.
I came here alongside my beautiful queen Sabina,
as the sun kept its course in the first hour.
In the fifteenth year of Hadrian’s reign
When Hathyr had made its twenty-fourth day,
It was on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Hathyr.

῎Εκλυον αὐδάσαντος ἐγὼ ‘πὺ λίθω Βάλβιλλα
φώνας τᾶς θείας Μέμνονος ἢ Φαμένωθ·
ἦνθον ὔμοι δ’ ἐράται βασιλήιδι τυῖδε Σαβίνναι,
ὤρας δὲ πρώτας ἄλιος ἦχε δρόμος,

κοιράνω ᾿Αδριάνω πέμπτωι δεκότωι δ’ ἐνιαύτωι,
φῶτ]α δ’ ἔχεσκεν ῎Αθυρ εἴκοσι καὶ πέσυρα·
εἰκόστωι πέμπτωι δ’ ἄματι μῆνος ῎Αθυρ.

In Memnonis crure sinistro. C. I. 4725 coll. Add. III p. 1201 sq.

“Julia Balbilla [wrote this]
When August Hadrian heard Memnon

I’ve learned that the Egyptian Memnon, bronzed by
The bright sun, sounds out from a Theban stone.
When he gazed upon Hadrian, the kingliest king
He addressed him as much as he could before the light of the sun.

But as Titan was driving through the sky on white horses
Holding the second part of the day in shadow,
Memnon’s voice rang out again like struck bronze,
High-pitched: and he let loose a third sound greeting.

And then Lord Hadrian hailed Memnon in return
And left on this column for future generations to see
Inscribed verses telling of everything he saw and heard.
And it was clear to everyone how much the gods love him.

᾿Ιουλίας Βαλβίλλης, ὅτε ἤκουσε τοῦ Μέμνονος ὁ σεβαστὸς

Μέμνονα πυνθανόμαν Αἰγύπτιον, ἀλίω αὔγαι
αἰθόμενον, φώνην Θηβαίκω ‘πὺ λίθω·
᾿Αδρίανον δ’ ἐςίδων, τὸν παμβασίληα πρὶν αὐγὰς
ἀελίω χαίρην εἶπέ [v]οι ὠς δύνοτον·

Τίταν δ’ ὄττ’ ἐλάων λεύκοισι δι’ αἴθερος ἴπποις
ἐ]ν σκίαι ὠράων δεύτερον ἦχε μέτρον,
ὠς χάλκοιο τυπέντος ἴη Μέμνων πάλιν αὔδαν
ὀξύτονον· χαίρων καὶ τρίτον ἆχον ἴη.

κοίρανος ᾿Αδρίανος χ[ήρ]αις δ’ ἀσπάσσατο καὖτος
Μέμνονα. κἀ[πιθέμαν] καλλ[ιλό]γοισι πόνοις
γρόππατα σαμαίνο[ν]τά τ’ ὄσ’ εὔιδε κὤσσ’ ἐςάκουσε·
δᾶλον παῖσι δ’ ἔγε[ν]τ’ ὤς [v]ε φίλ[ε]ισι θέοι.

Antonio Beato, Colosses de Memnon

Rosenmeyer, P. (2008). Greek Verse Inscriptions in Roman Egypt: Julia Balbilla’s Sapphic Voice. Classical Antiquity, 27(2), 334-358.

Brennan, T. (1998). “The Poets Julia Balbilla and Damo at the Colossus of Memnon”. Classical World, 91(4), 215.

Plant, I., & Plant, Ian Michael. (2004). Women writers of ancient Greece and Rome : An anthology (University of Oklahoma Press ed.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.


Hades’ Newest Bride: A Remarkable Epitaph

This poem actually inspired me to type “just wow” when I was looking through the PHI Epigraphic Database.

CIRB 130 from the N. Black Sea ca. 50 BC-50 AD — GVI 1989

“Theophilê Hekataiou gives her greeting.

They were wooing me, Theiophilê the short-lived daughter of
Hekataios, those young men [seeking] a maiden for marriage.
But Hades seized me first, since he was longing for me
When he saw a Persephone better than Persephone.


And when the message is carved on the stone
He weeps for the girl, Theiophilê the Sinopian,
Whose father, Hekataios, gave the torch-holding bride-to-be
To Hades and not a marriage.


Maiden Theiophilê, no marriage awaits you, but a land
With no return; not as the bride of Menophilos,
But as a partner in Persephone’s bed. Your father Hekataios
Now has only the name of the pitiable lost girl.

