An inscription from Antinoupolis preserved by Richard Pococke

An earlier visitor to Antinoupolis was the Jesuit Father Sicard, whose work I have yet to locate.  But Richard Pococke gives (p.279) an item on his authority as follows:


We’ve seen a reference in Vansleb to a “pillar of Marcus Aurelius”.  This must be the inscription.

I don’t profess any skill with Greek inscriptions whatsoever, but even I can see autokratori kaisari marco aurelioi seoueroi alexandroi eusebei eutuxei” in the above; i.e. Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander.  So in fact the inscription is not for Marcus Aurelius, but for the later emperor Alexander Severus.

Can anyone read more?

8 thoughts on “An inscription from Antinoupolis preserved by Richard Pococke

  1. Grossly guessing: ‘ agathei tuchei’ ‘ [by?] good fortune/lot’ (one dictionary notes as set phrase comparable to ‘in God’s Name’ ); ‘ eusebeieu tuchei’ (what sense of the first word? – re. piety, reverence, thankfulness, being honorable?); ‘[An]tinoeon neon Hellenon’ (‘new Greek’ what? – city of Antinous?); ‘prutaneontos archeliou’ (something to do with a Prytaneum or Council building? or one of the derived meanings of ‘ prutaneuo’ re. ruling, proposing; oe, acting ‘ royally’?); ‘kai [A]polloniou’ (?: the lamda being a typo for asn alpha?)

  2. Thank you! I’ve now found Sicard’s publication of it, where there is a translation so will post this.

  3. Excellent – thank you! I see the published Fr. Sicard has the alpha where Pococke has a lamda in ‘Apolloniou’, but also an alpha instead of a lamda where he translates ‘Aurelius’ (the Prefect) (which is in Pococke not obviously ‘Aurelius’ due to a chi instead of an upsilon, and a transposition of the letters as well: assuming ‘Aurelius’ is correct) ! How far may we generalize about the quality of both French and English typesetting of Greek in non-Greek works, I wonder?

  4. Collating editions is important, in that a later one can, variously, both correct an earlier one and introduce new errors! I have not yet tried to look at either Pococke or Siccard as you have kindly and conveniently directed us to them. On a grossly, basic speculative level: whatever Siccard’s “tablettes” are, either he or someone else must have presumably transcribed the inscription to paper. So, at least one manuscript must lie behind the first printing, where the inscription is concerned. And typesetter and engraver could have each worked from that same MS. But, of course, there may be several transcriptions by hand, one copying another, before typesetting or engraving. And of typesetter and engraver each could conceivably copied the other. Ah, textual criticism – and analytical and descriptive bibliography!

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