Metal plate

PHRC054 : Foundation plaque of a shrine of Sarapis, Isis, Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III (Alexandria) - Egypt (216/5-210/9 BC) Bilingual foundation plaque


This gold plaque inscribed with a bilingual dedication belongs to the foundation deposit of a sanctuary of the divine couple Sarapis and Isis and of the royal pair Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, in Alexandria. The temple was erected in a central location, along the major Canopic street, west of the city's agora, probably in the period between 216/5 (when the denomination Theoi Philopatores appear in the Greek documents) and 210/9, when dedications concerning the royal family start mentioning the prince Ptolemy (V). The anomalous dedicatory formula, which only mentions the recipients of cult without the name of the donor, has raised the question of whether the king or another agent was responsible for this initiative. A few phonetic details in the Greek text reveal the influence of the...