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 Neilos therefore evokes the role played by the Euergetai in protecting Egypt and the cosmic order, thus fulfilling the traditional duties of legitimate rulers.
Permanent ID http://s.phrc.it/phrc61
Photo 1: Photo of the stone, from CPI I, p. 190.