A Musical Note from Roman Cyprus

TitleA Musical Note from Roman Cyprus
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHussein, E, Raffa, M
JournalTrends in Classics

In antiquity, the Sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia at Palaipaphos was Cyprus’ most celebrated religious space. The high number of Hellenistic and Roman inscriptions discovered at the sanctuary reveals that it was an important environment for the celebration of the island’s rulers, high profile visitors, and its local elite. While the accompanying statues of these inscriptions, or the structures that they may have been fixed to, do not survive, their texts point to the visually impressive character of the sanctuary. This article will present new readings of two inscriptions discovered at this sanctuary which commemorate the poet Lucius Septimius Nestor of Laranda and a certain Sergia Aurelia Regina. The relationship between poet and benefactress, as it appears from the two inscriptions, is to be placed beyond doubt in the framework of female euergetism in the Eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, during the second to third centuries AD. This study will reconsider the musical pun occurring in an inscription set up by Regina to honour Nestor as it sheds some new light on the nature of this relationship and may account for some puzzling features of the inscription, such as the self-celebrating tone in which Regina speaks of herself and the title of hypatē (hardly a substitute for the expected hypatikē) with which she credits herself. [http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/tcs.2016.8.issue-1/tc-2016-0008/tc-2016-0008.xml]


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