And as he looks on your shape in stone he sees
The unfulfilled hopes Fate wrongly buried in the ground.

Theiophilê, a girl allotted beauty envied by mortals,
A tenth Muse, a Grace for marriage’s age,
A perfect example of prudence.
Hades did not throw his dark hands around you.

No, Pluto lit the flames for the wedding torches
With his lamp, welcoming a most desired mate.

Parents, stop your laments now, stop your grieving,
Theiophilê has found an immortal bed.”

1           Θεοφίλη Ἑκαταίου, / χαῖρε.
Θειοφίλην με θύγατρα μινυνθαδίην Ἑκαταίου
ἐμνώοντο, γάμωι παρθένον ἠΐθεοι,
5 ἔφθασε δ’ ἁρπάξας Ἀΐδης, ἠράσσατο γάρ μευ,
Φερσεφόνας ἐσιδὼν κρέσσονα Φερσεφόναν.
6a ———

7 καὶ γράμμα πέτρης ἐκγλυφὲν στηλίτιδος
κόρην δακρύει Θεοφίλην Σινωπίδα
τὰς μελλονύμφους ἧς πατὴρ δαιδουχίας
10   Ἑκαταῖος Ἅιδηι καὶ οὐ γάμωι συνάρμοσεν.
10a ———

11 παρθένε Θειοφίλα, σὲ μὲν οὐ γάμος, ἀλλ’ ἀδίαυλος
χῶρος ἔχει νύμφη δ’ οὐκέτι Μηνοφίλου,
[ἀ]λλὰ Κόρης σύλλεκτρος· ὁ δὲ σπείρας Ἑκαταῖος
οὔνομα δυστήνου μοῦνον ἔχει φθιμένης,
15 [μ]ορφὰν δ’ ἐν πέτραι λεύ<σ>σει σέο τὰς δ’ ἀτελέστους
ἐλπίδας οὐχ ὁσίη Μοῖρα κατεχθόνισεν.

τὴν κάλλος ζηλωτὸν ἐνὶ θνατοῖσι λαχοῦσαν
Θειοφίλην, Μουσῶν τὴν δεκάτην, Χάριτα,
πρὸς γάμον ὡραίαν, τὴν σωφροσύνης ὑπόδειγμα,
20   οὐκ Ἀΐδας ζοφεραῖς ἀμφέβαλεν παλάμαις,

Πλούτων δ’ εἰς θαλάμους τὰ γαμήλια λαμπάδι φέγγη
ἇψε, ποθεινοτάτην δεξάμενος γαμέτιν.
[ὦ γ]ονέες, θρήνων νῦν λήξατε, παύετ’ ὀδυρμῶν·
Θειοφίλη λέκτρων ἀθανάτων ἔτυχεν.

Image result for hades persephone grave relief
A relief of Persephone and Hades from the Hierapolis Archaeological Museum

The Tomb of Hygeia, Untouched by Marriage and Offspring

IG V,1 726 Lakonia and Messenia (IG V,1) : Lakonike (From the PHI Website)

“I am the tomb of a mother’s daughter and son–
They were allotted a swift passage to Hades.

The first of them used to be called Aleksanôr among the boys,
But the girl, Hygeia, died before marriage.

The Muse graced her young son with education;
and jealous Hades robbed her away as he grew.

So the mother has two children, but now she weeps
Three times as much for one untouched of mate and offspring.”

μητρὸς καὶ θυγατρὸς παιδός τ’ ἔτι τύμβος ὅδ̣’ εἰμί,
οἳ λάχον ὠκίστην ἀτραπὸν εἰς Ἀΐδην.

ὧν ὁ μὲν ἐν κούροισιν Ἀλεξάνωρ ἐκαλεῖτο,
ἡ δ’ Ὑγίεια, γάμου πρόσθεν ἀποφθιμένη·

ἄρρενι δ’ ἠϊθέῳ παιδείην ὤπασε Μοῦσα,
ἣν Ἀΐδης φθονερὸς νόσφισεν α̣ὐξομένου.

καὶ μήτηρ μὲν ἔχει παῖδας δύο, τρισσὰ δὲ πένθη
νῦν κλαίει γαμέτης ἄμμιγα καὶ γενέτη̣[ς].

