Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

[328] Grave of a Boy Who Performed the Rites of Dionysos (I–II CE) Rome - Latium

Rome (Latium, Italy — Pleiades map), I–II CE
AGRW 328 = IGUR 1228 = IDionysosJ 186 = GVI 974 = PHI 188867 = AGRW ID# 1875


Slab of marble decorated with Dionysiac symbols. The frescoes at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii similarly depict a child playing a role in rites of Dionysos.

This was dedicated to the gods of the underworld.  Not yet having tasted youth, I slipped into the realm of Hades, leaving behind tears and groans to my parents for my short time.  Nor was I meant to reach the life span of mortals.  I lived only seven years and two months, of which three years I accomplished and spoke the rites (orgia) for Dionysos.  (10) My father and revered mother called me Herophilos.  Oh passerby, you now know who I was.  I was not even brought into being.

Translation by: Harland

Θ(εοῖς) Κ(αταχθονίοις). ǀ μήπω γευσάμενος ἥβης ǀ ὤλισθον ἐς Ἅδου (Ἅιδου) ǀ δάκρυα ǀ καὶ στοναχὰς λείψας αἰῶνι γοǀǀνεῦσιν ǀ δύσμορος, οὐδ’ ἐνόησα ǀ βροτῶν ψαῦσαι βιότοιο ǀ ἑπτὰ ǀ μόνους λυκάβαντας δύω ǀ καὶ μῆνας ἔζησα ǀ ὧν τρεῖς ǀ ἐξετέλουν Διονύσῳ ὄργια βάǀǀζων ǀ Ἡρόφιλον δ’ ἐκάλουν με ǀ πατὴρ καὶ πότνια μήτηρ ǀ ἔǀγνως, ὦ παροδεῖτα, τίς ἤμην· ǀ οὐκ ἐγενήθην.

Item added: June 18, 2012
Item modified: November 9, 2014
ID number: 1875
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