I 26. Tyras. Honorific inscription for emperor Hadrian, march 118 C.E.



Statue base. 


Marble (?) 

Dimensions (cm)

H. 22.5, W. 46.5, Th. 20.0.

Additional description

The front was most likely polished or planed and bears a raised border, well preserved on the right and partially on the top and bottom. 

Place of Origin


Find place


Find context


Find circumstances

Found before 1839, circumstances unknown. 

Modern location


Institution and inventory


Epigraphic field


On the front, within inset field. Broken off on the left. Margins: left ca. 20,0; top and bottom: unclear. H. 11.0, W. 21.0


The letters are carefully cut, probably over ruled lines. Alpha with straight crossbar, ypsilon with a decorative crossbar. Average distance between lines: ca. 0,3cm. 

Letterheights (cm)




Honorific inscription. 


March 118 C.E. 

Dating criteria

Prosopography, , . 


L1. Karyshkovsky 1971; 1.1. SEG 33, 619. 


[Ἀγ]α̣θῇ τύχῃ vac.
[Τὸν γῆς καὶ] θαλάσσης δεσπότην
[Αὐτοκράτο]ρα Καίσαρα Τραιανοῦ
[θεοῦ υἱὸν Ἁ]δριανὸν Σεβαστόν,
5[ἀρχιερέα μέ]γιστον δημαρχικῆς
[ἐξουσίας ὕ]πατον ἀποδε<δε>ιγμένον̣
[τὸ τρίτ]ο̣ν, πατέρα πατρίδος
[ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δ]ῆ̣μος τῶν Τυρανῶν̣
[ἐν τῷ βξ´ ἔτ]ε̣ι Ἀνθεστηριῶνος • θι´ •





EpiDoc (XML)

<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc">
      		<lb n="1"/><supplied reason="lost">Ἀγ</supplied><unclear>α</unclear>θῇ τύχῃ <space extent="unknown" unit="character"/>
      		<lb n="2"/><supplied reason="lost">Τὸν γῆς καὶ</supplied> θαλάσσης δεσπότην
      		<lb n="3"/><supplied reason="lost">Αὐτοκράτο</supplied>ρα 
      		   Καίσαρα Τραιανοῦ
      		<lb n="4"/><supplied reason="lost">θεοῦ υἱὸν</supplied> 
      		   <supplied reason="lost">Ἁ</supplied>δριανὸν Σεβαστόν,
      		<lb n="5"/><supplied reason="lost">ἀρχιερέα</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">μέ</supplied>γιστον δημαρχικῆς
         <lb n="6"/><supplied reason="lost">ἐξουσίας</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">ὕ</supplied>πατον ἀποδε<supplied reason="omitted">δε</supplied>ιγμένο<unclear>ν</unclear>
      		<lb n="7"/><supplied reason="lost">τὸ</supplied> <supplied reason="lost">τρίτ</supplied><unclear>ο</unclear>ν, 
            πατέρα πατρίδος
      		<lb n="8"/><supplied reason="lost">ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ</supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">δ</supplied><unclear>ῆ</unclear>μος 
            τῶν Τυρανῶ<unclear>ν</unclear>
      		<lb n="9"/><supplied reason="lost">ἐν τῷ <num value="62">βξ</num></supplied> 
            <supplied reason="lost">ἔτ</supplied><unclear>ε</unclear>ι <rs type="month" ref="anthesterion">
            Ἀνθεστηριῶνος</rs> <g ref="#stop"/> <num value="19">θι</num> <g ref="#stop"/>


Apparatus criticus

6: [ἐξουσίας ὕ]πατον Karyshkovsky; [ἐξουσίας (τὸ βʹ) ὕ]πατον Nadel 1982
7: [τὸ δεύτερ]ο̣ν Karyshkovsky; [τὸ τρίτ]ο̣ν Nadel 1982; [τὸ τρίτ]ο̣ν Leschhorn 1993
9: [ἐν τῷ αξʹ ἔτ]ε̣ι Karyshkovsky; [ἐν τῷ βξʹ ἔτ]ε̣ι Leschhorn 1993


[Go]od fortune. The ruler of [the earth] and the sea, [Empero]r Caesar, [son of god] Trajan, Hadrian Augustus, pontifex maximus, invested with tribunate (for the second time), elected consul [for the third] time, Father of the Fatherland. The Council and the People of Tyras, in the [62nd ye]ar, on the 19th of Anthesterion.



