Ancient Greek Inscriptions

from Bulgaria

Klada Bg

Funerary inscription for Aurelia Felicissima of Nicaea, wife of Bassus

Monument Tlmn2_0002
Editor(s)
Václav Dobruský, Veselin Beševliev, Nicolay Sharankov.
Type of monument
stele
Material
limestone
Find place
found at the village of Gigen during the excavations of ancient Oescus in 1905
Origin
Observed in
Institution and inventory
Dimensions
height 41 cm, width 38 cm, depth 30 cm
Letter size
height 2 - 3.5 cm
Layout description
Stele, broken above and below. The epigraphic field is marked with incised lines and has uniniscribed margins on both sides. Incised guiding-lines for the text.
Decoration description
Text
Category of inscription
funerary inscription - prose
Date
III or early IV c. AD, after AD 212
Dating criteria
lettering, onomastics
Images
Text

[Χαῖρ]ε, παροδεῖτα.
Αὐρ(ηλία) Φιλικί-
σιμα Νεικα-
ηνὴ συνβι-
5ώσασα Β⸢ά⸣σ-
σῳ ζήσα-
σα ἔτη (vac.2)
πεντήκον-
τα, μνήμης
10χάριν. (vac.3).

[.........]....ΑΡΟΔΕI....
ΑYΡΦΙΛΙΚI
ΣΙMΑNΕΙΚΑ
ΗNHΣΥNΒΙ
5ΩΣΑΣΑΒΛΣ
ΣΩΖHΣΑ
ΣΑEΤΗ vacat
ΠΕNΤHΚΟN
ΤΑMNHMΗΣ
10ΧAΡΙN vacat
Greetings, passer-by! (To) Aurelia Felicissima of Nicaea, who was wife of Bassus and lived fifty years – in memory.
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⤦ n: 1

tag: lb
Χαῖρε

lemma: χαίρω
tag: w
Χαῖρ

tag: supplied
ε

tag: unclear
,

tag: #text
παροδεῖτα

lemma: παροδίτης
tag: w
π

tag: unclear
αροδεῖ

tag: #text
τα

tag: unclear
.

tag: #text
⤦ n: 2

tag: lb
Αὐρηλία Φιλικί σιμα

nymRef: Αὐρηλία Φιλικίσιμα
tag: persName
Αὐρηλία

ref: Aurelia
nymRef: Αὐρηλία
type: gentilicium
tag: name
Φιλικί σιμα

nymRef: Φηλικίσσιμα
ref: Felicissima
type: cognomen
tag: name
Φιλικί

tag: #text
⤦ n: 3

break: no
tag: lb
σιμα

tag: #text
Νεικα ηνὴ

type: ethnic
ref: Nicaea
tag: placeName
Νεικα

tag: #text
⤦ n: 4

break: no
tag: lb
ηνὴ

tag: #text
συνβι ώσασα

lemma: συμβιόω
tag: w
συνβι

tag: #text
⤦ n: 5

break: no
tag: lb
ώσασα

tag: #text
Βάλσ σῳ

nymRef: Βάσσος
tag: persName
ζήσα σα

lemma: ζῶ
tag: w
ζήσα

tag: #text
⤦ n: 7

break: no
tag: lb
σα

tag: #text
ἔτη

lemma: ἔτος
tag: w

unit: character
quantity: 2
tag: space
⤦ n: 8

tag: lb
πεντήκον τα

lemma: πεντήκοντα
tag: w
πεντήκον

tag: #text
⤦ n: 9

break: no
tag: lb
τα

tag: #text
,

tag: #text
μνήμης

lemma: μνήμη
tag: w
⤦ n: 10

tag: lb
χάριν

lemma: χάρις
tag: w
.

tag: #text

unit: character
quantity: 3
tag: space
.

tag: #text
Apparatus
Letters in ligature:
9 μνη, μησ.
Apparatus:
The text of the inscription according to the edition of Beševliev is corrected by N. Sharankov.
1 read by Sharankov; Dobruský: /////////A////; Beševliev: ΣΙΑΡΟΛΕΙ...
2-4 Dobruský: ΦΙΛΙΚΙ|ΟΤΜΑΝΕΙΚ|ΗΝΗ; Beševliev: Φιλίκι|ος Μανεικα|ηνη; the reading of an ethnic Νεικαηνή was suggested by J. and L. Robert; the name was read by Sharankov
5 The letter alpha in Βάσ- was left unfinished: ΒΛC
8-9 Dobruský ΠΕΝΤΗΚΟ[Ν]|ΤΑ
Commentary

According to Beševliev's edition and the inventory of the National Archaeological Museum, the provenance of the inscription is unknown. It is however mentioned in a catalogue of the finds from the excavations of Oescus in 1905, preserved in the archive of Václav Dobruský, then director of the Museum and head of the excavations. The photographic archive of the Museum also gives the provenance as Oescus.

The name of the deceased woman indicates Roman citizenship, and the gentilicium Aurelia sets the date after AD 212, when all free subjects of the Roman Empire became Roman citizens through the so-called Constitutio Antoniniana. Her cognomen is of Latin origin, from the superlative "felicissima" ("happiest"); her birthplace was (the administrative territory of) the city of Nicaea in the province of Bithynia, Asia Minor. The husband is referred to with a single name (cognomen), but he was seemingly a Roman citizen as well, possibly also with the gentilicium Aurelius.

It is worth noting the use of the Greek language which was rather rare in the Roman colony of Ulpia Oescus. This could be connected with the origin of the deceased from Asia Minor.

Bibliography
Бешевлиев, Веселин. Епиграфски приноси. , 1952, Vol.. 23, № 24, .

Robert, Jeanne . Robert, Louis. Bulletin Épigraphique. In: Revue des Études Grecques, 1938, Vol.. 67, 1954, 148, № 168, .

Woodhead, A.G.. In: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum Vol. 15, 1958, p. 148, Vol.. 468, .

текуща версия 2 / 2024-01-14
Tlmn2_0002_V1.xml от 13.01.2024 г.