III 113. Chersonesos. Dedication of altar to Nemesis, 2nd half of II - early III century C.E.
H. 19.5, W. 12.0, Th. 5.2.
Rectangular monolithic altar, almost fully presreved (the bottom left corner is missing; the top left corner was found together with the altar and joined). The base and cornice are profiled on all sides except the back. On the top, there is a rectangular cut-out (L. 3.6, W. 1.2, Depth 2.4 cm). Upper part of the altar shows smoke damage, probably due to the use as incense burner. On the front: five lines of text.
Place of Origin
South sector of Chersonesos, area of ancient theatre, layer of IV century C.E.
Found in 1964, excavations of O.I. Dombrovsky.
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 138/36760.
On the front.
Letters of varying size, cursive epsilon, sigma, mu; iota subscriptum; serifs.
2nd half of II - early III century C.E.
Solomonik 1960a 133; НЭПХ II (Solomonik 1973) 126 (= Bull.ép., 1974, 380).
<div type="edition" xml:lang="grc"> <ab> <lb n="1"/>ἀγαθῇ τύ <lb n="2" break="no"/>χῃ <lb n="3"/>θεᾷ Νεμέ <lb n="4" break="no"/>σει Βασιλε <lb n="5" break="no"/>ίδης Καλοῦ </ab> </div>
Solomonik 1967a, 69, 74; Античная скульптура Херсонеса 1976 170, № 545; Solomonik 1990, 53, № 47.
Good fortune. Basilides, (son of Kalous), (dedicated) to Goddess Nemesis.
The use of koine Greek instead of the Doric idiom of the earlier periods points to the date not before the middle of II century C.E.
In the vicinity of this find, another small altar with a Latin dedication to Nemesis (ЛНХТ 10), had been found in 1957. Both dedications were found in the area of an ancient theatre, allowing us to specify the nature of the goddess in Chersonesos. She was a patroness of agones, in particular, of gladiatorial fights (for more detail, see Robert, Gladiateurs, 64 and № 167, as well as an inscribed relief III 176).
A personal name Βασιλείδης is widely attested in the Northern Black Sea. In Chersonesos, it might also be known from a graffito of the IV century C.E. (VDI 1998, № 1, 212; сf. LGPN IV). An anthoponym Καλοῦς, attested multiple times in Bosporus, beginning in the I century B.C.E., appears in Chersonesos one more time in the Roman period. As other personal names in -οῦς, it is of non-Greek (Iranian or Thracian (?) origin; cf. Masson 1957, 165); the normal genetive ending for such names is -οῦ (Dovatur 1965, 815, § 7.3; in more detail, on their declension, see Tokhtasiev 2009, 510; 2011, 521).