III 263. Chersonesos. Epitaph of Theophantos, late IV - early III century B.C.Е.
H. 77.0, W. 41.0, Th. 21.0.
Top portion of a stele (Fragment A) split in two pieces. Top left corner is damaged. Adorned with a capital. A relief palmette, part of the right volute, and antefixes are preserved. Traces of plaster on the front. On the front and sides, below the cornice: relief of hanging taeniae wrapped by a wide band. Below the taenia there are images of objects hanging on nails: a strigil, aryballos, another vessel, and a sponge (?) in a net-like sack. Traces of polychrome painting. In the lower right part - a sigma traced in red paint. It is probable that the bottom of the monument was a now lost fragment of an inscribed stele found in 1910 (Fragment B).
Place of Origin
Southeast sector of Chersonesos, fortification walls, Tower XVII ("Zeno's Tower"), masonry.
Found in 1910, excavations of R.Ch. Loeper (НА НЗХТ, д. 103, № 3750).
Institution and inventory
National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, 4603.
Non vidi. The monument is considered lost since 1940s.
On the front.
Mu with nearly vertical outer hastae, nu with raised right hasta, omicron almost the same size as other letters, pi with short right vertical, four-bar sigma with splayed bars, slight flaring of the ends of hastae.
Late IV - early III century B.C.Е.
1: Θεοφ[άνης] исправлено Соломоник 1969 на основании объединения обоих фрагментов.
Theophantos, (son of) Apemantos.
The fragments were joined by S.F. Strzheletsky (who used the photo of the lost one) on the basis of architectural similarity and the sameness of the findspot (Solomonik 1969, 73). Although it is impossible to prove this beyond all reasonable doubt due to the loss of Fragment b, the comparison of the epigraphic fields (using the photograph and description of Fragment B) supports the notion of two fragments belonging together: we may point to the similarity of the forms and placement of the final sigma, as well as the traces of black paint over the letters on both fragments.
Comparing our inscription with III 264, Solomonik (НЭПХ II, с. 182) proposed that Theophantos was the son of Apemantos, son of Agnias, mentioned there. The familial relationship between Theophantos, Apemantos, son of Agnias, and his brother Straton (III 265) is made probable due to the proximity of the three stelae in the masonry of Tower XVII (see commentary on III 264), quite possibly reflecting the placement of the funerary monuments in the necropolis. At the same time, it has been pointed out that the images of a strigil, aryballos and taeniae sugests a young, most likely unmarried man (Perlman 2011, 391). In addition, the script gives an impression of a slightly earlier date (cf. large omicron), and in any case, not a later one compared to the palaeography of the inscriptions of Apemantos and Straton. This consideration makes it more probable that Apemantos was a grandfather of Apemantos and Straton from III 264 and III 265, while Theophanotos would have been their uncle (сf. Perlman 2011, 391, 447). The theophoric name Θεόφαντος is attested also as a patronymic in an epitaph of the III century B.C.E. (III 259). On the images pointing to a participant and winner of athletic contests, see НЭПХ II (Solomonik 1973), 182ff.