Here’s what the inscription looks like in before being split up into couplets. I am pretty unsure about the third couplet.
1 μητρὸς καὶ θυγατρὸς παιδός τ’ ἔτι τύμβος ὅδ̣’ εἰμί, ❦ οἳ λάχον ὠκίστην ἀτραπὸν εἰς Ἀΐδην. ❦ ὧν ὁ μὲν ἐν κούρο<ι>-σιν Ἀλεξάνωρ ἐκαλεῖτο, ❦ ἡ δ’ Ὑγίεια, γάμου πρόσθεν ἀποφθιμένη· ❦ ἄρρενι δ’ ἠϊθέῳ παιδείην ὤπασε Μοῦσα, ❦ ἣν Ἀΐδης φθονερὸς νόσφισεν α̣ὐξομένου. ❦ καὶ μήτηρ μὲν ἔχει παῖδας δύο, τρισσὰ δὲ πένθη ❦ νῦν κλαίει γαμέτης ἄμμιγα καὶ γενέτη̣[ς].

Image result for funerary inscription Greek attica
Marble Grave Stele of Mnesagora and Nikochares (siblings) from Vari, Attica. 420-410 BC. NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ATHENS.

A Funerary Inscription for a Twelve-Year Old Girl

This inscription is from Attica, dating to around 350 BCE.

SEG 25:298 (SEG 23.166 Peek: Greek from the PHI Website)

“Traveler, weep for the age of this dead girl—
For she left when she was only twelve, causing her friends much grief
And leaving behind immortal pain. The rest of it
This memorial announces to everyone who passes by.

Much-wept Hades, why did you take Kleoptolemê when she
Was still a girl, at an ill-fated age? Didn’t you feel any shame?
You left for her dear mother Mnêsô everlasting grief
In exchange for mortal misfortune.

Dear Mother and sisters and Meidotelês who fathered you
As a source of pain for himself, Kleoptolemê,–
They look forward only to grief, and not your bed-chamber, now that you’ve died,
but a lament instead of a husband, a funeral instead of a marriage.”

ἡλικίαν δάκ[ρυσον, ὁδοιπόρε, τῆσδε θανούσης]·
δωδεκέτις [γὰρ ἐοῦσ’ ὤιχετο, πολλὰ φίλοις]
στερχθεῖσ’, ἀθά[νατον δὲ λιποῦσ’ ἄλγος· τὰ δὲ λοιπὰ]
πᾶσι τόδ’ ἀγγέλλει [μνῆμα παρε]ρ[χομένοις]·

ὦ πολύκλαυθ’ Ἅιδη, τ[ί Κλεοπτολ]έμη[ν ἔτι κούραν]
ἥρπασας ἡλικίας δύσ̣[μορον; οὐ] σέ[βεαι];
μητρὶ δὲ τεῖ μελέαι πένθ[ο]ς Μνη[σοῖ προλέλοι]πας
ἀθάνατον θνητῆς εἵνεκα συν[τυχία]ς

ὦ μελέα μῆτερ καὶ ὁμαίμονες ὅς τέ σ’ ἔφυσεν
Μειδοτέλης αὑτῶι πῆμα, Κλεοπτολέμη·
οἳ γόον, οὐ θάλαμον τὸν σὸν προσορῶσι θανούσης,
θρῆνόν τε ἀντ’ ἀνδρὸς καὶ τάφον ἀντὶ γάμου.

Image result for funerary inscription Greek attica
Grave Relief for Naiskos of Sime at the Getty

A Memorial of Pain to His Enemies

IG IV 783 Troizen

[fragmentary lines]

mild-minded and gentle…[..]..
On their own family they set […]
but while god allotted [him] countless gifts,
he never forgot his own country

Hermas…..[this] marble copy
Of the best man Olympos.

I sing of him and the fame of his ancestors
Who once [at] the founding of Troizen
Made the city noble and revered in glory.
I myself stand showing this memory.
Causing pain to their enemies, but dear to their friends
By the vote…..of the people.

[— — — — — — —]#⁷․Υ̣ΠΟΝΩΞΕΝΟϹ Ἑρμᾶς
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]#⁷ΙΙΟ̣ΙϹ[— —]
[— — —]#⁷Η̣ΧΑ#⁷Ι#⁷[— — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — —]ΙΕΚΥΔΑΙΝΕΙΝΛΙ̣[— — — — — — — — — —]
ΕΝ ἠπιόφρων καὶ μείλιχος [— — —]Ν[— —]
ἐ̣ν γενεῇ σφετέρῃ θῆκεν(?) ΛΙΙ[— — —]
[ἀλ]λὰ θεὸς νεύσιεν ἔχειν ἀπερείσια δῶρ̣[α]
οὔποτε τῆς ἰδίης λησαμέν̣ῳ πα̣τρίδος.

