I 13. Tyras. Letter to magistrates of Tyras, II century C.E.





Marble, white. 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 12.3, W. 12.5, Th. 6.3.

Additional description

The front is polished, the back roughly picked, other sides are broken off. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context

Excavations in the Central Trench, grid square 247. In secondary context. 

Find circumstances

Found in 1975, excavations of I.B. Kleyman. Field catalogue number БД-75, сп. 33/26, № 59. 

Modern location


Institution and inventory

Odessa Archaeological Museum, 85824. 


A.I. Ivantchik, August 2007. 

Epigraphic field


On the front. Broken off on all sides. H. 9.1, W. 11.1


Rather precisely and evently cut letters, although without traces of ruled lines. The first line of text is in larger letters than the rest. Light serifs. Alpha with broken crossbar; alpha, delta and mu with projecting right hasta. In line 2, omicron is slightly and in the rest considerably smaller than other letters. Ligatures, word divisions in the shape of a small broken circle. Average distance between lines: 0,5cm. 

Letterheights (cm)

1.6 (line 1). 1.0-1.2 (the rest)





II century C.E. 

Dating criteria



L1. Karyshkovsky 1979, 79-82, № 2, рис. 2; 1.1. SEG 31, 715. 


[---]ἀρχαῖς . [---]
[---τ]ὰς ἐντολὰς • ἐμοί̣ [---]
[---]μ̣ου̣ μητε ἀγν[οεῖτε ὅτι ---]
[---]υ̣ν̣ους ΑΧ.[---]
5[---]δ̣ιὰ τοῦ̣[---]



EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      		<lb n="0"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="line"/>
      		<lb n="1"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>ἀρχαῖς <gap reason="illegible" quantity="1" unit="character"/> 
            <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="2"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><supplied reason="lost">τ</supplied>ὰς 
            ἐντολὰς <g ref="#stop"/> ἐμο<unclear cert="low">ί</unclear> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="3"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><w part="F"><unclear>μ</unclear>ο<unclear>υ</unclear></w> 
            μητε ἀγν<supplied reason="lost">οεῖτε</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">ὅτι</supplied> <gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="4"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><w part="F"><unclear>υν</unclear>ους</w> 
            <orig>ΑΧ</orig><gap reason="illegible" quantity="1" unit="character"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="5"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><unclear>δ</unclear>ιὰ 
            το<unclear>ῦ</unclear><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="6"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/><orig><unclear>Μ</unclear>ΙΟ<unclear>Υ</unclear></orig><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="6a"/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="line"/>
Apparatus criticus

1: [- - -ταῖς] ἀρχαῖς τ̣[ῶν Τυρανῶν? - - -] Karyshkovsky
2: ἐμοῦ Karyshkovsky ΝΤ in ligatura
3: μητὴ ἄγν[οια Karyshkovsky ΗΤ in ligatura
4: ]ν̣ους ἀχρ[ὶ Karyshkovsky
6: ΛΙΟ Karyshkovsky


[- - -] orders; to me? [- - -] and so that [you] should not be igno[rant of - - -]



Contra Karyshkovsky: there is no vacat above line 1, rather there is a break that has also damaged the tops of the letters in line 1.

1. Karyshkovsky considered this to be the first line of the letter, whose copy was inscribed on this stone. Here he restores the name of the addressee. The large letter size indeed suggests that we are dealing with the beginning, but this line was not necessarily the first (the surface is broken off above it). The form of address - ταῖς ἀρχαῖς, "to the powers" - as Karyshkovsky rightly points out, would be unprecedented; the standard forms are: ἄρχουσι, βουλῇ, δήμῳ, which is used, e.g. in the letter of Ovinius Tertullus to the magistrates of Tyras. This makes Karyshkovsky's restoration doubtful, which he himself also considers as no more than a guess. It is possible that -αρχαῖς – is the ending of some office, such as πολεμάρχαις, ἱππάρχαις etc. Yet there is no certainty in such restoration. At the end of the line there is a vertical hasta, probably belonging to a tau, as Karyshkovsky thinks, arguing that the distance from sigma suggests a word break, but we cannot exclude other letters with a vertical hasta as well.

2. A vertical hasta at the end of the line (iota, nu?) cannot belong to an ypsilon, contra Karyshkovsky. His interpretation ("my orders") is also precluded by the word division symbol between sigma and epsilon. Apparently, after the mention of some orders, a new phrase or section of the text began (this is the only place in the preserved fragment where the interpunctum is used). We should probably restore a frist person form of the personal or possessive pronoun here. Its use in the text, as well as the presence of a Dative in the preceding line, identify the text as a letter.

3. The last two letters resemble pi and nu in ligature, however, words beginning with ΑΠΝ do not seem to be appropriate here, and Karyshkovsky is probably riht in reading ΑΓΝ. No trace of an omicron, however, is present on the stone. The restoration was suggested by Yu.G. Vinogradov (BE 1990, 541, no. 531, ср. SEG 40.642) on the basis of a comparison with the texts of royal and imperial rescripts. He agreed with Karyshkovsky's suggestion that the letter was from a governour of Lower Moesia to the magistrates of Tyras (Olbia must be a typo).

4. At the beginning of the line, before bu, the tip of the right diagonal of an ypsilon can be made out, suggesting εὔνους, but other restorations are also possible, e.g. κινδύνους; the absence of context does not allow us to prefer one to another. Remains of the last letter do not securely suggest a rho, contra Karyshkovsky.



(cc) © 2017 Askold Ivantchik (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
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