Multiple-Published Funerary Stele for Berous

Culture: Greek/East Roman Province
Period: 3rd century A.D.
Material: Marble
Dimensions: 48 cm x 41 cm x 9.5 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 2010
Provenance: At least since 1931 in the collection of the French delegate Pierre Durieux in Alexandrette, thence in family estate. Since 2013 in an Austrian collection.
Condition: Some wear, especially on the faces of the elevated persons.
Description: Important funerary stele of white marble, found in Rhosos in Cilicia and verified for the first time in 1931 in the residence of the French delegate in Alexandrette. The relief has a gable with corner acroterions and rosettes, amongst them garlands and bucrania. Four resting persons are depicted between two side columns , two men and two women. Left in front of the column another mourner, on the far right a slave. Of special importance is the inscription of nine lines based on Homer, which was published for the first time in 1953 and thence at least three more times. In the diligently written inscription the mourners grieve “Berous, equal to a Penelope, who died with 22 years and left three underage children to their father”. The text reads: 1. [ἁ] μὲ̣ν̣ [Ὀδ]ύσ̣σειος γ̣αμ̣ετὰ μύθοισιν Ὁμήρου τὰν ὕμνοις <ἀ>ρε- 2. τ̣ὰ̣ν̣ [ἔσχεν] ἀ̣ὶ̣ ἑσταμ{μ̣}ένα[ν]. ἅ δε τρόποις σεμνὴ Βεροῦς, πατρὸς _Χρυ- 3. σ̣ί̣π̣[που, ἔργο]ις οὐ μύθοις Πηνελόπα γέγονεν, σώφρων ἐν γαμότητι, 4. περίφρων δ’ἐν βιότητι, οἰκουρὸς δ’ἀγαθὴ καὶ βίου ἡνίοχος. δ<ι>σσῶν δ’οὖσα 5. ἐ̣τ̣έ̣ων καὶ δὶ̣ς̣ δ̣έκα θνῄσκει ἄ̣ωρος, τέκνα λιποῦσα τρί<α> νήπια _πατρὶ. 6. φ̣ί̣λ̣ῳ̣. κ̣ε̣ῖ̣τ̣α̣ι̣ δ’[ἐ]νθάδ’, ὁδεῖτα·θεοὺς σχοί<η>ς ἐπικούρους, εἰ Βεροῦ κούφην 7. [γ]ῆν ἐφέπειν σὺ λέγ̣ῃ̣ς. 8. [Χρύ]σιππε καὶ Βεροῦ κα<ὶ> Νεικηφόρε καὶ Νείκαιε καὶ Σωτ̣η̣ρίς. 9. ἄλυποι χαίρετε. Translation: Odysseus’ spouse in the Homeric mythology has always upheld the virtue. But Berous – her father was Chrysippos – was of noble nature and really, not (only) in the saga, a Penelope: chaste during her marriage, sober in life, a good housewife and the guiding star in (my) life. With 22 years she untimely dies and leaves three underage children to their dear father. Here she lies, Stranger! May the Gods bless you when you say: “May the ground lie lightly on Berous!” Chrysippos, Berous, Nikephoros, Nikaios and Soteris, you have not saddened nobody, farewell. Published: IGLS III 721 mit Ergänzung S. 684; Keil, Gnomon 28, 1956, 534; Peek, Archaiologike Ephemeris 1953/54 285–287; Peek, Athenische Mitteilungen 80, 1965, 164; Robert – Robert, Bulletin épigraphique 1951, 227; 1959, 458; 1969, 584. With a translation and commentary for the stele by the Viennese epigraphist Katharina Michner MA.