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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 198


BERENIKE GRANTS INVIOLABILITY TO A TEMPLE AT THEADELPHEIA

Greek text:   Fayoum_2.117  
Provenance:   Theadelpheia , Egypt
Date:   56 B.C.
Tags:     inviolability
Format:   see key to translations

In the first century B.C., Ptolemaic rulers were quite prepared to accept the inviolability of temples in small Egyptian towns; see for instance OGIS_740. At the time of this inscription Berenike IV, the sister of Cleopatra, was sole ruler of Egypt, after her father Ptolemy XII had been forced into exile. In 55 B.C., Ptolemy returned with the support of a Roman army, and Berenike was executed.

The translation is by K.J.Rigsby, "Asylia", no. 223 ( Google Books ).



[A]   Inviolable in accordance with the commandment: to whoever has no business here.

[B]   To the epistates of Theadelpheia: subjoined is a copy of the petition given to the goddess queen from the priests of great Pnepherōs in the village and transmitted to us together with the command in reply. Therefore act in accord with the commandments. Farewell. Year 2, Phamenoth 3.

[C]   To queen Berenike, manifest goddess, greetings from the priests of Pnepheros, great crocodile god, who is in Theadelpheia of the division of Themistos in the Arsinoite nome: we are those who celebrate unceasingly the sacrifices and libations and lighting of lamps and other rites to the gods in behalf of you and your ancestors. Desiring to have guaranteed the inviolability of the temple, so that when this is done for its increase the rituals may be the better accomplished to the gods in your behalf, as stated, we ask you, by the piety you have toward the divine, to order that the said temple and the appurtenant places (from west to east 117 paces and from south to north from the Boubastieion bordering on the south to the appurtenant tombs of the deified sacred animals on the north) be inviolable, and that no one in any way be forced from them, and that whoever is shown to do so be punishable by death; and that you write concerning these things to Dioskourides your relative and strategos of the nome to take care that the inviolability of the aforesaid temple and the appurtenant places, in keeping with the request, be inscribed, in behalf of you and your ancestors, on a stele erected at the aforesaid places, as is done in similar cases. When this is done, the divine will not be slighted. Being unable to be removed from the temple, we have given over the care of this matter to Sokrates, the actual general supervisor of the temple, who will be responsible for carrying out the request, so that we may be benefited. Farewell.

[D]   To Dioskourides: let it be done. Year 2, Phaophi 17.

inscription 199


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