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OGIS: 196


THE CONQUESTS OF (?) PTOLEMAIOS II, RECORDED AT ADOULIS

Greek text:   OGIS_199
Date:    (?)  259/8 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The speaker in this inscription is not identified in the preserved text, but the most recent discussion of the inscription, by P.M. Liuzzo, "RIÉ 277: An Inscription of the Time of Ptolemy II?" ( academia.edu ), tentatively assigns it to the reign of Ptolemy II. The expeditions which Ptolemy II sent to explore the regions to the south of his kingdom would provide a suitable historical context, but this hypothesis depends on a generous interpretation of line 375.14, 'a footpath giving access by land into Egypt from that part of my dominions.'

The text has been preserved by Cosmas Indicopleustes; in his account it appears almost immediately after the inscription of Ptolemy III ( OGIS_54 ). The translation is taken from J. W. McCrindle, "The Christian Topography of Cosmas, an Egyptian Monk", p. 59 ( Google Books ). 


Having after this with a strong hand compelled the nations bordering on my kingdom to live in peace, I made war upon the following nations, and by force of arms reduced them to subjection. 375 I warred first with the nation of Gazē, then with Agamē and Sigyē, and having conquered them I exacted the half of all that they possessed. I next reduced Aua and Tiamō, called Tziamō, and the Gambēla, and the tribes near them [he means the nations beyond the Nile], and Zingabēnē and Angabe and Tiama and Athagaēs and Kalaa, and the Semēnoi - a people who lived beyond the Nile on mountains difficult of access and covered with snow, where the year is all winter with hailstorms, frosts and snows into which a man sinks knee-deep. I passed the river to attack these nations, and reduced them. I next subdued Lazinē and Zaa and Gabala, tribes which inhabit mountains with steep declivities abounding with hot springs, the Atalmō and Bega, and all the tribes in the same quarter along with them. I proceeded next against the Tangaitai, who adjoin the borders of Egypt ; and having reduced them I made a footpath giving access by land into Egypt from that part of my dominions. Next I reduced Annine and Metine - tribes inhabiting precipitous mountains. My arms were next directed against the Sesea nation. These had retired to a high mountain difficult of access ; but I blockaded the mountain on every side, and compelled them to come down and surrender. I then 377 selected for myself the best of their young men and their women, with their sons and daughters and all besides that they possessed. The tribes of Rhausō I next brought to submission: a barbarous race spread over wide waterless plains in the interior of the frankincense country. [Advancing thence towards the sea] I encountered the Sōlate, whom I subdued, and left with instructions to guard the coast. All these nations, protected though they were by mountains all but impregnable, I conquered, after engagements in which I was myself present. Upon their submission I restored their territories to them, subject to the payment of tribute. Many other tribes besides these submitted of their own accord, and became likewise tributary. And I sent a fleet and land forces against the Arabitai and Kinaidokolpitai who dwelt on the other side of the Red Sea, and having reduced the sovereigns of both, I imposed on them a land tribute and charged them to make travelling safe both by sea and by land. I thus subdued the whole coast from Leukē Kōmē to the country of the Sabaians. I first and alone of the kings of my race made these conquests. 

For this success I now offer my thanks to my mighty God, Ares, who begat me, and by whose aid I reduced all the nations bordering on my own country, on the East to the country of frankincense, and on the West to Ethiopia and Sasu. 379 Of these expeditions, some were conducted by myself in person, and ended in victory, and the others I entrusted to my officers. Having thus brought all the world under my authority to peace, I came down to Adouli and offered sacrifice to Zeus, and to Ares and to Poseidon, whom I entreated to befriend all who go down to the sea in ships. Here also I reunited all my forces, and setting down this Chair in this place, I consecrated it to Ares in the twenty-seventh year of my reign.

inscription 211


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