Punica – Chapter 2


P. Schröder drew up with great care (Die Phönizische Sprache, p. 63-72) the list and bibliography of inscriptions neo-Punics known at the time of this publication (1869). The list includes 117 numbers.

J. Euting continued this series until nº 131 by giving numbers following, to the inscriptions discovered since the publication of Schröder until 1876, namely:

118. Stele from Manouba. EUTING, Punishe Steine, Taf. 38 (C.I.S., I, 3244).

119. Stele from the estate of Abbé Bourgade. Pun. Steine, Taf. 38.

120. Same origin. Pun. Steine, Taf. 39.

121. Fragment in possession of Euting. Pun. Steine, Taf. 39.

122. Inscription ( apocryphal) from Cossura ( Pantellaria); see C.I.S. , I , p. 181.

123. Bilingual inscription by Henchir Brigitta, in the Berlin Museum. EUTING, Z.D. M.G., t. XXIX [1875], p. 237, Taf. 1.

124. Inscription of Altiburos, in the Louvre (ibid., Taf. 2).

125. Bilingual Bordj-Halal (Chemtou) inscription, in the Louvre (ibid., Taf. 3).

126. Carthage Inscription; Cubisol, No. 7 (= C.I.S., I, 3245).

127. Carthage Inscription; Cubisol, No. 8 (= C.I.S., I, 3246).

128. Bilingual inscription of ‘Ain Youssef (cf. Rev. archaeol., 1874, I, p. 131) = C.I.L. , VIII , 4636.

129. Inscription found at Lorbus by Wilmanns (1), Unpublished.

130. Cherchell inscription (C.R. Acad., 1875, p. 259).

131. Votive inscription of Constantine, in the museum of the Anthropological Society of Vienna; see F. VON LUSCHAN, Mittheil. der anthrop. Gesellsch. in Vienna, VI [1876], p. 149-151.

From our examination, it appears that at least three errors (2) have crept into this classification:

  1. Schröder’s No. 105 is identical to his No. 74;
  2. Euting’s No. 119 is identical to Schröder’s No. 70;
  3. Euting No. 120 is identical to No. 72.

1. The identity of No. 74 with No. 105 emerges from a comparison of the facsimiles, and from the express declaration of the publisher, Dr. Judas, who republished in his Memoir on Nineteen Numidico-Punic inscriptions (Annuaire de la Soc. archéol. de Constantine, 1860-1861), pl. 10, No. xx, the inscription he had already given in the same collection (t. II, 1855-1856; pl. v) . It is by a singular distraction that P. Schröder has assigned two distinct numbers to this single text(3); for it itself refers from one work to the other. The distinction has been accepted by Lidzbarski who, in his Handbuch, gives, for a few words, a somewhat different reading from the first and second editions. [ See below, p . 78, no. 1. ] In reality, the second reproduction, although more faithful, did not allow to read the text completely.

The inscription is engraved at the bottom of a pink marble stele, o m high. 36 , o m wide. 24, found in Guelma around 1854, and transported to Constantine. The monument still exists today in the museum of this city. It has been reproduced in the Museum of Constantine by MM. Doublet and Gauckler (Paris, 1893), pl. III, nº 1, and it is described there in these terms (p. 81-82): “Above, in a rectangular frame, a very roughly sculpted woman; standing, naked, adorned with earrings, her arms outstretched, she holds a bunch of grapes in her right hand, in her left hand probably a pomegranate. Below, on the right, an ear of wheat; at the top, an attribute composed of two concentric discs and a heavily defaced bird.

“At the bottom of the stele, the following inscription:

To Lord Baal (Ha)mon [promised this the Bomelek] … [of] … Doberat [son of] …. because he heard her voice.

Material reading approaches the truth; but the translation is hardly satisfactory. We suggest reading as follows:

The formula זאב במלך אזרם אזת is characteristic of the votive inscriptions of Guelma; at least it has not hitherto been found in any inscription foreign to this locality. We will devote a special paragraph later to the examination of this expression and its variant spellings, and we will try to determine its exact meaning. [ See below , p. 85.]

שעדברעת , name of the dedicant , does not appear in the lists published so far ; we have four or five examples in unpublished inscriptions. The reading is beyond doubt. It is a Numidian name.

The name of the father is, on the contrary, very doubtful; only the final is certain; the rest is probable; compare the Punic name יחנבעל. (C.I.S. , I , 175 , 1155 , etc. )

The writing of this inscription offers a particular aspect and certain letters (in particular א) have an unusual form (see the reproduction in the Museum of Constantine). It seems, however, that the engraver distinguished the ז from the ש, which does not always happen in the inscriptions of Guelma; this is what prompts us to read here זאב and אזרם rather than שאב, אשרם.

In the final formula, the turn ושעמא, instead of כשעמא, is usual in these same inscriptions.

2. For neopunic 70, we only have the very imperfect copy of Bourgade, published in the Toison d’or, 1st edition (omitted in the 2nd edition), under the heading 37° Tunisian, and the copy of Euting , n° 119 , made after a stamping. It seems impossible to recognize proper names. The formulas can only be guessed at, at the beginning and at the end of the inscription. The verb expressing the action of the dedicant appears to be נשא, which is found on several votive inscriptions.

3. The neopunic 72 edited by Bourgade (Toison d’or, 1st ed., pl. 39) has been reproduced by Euting under number 120. The comparison between the stamping, which we have in front of us, and the copy of Bourgade leaves no doubt about the identity of the two texts. Given the poor condition of the stone, Euting gave up any attempt at deciphering it. It seems to us that we can however read the first lines with enough probability, in this way:

In line 3, we do not distinguish the shape of the letters ש and ך; but the visible ל between the two signs invites us to restore שלך, which seems more likely than פלס.

Line 4 probably contained the usual formula [שמע קלא בר [ כא.