Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation

Orphic Bone Tablets (V BCE) Olbia - Scythia and Moesia


Olbia (Scythia and Moesia, Danube and Black Sea areas — Pleiades map)
IOlbiaD 94 = M.L. West, "The Orphics of Olbia," ZPE 45 (1982) 17–29 = SEG 28:659–661 = PHI 184168  = ID# 15649

 V BCE

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Three tiny bone tablets with graffiti scratched on them. Discovered at one of the sanctuaries at Olbia. One of the tablets refers either to “Orphic matters” or to “Orphics” as a group of people (Ὀρφικοί). See the comments on GRA 92.

(Tablet A) Life, Death, Life, Truth. Dionysos. Orphic (matters) (or: Orphics; Orphikoi)

(Tablet B) Peace, War, ǀ Truth, Falsehood, Dionysos.

(Tablet C) Dionysos, Z. Truth, Body, Soul.

Written/translated by: Harland



(Tablet A)

βίος θάνατος βίος Ζ(?) ǀ ἀλήθεια ǀ Ζα(γρεύς?) Ζ(?) ǀ Διό(νυσος) (Διο(νύσῳ) ?) Ὀρφικοί.

(Tablet B)

εἰρήνη πόλεμος ǀ ἀλήθεια ψεῦδος ǀ Διόν(υσος) (Διον(ύσῳ) ?) ǀ Α

(Tablet C)

Διό(νυσος) (Διο(νύσῳ) ?) ǀ ἀλήθεια ǀ σῶμα ψυχή ǀ Α

Item added: October 12, 2014
Item modified: February 25, 2015
ID number: 15649
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=15649

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