Funerary inscription for the physician Alexander

Monument III.1776
Editor
Georgi Mihailov, Nicolay Sharankov
Type of monument
altar
Material
marble
Find place
Kabyle
Origin
Kabyle
Dimensions
height 155 cm, width 57 cm, depth 50 cm
Institution and inventory
Letter size
height 2-2.5 cm
Layout description
Rectangular altar, moulded above and below. The upper part is decorated with acroteria. Inscription on the front side.
Decoration description
Text
Category of inscription
funerary inscription - prose
Date
second half of II c. - beginning of III c. AD
Dating criteria
lettering
Images
Text

Θ(εοῖς) (vac.) Καταχθονίοις.
Ἀλέξανδρος Διλαηους ((·))
ἰητρός (vac.) ((leaf)) (vac.) ἔτη ((·)) ο´ ((·))
ζήσας (vac.) περιὼν τὸν
5τύμβον (vac.) ((·)) (vac.) καὶ τὸν ((·))
(vac.) βωμὸν (vac.)
μνημοσύνης (vac.) χάριν.
(vac.1)
Χαῖρε (vac.) παροδεῖτα.

Θ vacat ΚΑΤΑΧΘΟNIΟΙΣ
AΛEΞΑNΔΡΟΣΔΙΛΑΗΟΥΣ ·
IΗΤΡOΣ vacat - leaf vacat EΤΗ · Ο ·
ΖHΣΑΣ vacat ΠΕΡΙΩNΤON
5ΤYMΒΟN vacat · vacat ΚΑIΤON ·
vacat ΒΩMON vacat
MNΗMΟΣYNΗΣ vacat ΧAΡΙN
vacat
ΧΑIΡΕ vacat ΠΑΡΟΔΕIΤΑ
Text
To the Gods of the Underworld. Alexandros, son of Dilaes, physician, having lived 70 years and still being alive, (made) the tomb and the altar in memory. Farewell, passer-by.
⤦ n: 1

tag: lb
Θεοῖς Καταχθονίοις

type: divine
ref: Underworld
tag: persName
Θεοῖς

lemma: θεός
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space
Καταχθονίοις

lemma: καταχθόνιος
tag: w
.

tag: #text
⤦ n: 2

tag: lb
Ἀλέξανδρος Διλαηους

type: attested
ref: AT033
nymRef: Ἀλέξανδρος Διλαηους
tag: persName
Ἀλέξανδρος

ref: Alexander
nymRef: Ἀλέξανδρος
tag: name
Διλαηους

nymRef: Διλαης
ref: Dilaes
tag: name

type: dot
tag: g
⤦ n: 3

tag: lb
ἰητρός

lemma: ἰατρός
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space

type: leaf
tag: g

extent: unknown
tag: space
ἔτη

lemma: ἔτος
tag: w

type: dot
tag: g
ο

rend: supraline
tag: hi

type: dot
tag: g
⤦ n: 4

tag: lb
ζήσας

lemma: ζῶ
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space
περιὼν

lemma: περίειμι
tag: w
τὸν

tag: w
⤦ n: 5

tag: lb
τύμβον

lemma: τύμβος
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space

type: dot
tag: g

extent: unknown
tag: space
καὶ

tag: w
τὸν

tag: w

type: dot
tag: g
⤦ n: 6

tag: lb

extent: unknown
tag: space
βωμὸν

lemma: βωμός
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space
⤦ n: 7

tag: lb
μνημοσύνης

lemma: μνημοσύνη
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space
χάριν

lemma: χάρις
tag: w
.

tag: #text
⤦ n: 8

tag: lb

quantity: 1
unit: line
tag: space
⤦ n: 9

tag: lb
Χαῖρε

lemma: χαίρω
tag: w

extent: unknown
tag: space
παροδεῖτα

lemma: παροδίτης
tag: w
.

tag: #text
Apparatus
Commentary

The dedication Θ(εοῖς) Καταχθονίοις corresponds to the Latin Dis Manibus.

The patronymic Διλαης, in the genitive Διλαηους, is Thracian, unattested elsewhere. Διλαηους could be an error instead of Διλληους, genitive from Διλλης, a name typical for Bithynia in Asia Minor.

The form ἰητρός is Ionic (instead of Attic ἰατρός), because Ionic Greek was considered the dialect of medicine.

The participle περιών, "being alive", is attested mostly in inscriptions from Asia Minor. In Thrace, the common formula in funerary inscriptions made during one's lifetime is ζῶν. This could be an additional argument for Alexander's origin.

70 years were considered as rather old age in Antiquity and that could be the reason for making the monument. Reaching this age was also a good attestation for Alexander's medical skills.

Bibliography
Mihailov, Georgius. Inscriptiones Graecae in Bulgaria repertae. Vol. III.2, 1964.

Велков, Велизар. Надписи от Кабиле. In: Кабиле Vol. 2, 1991, Vol.. 30, no. 39, fig. 36. , .