The place and circumstances of find are unknown. The only information available is a pencil drawing in the album "Drawings of objects in the collection of the Odessa Museum of Antiquities" (Table LVII, № 87), which can be found in the Scientific Archive of the Odessa Archaeological Museum (call number: 83179). The Album was created by the artist Karl Bassoli and commissioned by N.N. Murzakevich. This means that at the time the monument was in the collection of the Odessa Museum of Antiquities. That museum was eventually discontinued, and the collection transferred, in 1858, to the Museum of the Odessa Society for History and Antiquities (now the Odessa Archaeological Museum). The monument is not there at present and was already missing in 1880s, when Latyshev was studying the Museum's holdings. We thus conclude that the monument was never studied by a specialist; rather it was first published on the basis of Bassoli's drawing by P.O. Karyshkovsky, and the latter's copy of the drawing somewhat distorts the original.

The monument was apparently a base for a statue of Hadrian, erected in accordance with the decision of the Council and People of Tyras. The size of the base is determined by the scale bar (in inches) shown below the drawing.

2. The emperor title, "ruler of the earth and the sea," is quite widely attested, especially in the inscriptions of Asia Minor from the time of Caracalla, but is also known earlier (TAM V,2, 1231, time of Antoninus Pius); it is also known in the Northern Black Sea area (ISM I, 90, ср. IGBulg II, 645, III,2, 1827, V, 5604). Our inscription appears to be the earliest attestation of its usage. A similar formula, τὸν πάσης γῆς καὶ [πάσης] θαλάσσης ἄ[ρχ]οντα, is already attested in the time of Augustus (CIRB 1046).

6. Judging by the number of letters in the line, the omission of two letters in the word ἀποδε<δε>ιγμένον was the letter-cutter's mistake, not that of the modern artist (Bassoli), cf. the same mistake in IGR IV 1486.

3-9. The emperor's titulature allows us to determine the date of the inscription (see Leschhorn 1993, 74). Hadrian was pronounced emperor on 11th of August 117, and during his reign held consulship three times, in 118 (second time) and in 119 (third time). He could therefore be called consul designatus between August 11th and December 30th 117 C.E. (second consulship) and in 118 (third consulship). Since the month of Anthesterion, mentioned in the last line, constitutes in the Milesian calendar, adopted both by Tyras and Olbia, the penultimate month of the year, right before the month of Artemision (see Vinogradov, Rusyaeva 1980, 25-38) and corresponds to March-April, then out of the two possible dates we should choose the second - 118 C.E. In accordance with this date, the lacunae in lines 7 and 9 should be restored as mentioning the third consulship and the year 62 of the local era of Tyras (see commentaries to I 2 and I 12 (IOSPE I2, 2 и 4)). Accordingly, Hadrian was invested with tribunicia potestas for the second time when this inscription was being carved. It is unclear, however, whether we should restore the numeral τὸ βʹ, as Nadel had done. In that case, this line would be siginificantly longer than other lines of the inscription, while the drawing does not suggest that the letters of this line were any more compactly placed than in others. In my opinion, it is likely that the numeral was omitted here: Nadel (1982, 185, n. 30) also points out that tribunicia potestas was often omitted on the coins and inscriptions of the first years of Hadrian's rule. Karyshkovsky's restoration is based on the mistaken dating of the inscription to 117 C.E. His explanation - that that - date would not accommodate the 19th of Anthesterion - is not convincing, as Nadel has rightly noted.

The date of March 118 C.E. fits the historical context well: Hadrian arrived at the Danubian frontier, apparently, in late December of 117 or in January 118, in order to take command of the army against the Roxolani (Nadel 1982, 185). It is probable that the honorific statue would have been voted by the Council and the People of Tyras in conjunction with Hadrian's stay in the Danubian provinces and with the campaign against the Roxolani, or perhaps in conjunction with his visit to Tyras.



(cc) © 2017 Askold Ivantchik (edition), Irene Polinskaya (translation)
You may download this inscription in EpiDoc XML. (This file should validate to the EpiDoc schema.)