Ἑρμᾶς ΡΥ̣Ι̣Ο̣[— — —]ΛΙϹΤΟΝΕΝ̣ΚΚ̣#⁷Ϲ, τύπ̣[ον]
ἀνδρὸς φερ̣ίστου μη̣νύων Ὀλυμπί[ο]υ·
ᾄδω δὲ τοῦτον καὶ προπατόρων κλ̣[έος],
οἳ π̣ρίν ποτ ἄστυ, τοῦ δὲ Τροιζῆνος κ[τίσιν],
ἔθηκαν ἀισθλὸν καὶ γέρηραν εὐκλε[ῶς].
ἕστηκα δ αὐτὸς δόγμα δεικνύων τ[όδε]·
λυπῶν μὲν ἐκθρούς, τοῖς φίλοισι δ ὢν φ[ίλος].

   ψ(ηφίσματι)              δ(ήμου).

Photography of sun coming over a mountain ridge in the background with trees and wildflowers in the foreground
The archaeological site of Troizen, Greece, picture taken in 2011

A Teacher, Under the Earth in His 40s

IG IX,1 880 Kerkyra, 1st BCE/CE

Traveler, stay near this monument for a while
And learn the truth. Know that in this grave
Is one famed as the son of Athenion.
Call him by his imperishable name, Mneseas.

Understand the tales he used to delight in clearly:
He worked through the sacred facts of the universe
And the burning path of the stars through
The upper sky as well as the art of surveying
With geometry. He learned well the eternal
Tablet of Homer whose layers contain
The wandering offspring of Laertes and
The heavy rage. He gained great renown
By learning all these things truly.

He left behind him a son at the right age with skill
And a spouse. He saw the sun for a full forty years
And then went under the earth, missed by his fellow citizens.”

ὁδῖτα, βαιὸν σάματι σταθεὶς πάρα
μάθοις κεν ἀτρέκειαν. ἴσθι δ’ ὡς πατρὸς
Ἀθηνίωνος οὑν ταφῇσι κλῄζεται
καὶ Μνασέαν αὔδασον οὔνομ’ ἄφθιτο[ν],
καὶ γνῶθι μύθους οἷς σοφῶς ἐτέρπετο
ἇι μὲν τὰ κόσμου σεμνὰ καὶ δι’ ἀστέρων
δι[ῆλθ]ε τὰν πυρωπὸν αἰθεροδρόμω[ν]
[κέλευθον, ᾇ δὲ] καὶ γεωμόρον τέχναν
γραμμαῖσιν ἰχνεύτειραν· εὖ <δ’ ἀ>είν<α>ον̣
κατεῖδ’ Ὁμήρου δέλτον, ἇς ἐνὶ πτυχαῖς
ὁ <τρ>ιπλανάτας ἐστὶ Λαρτίου γόνος
καὶ μῆνις ἁ <β>αρ<ε>ῖα· τῶν ἐπ’ ἀτρεκὲς
δα<εὶς> ἁπάντων ἐσθλὸν ἄρατο κλέος·
νέ[ο]ν δ’ ἐν ἀκμᾶι κοῦρον, ὧι πόρεν τέχναν
<σ>υνευν[έτιν τ’ ἔλειψε. τε]τρώκοντα δὴ
ὑπ’ ἀλίωι πλειῶνας εἰσιδὼν φάος
ποθεινὸς ἀστοῖς τάνδ’ ὑπήλυθε χθόνα.

A dark classroom filled with boys on the left side while an elder male teacher sits at a desk on the right side trimming a quill
an Jansz. van Buesem (1600-1649) A classroom interior with the master trimming a quill. O

No False Report of Myth

IG IX,1 658, Ithaka c. 2nd Century BCE

“This is the stone is the memorial for Euthudamas, stranger
Who once was first in sea-girt Ithaka
In both counsel and hands for war. To his child Timeas
He left his possessions and undying glory.”

τήνω τοι τόδε σᾶμα τὸ λάϊνον, ὦ <ξ>έν’, Εὐθυδάμ[ω],
ὅς ποκ’ ἐν ἀμφιάλωι πρᾶτος ἔ<γ>ε<ν>τ’ Ἰθάκαι
καὶ βουλᾶι καὶ χερσὶν ἐς Ἄρεα. Τιμέαι δὲ παιδὶ
ἔλλιπε καὶ κτῆσιν καὶ κλέος ἀθάνατον.

