Dedication

PHRC057 : Dedication to Isis Arsinoe Philadelphos (Kanopos) - Egypt (270-240 BC) Small block

31.313404,30.058059

This dedication from Kanopos (ca 270-240 BC) was probably part of an altar of an another cult structure. Its text is particular in at least two respects. Firstly, it provides a rare case where an individual agent accomplished a dedication to a Ptolemaic ruler (in the dative) for (hyper) himself and his family. Secondly, the most convincing integration of the lacuna at the beginning of the text delivers the compound denomination Isis Arsinoe Philadelphos. While the link between Isis and Arsinoe is a well-known aspect of the cult for this queen, in Greek compound denominations Arsinoe’s name usually precedes that of the goddess. This detail may point to an Egyptian cultic context and the sanctuary of Isis and Anubis in Kanopos is a plausible candidate for the original place of the...


PHRC061 : Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, Neilos, Ptolemy III and Berenike II (Kanopos) - Egypt (243-221 BC) Plaque

31.313404,30.058059

This limestone plaque bears an elegantly written dedication by a private donor to the divine triad Sarapis, Isis, and Neilos together with the royal couple Ptolemy III and Berenike II, the Theoi Euergetai. The content of the dedication and the actual place where it was accomplished are unknown. Kanopos has delivered various inscriptions testifying to the interaction between Isiac deities and the royal house. As for PHRC 055, the addition of the river god Nile to the list of recipients suggests a possible link with the content of the Kanopos decree (238 BC), where the ruling couple is celebrated for having protected the population in a period of food shortage caused by an insufficient Nile flood, and for a calendar reform meant to reinstate the natural order of seasons. The presence of...


PHRC059 : Dedication to Arsinoe Thea Philadelphos, Lower Egypt (Alexandria ?) - Egypt (270-240 BC) Miniature altar

31.198245,29.907914

This dedication to Arsinoe Thea Philadelphos is written on an incense burner carved in the form of a miniature horned altar. A similar object was found in Alexandria (PHRC 051), but another provenance from the Delta or Fayum is also possible for this specimen. The addition of the term Thea to the common denomination Arsinoe Philadelphos is a rare feature only attested by a few dedications in Egypt. The small size may point to a context of househols religion, but we cannot exclude that the altar was used during a journey or was dedicated in a sanctuary.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc059

Images

Photos 1-2: Photos of the stone, from Schreiber 2011, Tf. 53, Figg. 2-3...


PHRC058 : Dedication to Hestia Pantheos, Ptolemy III and Berenike II, Alexandria - Egypt (216/5-210/9 BC) Plaque

31.198245,29.907914

The unknown author of this dedication consecrated two precincts with altars to a set of deities and deceased Ptolemies, on behalf of the living rulers Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III. A first cult place was dedicated to a deity (probably Zeus) bearing the epithet Pantheos, together with Ptolemy III and Berenike II, who exceptionally hold two epicleses: the traditional Theoi Euergetai and the unique Theoi Eusebeis. The second precinct is dedicated to Hestia Pantheos. Various phonetic and linguistic details point to a donor with an Egyptian background. The fact that a unique Egyptian term translated both Greek expressions Euergetai (the Beneficent ones) and Eusebeis (the Pious ones) is used to highlight the topic of royal piety and euergetism towards temples and gods. The choice of Hestia (and...


PHRC056 : Dedication to Aphrodite Akraia Arsinoe, Alexandria (Cape Zephyrion?) - Egypt (125-75 BC) Rectangular plaque

31.268941,29.987265

This plaque was originally part of an altar or of another cult structure dedicated to Aphrodite Akraia Arsinoe in the surroundings of Alexandria. The dedicatory formula does not allow to conclude whether the compound denomination points to one or two recipients; in the latter case, we should assume that the two denominations are connected without a conjunction. A common epithet of Aphrodite, Akraia evokes a cult place situated on a high location, probably to be identified with the promontory (‘akra’) of Cape Zephyrion, where Arsinoe received a shrine associating her with Aphrodite. Moreover, in the Macedonian dialect, this adjective was used of young girls having reached their wedding age. All these aspects fit the cult prerogatives of Arsinoe, who was worshipped as a patroness of...


PHRC055 : Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, the Nile, Ptolemy III and Berenike II (Kanopos) - Egypt (243-221 BC) Rectangular plaque

31.313404,30.058059

This limestone plaque bears an elegantly written dedication by a citizen of Bargylia to the divine triad Sarapis, Isis, and Neilos together with the royal couple Ptolemy III and Berenike II, the Theoi Euergetai. The content of the dedication and the actual place where it was accomplished are unknown. Kanopos has delivered various inscriptions testifying to the interaction between Isiac deities and the royal house. As for PHRC 061, the addition of the river god Nile to the list of recipients suggests a possible link with the content of the Kanopos decree (238 BC), where the ruling couple is celebrated for having protected the population in a period of food shortage caused by an insufficient Nile flood, and for a calendar reform meant to reinstate the natural order of seasons. The presence...


