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Sarcophagus fragment with funerary inscription in verse for Polykarpos

Type of monument:
Sarcophagus fragment.
Koçaş (Perta): in a cemetery.
White marble fragment, probably from a sarcophagus, with remains of a moulding at upper edge, broken on all sides.
Ht. 0.40+; W. 0.46+; Th. 0.12-0.15; letters 0.015-0.025.
MB notebook copy; photograph (1956/165).
Fourth or fifth century AD.

[οὔ]νομά τοι, Πολύκαρπε,
[θε]ός τ᾿ ἔφατ᾿ ἔκ τ᾿ ὀνόμη[νε]· |
Παύλου μὲν τέκος
[ἦ]ς, νέος ἔτεσ᾿ εἴκοσ[ι]
5[μ]ούνων. | ἡδυεπὴς ὄ[χ᾿]
ἄριστε, λιπὼν φάος [ἐ]-
[ν]θάδε κῖσο.
Your name, Polykarpos, a god spoke and pronounced. You were Paulos’ child, a youth of only twenty years. Most excellent sweet-voiced man, having departed the daylight, lie here.

The inscription forms three hexameter verses. The end of the first hexameter is a variant on the Homeric formula ἔπος τ᾿ ἔφατ᾿ ἔκ τ᾿ ὀνόμαζεν (H., Il. 1.361, etc.). I owe the restorations in line 2 to Martin West, who has suggested that the second hexameter could be rendered metrical (and grammatical) by means of a slight rearrangement in line 4: Παύλου μὲν τέκος ἦς, ἐτέων νέος εἴκοσι μούνων. For the adjective ἡδυεπής, cf. Laminger-Pascher 1992: nos. 410 and 415 (Dorla/Aydoğmuş: Isauropolis), and see also MAMA XI 278 (1956/152, Zıvarık [Altınekin]: ἡδυλόγος). The Homeric resonances of the term are noted by A. M. Ramsay 1906: 30-1; it is applied to Euphemios, the brother of Amphilochios of Ikonion, in one of the funerary epigrams of Gregory of Nazianzus (Anth. Pal. 8.124: AD c. 360). For the restoration ὄ[χ᾿] ἄριστε, cf. MAMA I 232 (Dedeler: ἄνδρα... ὄχ᾿ ἄριστον); MAMA VIII 132 (Dineksaray: ὄχ᾿ ἄριστος ἐν ὕμνοις); I.Tyana 57 (παιδευτῶν ὄχ᾿ ἄριστος).

It is possible that Polykarpos was the brother of Dentilla, whose funerary epigram was copied by Ballance at Zıvarık/Altınekin (MAMA XI 278); see the commentary ad loc.


MAMA XI 335 (Perta 30: 1956-165)

MAMA XI 335 (Perta 30: 1956-165)