Inscribed Tombstone of Timocrates

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Inscribed Tombstone of Timocrates








Country: Romania (RO)
Province: Constanța (CO)
Site: Tomis (TO)
Roman Province: Moesia Inferior (MI)/Scythia Minor (SM)
Date: Late 2nd/Early 3rd. century CE


AKA Inventory # BM 1864,0331.5


Findspot: In situ
Findspot Description: Inscribed tombstone with sculptural decoration found in Tomis, modern Constanța, Romania. Donated by William Price to the British Museum in 1864
Findspot Attestation: Smith, A. H. 1892. A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum I-III. London. p. 345.






“Sepulchral monument with a banquet relief of very rude style, contained in a lunette above the inscribed panel. A male figure reclines on a couch, with a cup in his right hand, with an uncertain object near the cup, which may perhaps be intended to represent the snake. A table stands before the couch with food. A woman sits on a stool at the foot of the couch, and holds her veil with her left hand. A small figure of a boy is at the head of the couch. On each side of the inscribed panel is a vine branch with grapes; above are a pine cone and two lions’ heads to the front in high relief. Below are the remains of a relief with a mounted horseman. On the right and left edges of the relief are snakes. The inscription states that the monument is erected by Timocrates for his wife, his son, and himself. –Tomis.”
“Limestone, height, 6 feet 11 inches; width. 2 feet 8 ½ inches. Greek Inscriptions in Brit. Mus., CLXXVII.”
Gravestone surrounded by vines and grapes. At the top, a lunette features a banquet scene between two figures, a man reclined over a couch and a woman sitting at the foot. Presumably they represent Timocrates and his wife Ulpia Casta. The Greek inscription mentions that Timocrates is from the Roman tribe of Tomis where he has been living and thriving. It also mentions that either Timocrates or his son Ulpius Martinus have served as leitourgos to the city for the seventh time.
Τειμοκράτης Ἀλεξάνδρου, γένι Νικομηδεὺς ὁ κὲ Τομίτης φυλῆς Ῥωμέων {²⁶Ῥωμαίων}²⁶, ζήσας ἐπιτείμως ἐν τῇ Τόμι, ζῶν κὲ φρονῶν ἑαυτῷ κὲ τῇ γυνεκὶ ἑαυτοῦ Ὀλπίᾳ Κάστᾳ κὲ
τῷ υεἱῷ ἑαυτοῦ Οὐλπίῳ Μαρτίνῳ, φυλῆς Ῥωμέων φιλοτεί μον ἐβτόμον πόλεως τὴν στηλεῖδα κ<α> τεσκέβασα σὺν τῳ τόπῳ τῷ περιωρισμένῳ ὁ ἐσ<τ>ί μοι κοινόν μοι πρὸς Καλείνικον Στροφῆ· χε͂ ρε {²⁶χαῖρε}²⁶ παροδῖτα.
Select Bibliography:
Smith, A. H. 1892. A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, British Museum I-III. London. p. 345.
Newton, C T; Hicks, E L; Hirschfeld, Gustav; Marshall, F H. 1874. The Collection of Ancient Greek Inscriptions in the British Museum, I-IV, London. p. 36
Packard Humanities Institute, Greek Inscriptions: (Retrieved 4/13/2016)




Tombstone, inscription, banquet, stele, vine, grapes, snake, lion, fir, Moesia Inferior, liturgy


Currently held by The British Museum


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Tombstone Tomis Timocrates.jpg


Local, “Inscribed Tombstone of Timocrates,” Archaeology of the Later Roman Empire and SEEDD at FSU, accessed May 19, 2022,