PHRC053 : Dedication to the Theoi Adelphoi, Zeus Olympios and Zeus Synomosios, Alexandria - Egypt (243-211 BC) Dedication

31.198245,29.907914

This joint dedication to the Theoi Adelphoi, Zeus Olympios and Zeus Synomosios was made by two Alexandrian priests of Zeus in favour of the living royal couple, Ptolemy III and Berenike II (post quem 243/2 BC, suggested by the presence of the epiclesis Theoi Euergetai). The donors dedicated a plot of land and probably divided it into two sacred precincts hosting altars. Perhaps the Theoi Adelphoi shared each precinct with a different configuration of Zeus, or a temenos of the royal ancestors was established next to one of Zeus. The joint dedication and the spatial proximity it establishes between divine and human power were an effective solution to advertise the donors’ loyalty to the dynasty. The two epicleses of Zeus depict him as the king of gods and as the patron of oaths; since...


PHRC052 : Dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, Rhakotis, Alexandria - Egypt (270-246 BC) Dedication

31.182587,29.896938

This altar of King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, discovered on the hill of Rhakotis in Alexandria, is the biggest preserved altar of ruler cults from throughout the Ptolemaic empire. The dedicatory formula points to a date 270-246, while the reference to the dynastic predecessors as the Theoi Soteres (rather than simply Soteres) may further narrow the chronological limits down to the last years of Ptolemy II’s reign (c. 260-246). The altar was part of a small temple, which was later destroyed to leave space to Ptolemy III’s Serapeum. It is plausible that the Rhakotis hill already hosted a cult of Sarapis under Ptolemy II and that the ruling couple was honoured in a section of this shrine, which later underwent a major process of monumentalization on the initative of...


PHRC051 : Dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, Alexandria - Egypt (270-246 BC) Dedication

31.198245,29.907914

A dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos is written on both sides of an incense burner carved in the form of a miniature horned altar. The dedicatory formula provides a date between 270 and 246, when Ptolemy II ruled alone after Arsinoe II’s death and deification. The dedication made by a group of priests, without further indication of the deities they serverd, can be interpreted in two ways: either they dedicated the object in the santuary where they usually worked, or they did so during a visit. The style of writing and the presence of writing guidelines may suggest that these priests were Egyptians. It is tempting to assume that they dedicated the incense burner to the ruling couple when visiting the sanctuary of Arsinoe in Alexandria.

Permanent ID...


PHRC050 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Eretria - Euboea (270-240 BC) Dedication

38.397146,23.790017

This small plaque is the only specimen of dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos from Euboea and from the western coast of the Aegean Sea. It probably belonged to a small altar used for the household cult of the deified queen, as suggested by its find spot which is situated within a Hellenistic house in the western neighbourhood of Eretria.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc050

Images

Photo 1: Photo of the stone, from Reber et al. 1998, photo 141
Photo 2: Plan of the Hellenistic House IV, from Reber et al. 1998, photo 138, with indication of the find spot of the inscription
Photo 3: Plan of the western neighbourhood of Eretria, Reber et al. 1998, photo 2
Photo 4: Aerial photo of the western neighbourhood of Eretria, from Reber et al. 1998, photo...


PHRC049 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Philoteria - Koile Syria (261-240 BC) Dedication

32.713858,35.573386

This recently published limestone slab from Philoteria (See of Galilee) has provided the first evidence of the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos in the Levant. This plaque shows that the close link between Arsinoe’s cult and navigation (for military or commercial purposes) did not only apply to the open sea, but could also find its place on the shore of an internal salt lake. The Zenon archive sheds light on the intense economic activities of Ptolemaic agents in the inland of Koile Syria in this period and it is probable that the dedication was made by one of these figures, making this object a significant case of the link between politics, trade, and acculturation within the Ptolemaic kingdom.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc049

Images

Photo 1: Photo and...


PHRC048 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Karpasia (?) - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

35.533333,34.191667

This stone constitutes the largest known support inscribed with a dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos from the whole Mediterranean. The size and shape of the block suggest that it was not an altar, but rather an architectural element which may have functioned as a horos delimiting a sacred area dedicated to the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos. The original setting of the stone is lost. It may have belonged to a public building, probably a sanctuary, situated near modern Gialousa in the Karpaz peninsula in NE Cyprus.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc048

Images

Photo 1: Drawing of the inscription, from Perdrizet 1896, p. 359...


