Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 28.1540


Greek text:   SEG_28.1540
Provenance:   Berenice , Libya
Date:   62/1 B.C.
Tags:     pirates
Format:   see key to translations

In 96 B.C., king Ptolemy Apion died, bequeathing the kingdom of Cyrene to the Romans. But it was not until 75 B.C. that the Romans decided to turn the region into a Roman Province. This inscription gives a graphic impression of the difficulties faced by the local cities during the intervening 'anarchy'; see F.Millar, in "Studies in Ancient Greek and Roman Society", p. 127 ( Google Books ). There is an Italian translation by F.  Canali de Rossi, "Iscrizioni Storiche Ellenistiche", vol. 3, no.  163.

Berenike is the predecessor of the modern city of Benghazi in Libya.   The inscription is dated by a short-lived local era, which began after the death of Ptolemy Apion; see CAH vol. 10, p. 619 ( Google Books ).

Year 34, when Lysis was priest of Apollo.    Copy of a decree.

Since Apollodoros son of Pankrates, one of our citizens, who is descended from ancestors who were from the beginning genuinely virtuous, has himself behaved similarly towards his fatherland on every occasion; first, immediately after the death of the king, when Berenike was vigorously besieged by the evil-doers owing to the prevailing anarchy, he was summoned to command the young men, and by enduring every danger 10 he brought our affairs to a condition of the greatest peace; and the city in its gratitude promptly assigned to him the honours previously given by the people; after that, because the city was unwalled and had twice already been ravaged by fleets of pirates who sailed against it, he was appointed as (?) commander with full powers  over the city and its territory concerning overall affairs, and he preserved the harmony of the (?) united city, presenting just decisions to everyone; and the . . . fortifying with a wall 20 . . . for all time . . . glory to his fatherland, the public . . . by land and by sea . . . the common hope  . . . 30 the senate . . . [he (?) being deemed worthy of great] approval and trust . . . having done good . . . fatherland. (?) Then he went as envoy . . . giving back his travel allowance . . . his personal livelihood on behalf of the . . . city he increased, choosing . . . stating below that 'his ownership of his property was an insecure ownership'; 40 for he continually [provided] an everlasting example for all men . . . 

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