Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 85


Provenance:     the watering-place at the Paneion, Egypt
Tags:     elephants ,   mercenaries+garrisons
Format:   see key to translations

The Watering-place at the Paneion (modern el-Kanayis - map ) was a stopping point on the road from the port of Berenike on the Red Sea to Apollonopolis ( Edfu ) in the Nile Valley. Many of the travellers on this road were returning from perilous sea journeys, and some of them took the opportunity here to carve a permanent record of their safe return; the word σωθεὶς, "saved", occurs regularly in the inscriptions.

For more information about the Paneion, see Rachel Mairs, "Egyptian ‘Inscriptions’ and Greek ‘Graffiti’ at El Kanais (Egyptian Eastern Desert)" ( ), and the illustrations in Anna Garnett, "I Too Came to you, Pan! A Sacred Greco-Roman Landscape in Egypt's Eastern Desert" ( ). The dates shown are those suggested by André Bernand in "Le Paneion d'El-Kanaïs: les inscriptions grecques", but they cannot be regarded as certain.

The inscription of Dorion, no. 9bis   (from Anna Garnett)

[8]   Greek text: Paneion_8 ,   Date:   late 3rd century B.C.   Translated by: Rachel Mears

This inscription was carefully composed, in elegiac couplets.

I dedicate this to Pan Euagros Epēkoös {"of-the-good-hunt who-listens-to-prayer"}, who has saved me [from] the land of the Trogodytes, having suffered greatly in redoubled hardships, and from the sacred [land] which produces myrrh and from [among] the Koloboi. You saved us when we went off course [on] the Red Sea, and you sent a breeze to our ships when they were rolling on the ocean, whistling in shrill breaths in the reeds, until you yourself brought us to the port of Ptolemais, steering us with your hands, most skilful from the hunt. Now, friend, save the city which Alexander first founded by Egypt, the most famous of cities. I proclaim your power, friend [Pan], having come back safe to Ptolemaios (?) . . . and Arsinoē . . . of-the-good-hunt . . . the kingdom . . .

[9]   Greek text:   Paneion_9 ,   Date:   c. 274-270 B.C.

Dedicated to Arsinoē, the goddess Philadelphos, by Satyros.

[9bis]   Greek text:   Paneion_9bis ,   Date:   c. 270-264 B.C.

I, Dorion the carpenter, was one of the men who went with Eumedes to hunt elephants, and I have been saved back to Egypt.

[10]   Greek text:   Paneion_10 ,   Date:   254 B.C.

Year 31, 10th day of Xandikos. The soldiers with Neoptolemos served as the garrison by Pan Euodos {"of the good journey"}; their names were:

[12]   Greek text:   Paneion_12 ,   Date: (?) 66 B.C.

This inscription, from a slightly later period than the others, is more specific about the location.

Year 15, in the month of Pharmouthi, when Straton was Thebarch {governor of Thebes}. Demetrios was sent by the king to clear up the watering-place at the Paneion near Apollonopolis, and Epathroditos (?) proceeded with us . . . Pan ought to be present . . . and to those by the altar . . .

[13]   Greek text:   Paneion_13 ,   Date:   c. 246-221 B.C.

Akestimos of Kourtolia in Crete dedicates this to Pan Euodos {"of the good journey"}, after being saved from the land of the Trogodytes.

. . . obeisance . . .

inscription 86

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