Stone epitaph

Unknown"480-400 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

Incised on the front of this limestone block from Cyprus is a three-lined Greek inscription, written in the Cypro-syllabic script. It is a funerary epigram mentioning that Phauthemis raised a grave monument to his sister Phausagoratis (a common female name in the 5th century BC). That these two persons are relatives - as the inscription records - is also apparent from the fact that both names have the same first syllable (Phaus = light). Cypro-syllabic script, which displays similarities with the syllabic scripts used in the prehistoric Aegean (mainly Linear B), was deciphered in the 1870s by the British Assyrologist George Smith, with the help of a bilingual inscription in Phoenician and Greek (with Cypro-syllabic characters). On present evidence, the script appeared in Cyprus in the eleventh century BC and was used for writing both Greek and Eteocypriot, that is the ancient language of the inhabitants of Cyprus prior to the advent of Hellenic populations in the late thirteenth century BC; inscriptions in Eteocypriot have not yet been read. The Greek dialect of Cyprus, on the other hand, presents similarities with the Arcadian dialect of the Peloponnese, which is why it is also called Arcado-Cypriot. Cypro-syllabic script was widely diffused throughout Cyprus, particularly from the 8th to the 3rd c. BC, when the Greek alphabet finally prevailed and the Cypro-syllabic script ceased to be used.


  • Title: Stone epitaph
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: "480-400 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=829&cnode=67&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: w380 x h250 mm
  • Period: Classical period
  • Culture: Cypriot
  • Type: stone epitaph
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, Th.N. Zintilis Collection, no. 773
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: limestone

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