PHRC047 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Salamis - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

35.179950,33.903052

This amphora is the sole vase inscribed with a dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos apart from the Alexandrian oinochoai of Ptolemaic ruler cult. The difficulty in interpreting this object stems from the fact that because of its decoration, the amphora closely resembles funerary amphoras from Eastern Cyprus of the period Cypro-Archaic I (700-600 BC). If we exclude the possibility of a modern fake, the only possible interpretations are that an amphora of the archaic period was found and reused in the early Hellenistic period, or that an archaic type of decoration inspired the producer of the vase at the time of the diffusion of Arsinoe's cult. Be that as it may, this large amphora might have been used to stock edible goods for ritual offerings to the deified queen. Its size and rich...


PHRC046 : Dedication (fake?) to Queen Kleopatra VII, Salamis - Cyprus (47-42 BC) Dedication

35.179950,33.903052

This terracotta representation of Eros riding a rooster was dedicated to a queen Kleopatra whose identity is revealed by a Cypriot bronze coin of Kleopatra VII found together with the statuette. The rare iconography of the coin, which represents the queen suckling a baby Ptolemy XV Kaisarion in an attitude associating them with Isis and Horus (and possibly with Aphrodite and Eros), allows us to narrow down the chronological limits of the dedication to the early years after the birth of the son of Kleopatra and Caesar. However, various problematic details concerning the text and palaeography of the inscription, together with the notorious habit of the Cesnola brothers to enrich their collection of Cypriot antiquities with little scruple for the provenance of the purchased objets, do not...


PHRC045 : Dedication to King Ptolemy II (?), Herakleia near Latmos - Karia (270-240 BC) Dedication

37.501842,27.525011

This conical sundail was crafted by an Alexandrian technician and dedicated to King Ptolemy II (or perhaps to Ptolemy III in the early years of his reign), by a donor who probably was an important citizen of Herakleia. It tesifies to the export of technological know-how from Alexandria to the provinces of the Ptolemaic empire and was probably used to schedule public activities (religious or administrative) in an institutional or religious building, or perhaps in a gymnasium.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc045

Images
Photo 1: Photo of the main quadrant with the underlying dedication, from Wörrle 1988, p. 475, Pl. 5
Photo 2: General view of the artefact, from the website of the Musée du Louvre...


PHRC042 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

35.141031,32.813275

This large, horizontal, and rectangular block bears a dedication to Arsinoe Philaldephos. The form and size of the stone as well as the position of the inscription upon it suggest that the block was inserted in a cultic structure or in a wall delimiting an area sacred to Arsinoe, which might have been located in the sanctuary of Cholades, the acropolis of Soloi. This location, however, remains hypothetical due to the lack of precise informaiton about the provenance of the stone.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc042

Photo 1: Plan of the temples of Soloi-Cholades; on the right, temple A (Aphrodite; 3rd cent.), later replaced by temples B and C (Aphrodite + Isis). From Westholm 1936, p. 87, fig. 50
Photo 2: Photo of the marble head of Ptolemaic queen, probably...


PHRC041 : Dedication to Ptolemy V, Soloi-Mersinaki - Cyprus (199-180 BC) Dedication

35.156834,32.788315

This small and irregular block of marble dedicated to Ptolemy V testifies to the cult of this king in the sanctuary of Soloi-Mersinaki. The very poor quality of the inscription is at first sight in contrast with the use of a prestigious material such as marble. However, this detail finds various parallels in the Aegean and Cypriot dossier of Ptolemaic ruler cults.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc041

Images:
Photo 1: Photo of the slab, from Gjerstad et al. 1937, II, pl. CXLVIII...


PHRC040 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi-Mersinaki - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

35.156834,32.788315

This marble slab contains a roughly written dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos. Together with another dedication to Ptolemy V, this object testifies to the practice of Ptolemaic ruler cults in the sanctuary of Mersinaki, situated along the coast between the city of Soloi and the promontory of Vouni and possibly dedicated to Apollo and Athena.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc040

Images:
Photo 1: Photo of the slab, from Gjerstad et al. 1937, II, pl. CXLVIII
Photo 2: View of the Morphou Bay from Vouni, with Mersinaki in the foreground and Soloi in the background; photo S.G. Caneva

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PHRC039 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Minoa (Amorgos) - Cyclades (270-240 BC) dedication

36.824187,25.864062

This block, originally inserted in an altar or in another structure related to the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos, bears one of the three known dedications to this deified queen from Minoa. The use of a prestigious material such as marble is counterbalanced by the odd division of the epiclesis in two lines, which is typical of low-quality dedications for Arsinoe....


PHRC037 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

35.141031,32.813275

This small sandstone plaque shows a particularly low quality of execution, which combined with the use of lunar sigma in the inscription (a common example of the influence of cursive writing) points to a private dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos. It would be tempting to associate this dedication with the sanctuary of Cholades, the acropolis of Soloi, where the documented cults of Aphrodite and Isis would provide a suitable cultic milieu for the celebration of rituals for the deified queen.

Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc037...