IG IX,1² 2:408, Akarnia, Stratos 2nd Century BCE

“The fame of the excellence of those who have past shines bright–
Their countless victories of unconquered spear remains through their deeds.

No false report of myths pours over them, but instead the cast of
Recognizable bronze. Pantaleon son of Agemos.

This gift from Sosander, which was dedicated for Pantaleon,
Commander of the lovely footrace of the youths
God, for this is right, amplify them, bestow a
Name upon the man and kind ends to his life.”

[κ]αὶ φθιμένων ἀρετᾶς λάμπε[ι] κ̣λέος, οἷσ[ι] δ̣ι’ ἔργων
[μ]υρί’ ἀνικάτου μίμνει ἄεθλα δορός·

οὐ ψευδὴς μύθων κέχυται φάτις, ἀλλ[ὰ] τυπωθεὶς
χαλκὸς ἀρίγνωτος· [Π]α[νταλέω]ν̣ Ἀγέμ[ου].

Σωσάνδρου δώρημα, τ̣ὸ [θ]ήκ[ατο] Πανταλέ[ωνι]
ἀρχεύσας ἐρατῆς γυμν[άδο]ς ἠιθέων.
τῶι καὶ, δαῖμον, ἄεξε ——τὸ γὰρ [θ]έμις—— [ο]ὔνομα κλῄζω̣[ν]
ἀνέρα καὶ βιότου πείρατα κεδνὰ πόροις.


4 lines of greek inscribed on stone. black and white photograph
A different inscription from

Glorifying One’s Country Through Sacrifice

IG I³ 1179, c. 432 BCE, Dedicatory Inscription in the Athenian Agora

These Athenians died at Poteidaia
Immortal me de[ath…
To indicate excellence…..
Along with the strength of their ancestor…..
When they died they earned as a monument victory in war.

The sky welcomed their souls, while their bodies took this land.
And they perished around the gates of Poteidaia.
Some of their enemies have a tomb as their share, but those who fled
Made their wall the most trusted hope for their lives.

The city and the people of Erekhtheus long for those
Who died among the front lines at Poteidaia,
These children of the Athenians–they set their lives on the balance,
Earned their excellence, and brought glory to their country.”

ἐμ Π̣οτ̣[ειδαίαι Ἀθεναίον ℎοίδε ἀπέθανον]·
ἀθάνατόν με θ̣α[νο— ⏕ –⏕ –⏑⏑ –⏓] /
σεμαίνεν ἀρετ[ὲν –⏑⏑ –⏑⏑ –] /
νίκεν εὐπόλεμον μνε͂μ’ ἔλαβο<μ> φθ̣[ίμενοι]. /

αἰθὲρ μὲν φσυχὰς ὑπεδέχσατο, σόμ̣[ατα δὲ χθὸν] /
το͂νδε· Ποτειδαίας δ’ ἀμφὶ πύλας ἐλ[ύθεν]· /
ἐχθρο͂ν δ’ οἱ μὲν ἔχοσι τάφο μέρος, ℎο̣[ι δὲ φυγόντες] /
τεῖχος πιστοτάτεν ℎελπίδ’ ἔθεντο [βίο]. /

ἄνδρας μὲν πόλις ℎέδε ποθεῖ καὶ δε͂[μος Ἐρεχθο͂ς], /
πρόσθε Ποτειδαίας ℎοὶ θάνον ἐν πρ[ο]μάχοις /
παῖδες Ἀθεναίον· φσυχὰς δ’ ἀντίρρο[π]α θέντες /
ἐ[λλ]άχσαντ’ ἀρετὲν καὶ πατρ̣[ίδ’] ε̣ὐκλ[έ]ϊσα̣ν̣.’

This is a cast of a 5th c. BCE inscription of an epigram on the base of a civic funeral monument dedicated to the Athenians killed in the Battle of Poteidaia (Potidaea) in 432 BCE. The inscription, IG I³ 1179 and Agora XVII.16, is housed at the British Museum. The base probably held a stele containing the names of the 150 men Thucydides (1.63) reports were killed in the battle.
Poteidaia Epigram

Milet VI,2 732 [= GVI I (1955) 33] Dedicatory Inscription in Miletus for those fallen in battle against Megara

This is a monument of those who died–it confers excellence upon them
Those who died brought glory to their country.
A monument is yoked with deeds throughout Greece
And an eternal memory lives on for those who have died.

μνῆμα τόδε̣ [φ]θιμ[έ]νων? ἀρετῆς ἕστ[ηκ’] ἐπὶ τῶ̣ν̣δε,
οἳ κ[τάμεν]οι σφετέ[ρ]ην εὐκ̣λέϊσαν π̣[α]τρίδα·
μν̣η̣[μ]ε̣ῖ̣[ο]ν̣ πᾶσαν δὲ καθ’ Ἑλλάδα σύζ̣[υγ]ον ἔργοις
ἀ̣θ̣ά̣νατος μνήμη ζῶσα θανοῦσ[ιν] ἔπι.

[additional stanzas left out]

Time and Fame’s Decay

Halicarnassus 135 [=PHI258123=SEG 16.666=Peek GVAK 19-22]

“It is right for the dead to have a memorial like a temple to the gods,
One the kings set out for a life to be a wonder to see.
Friend, Posis, her son, made this for wonderful Ariste,
A memorial shared by the entire family–
She was gentle, gentle-minded, prudent, the best glory
Of the Antheadai, and lovely too. But jealous Hades
Separated her from her husband and heroic children,
As she alone followed in the footsteps of the good.

She earned fame for her wisdom, both in her old age
And when she was young too thanks to her concern
For the honors of the Antheadeai and she was a mother unlike no other
But truly she was worth everything and gave birth with/at Arakos*
To the lovely child Pantainis and a gentle son Posis.

While Hades might hold her body there,
Time will never let mortal praise decompose
Instead, god grants immortal honors to the noble dead.

They descended from the famous founders, the Antheadai–
Their ancestor was the father of the noblest Pindaros.
Diomedes married Ariste the daughter of Androsthenes,
Although she has perished, her name will never be unseemly.”**

μνῆμ’ ἴκελον ναοῖσι θε[ῶν πρέπον ἐστι θανόντι,]
ὃν βασιλεῖς βιότωι θῆκ[αν ἀγητὸν ἰδεῖν.]
τῶι δή τοι Πόσις υἱὸς ἀγακλει[τήν, ξέν’, Ἀρίστην]
ἐν ξυνῶι προγόνων μνήμ[ατι τῶιδε θέτο,]
ἤπιον, ἠπιόβουλον, ἐχέφρονα, [κῦδος ἄριστον]
Ἀνθεαδῶν, ἐρατήν· βάσκαν[ος ἀλλ’ Ἀΐδης]
ἀνδρὸς καὶ τέκνων διεχώρισ[ε τὴν ἡρωισσῶν]
τῶν ἀγαθῶν μούνην ἴχνε[σιν ἑσπομένην·]

σωφροσύνης κλέος ἔσχ’, ἐπε[ὶ ἐν γήραΐ τε γεραιάς]
ἠδὲ πάϊς νεότηθ’ οὕνεκ’ ἐπη̣[γλάϊσεν]
τιμαῖς Ἀνθεαδῶν, μήτηρ δ’ [οὐκ εἴκαθεν ἄλληι,]
ἀλλ’ ἐτύμως πάντων ἀ[ξίη οὖσ’ Ἀράκωι]
γίνατο παῖδ’ ἐρατὴν Πανται̣[νίδα καὶ Πόσιν υἱόν]
ἤπιον. ἧς Ἀΐδης σῶμα μὲ[ν ἐνθάδ’ ἔχει,]
αἴνους δὲ οὐ σήψει θνητοῖς [χρόνος, ἀλλ’ ἀγαθοῖσιν]
δῶκε θεὸς τιμὰς ἀθανά[τους φθιμένοις.]

καὶ κτιστῶν γένος εἷλκον ἀπ’ Ἀν[θεαδῶν περιφήμων,]
πατρὸς ἐπεὶ προπάτωρ Πι[νδάρου ἐσθλοτάτου]
τὴν Ἀνδροσθένεος Διομήδη[ς γῆμεν Ἀρίστην,]
οὔνομα κεἰς φθιμένην μη[δάμ’ ἀεικὲς ἐόν.]


*unsure about the dative use of Ἀράκωι or who/what this is.

**the grammar of the final three lines seems to fall apart a bit.

This marble relief was carved on the occasion of the missio (honourable release) of two women fighters, 'Amazon' and 'Achilia', who had probably earned their freedom by giving a series of outstanding performances. They are shown with the same equipment as male gladiators, but without helmets.
A marble relief from Halicarnassus showing gladiator women. This has nothing to do with the inscription translated here