Marcus Encolpus' Tomb Inscription

  • Directing your attention to footnote 57 of the below clip (rather than to the highlighted text) contains some interesting and specifically Epicurean text referring to Marcus Encolpus' friends and his position on key Epicurean issues.

    It would be interesting to track down the full Latin and maybe find a photo.

    This comes from the post here: Names Applied to the Epicureans by Themselves Or Others

  • This is the text to which it would be interesting to find the Latin, and to scrutinize exactly what he says - including what I would say is probably a good sense of humor!

  • Not sure yet if this is the correct text:

    IGUR III 1245 - PHI Greek Inscriptions

    D(is) Cerelliae Fortunatae con❦iugi carissimae cum qua M(anibus) v(ixi) ∙ ann(is) ∙ XL ∙ s(ine) u(lla) q(uerella)

    M(arcus) ∙ Antonius ∙ Encolpus ∙ fecit ∙ sibi ∙ et ∙ Antonio ∙ Athenaeo

    liberto ∙ suo ∙ karissimo ∙ et ∙ libertis ∙ libertabusque ∙ eorum ∙

    et ∙ posteris ∙ excepto ∙ M(arco) ∙ Antonio ∙ Athenione ∙ quem ∙ veto ∙

    in ∙ eo ∙ monimento ∙ aditum ∙ habere ∙ neque ∙ iter ∙ ambitum ∙

    introitum ∙ ullum ∙ in eo ∙ habere ∙ neque ∙ sepulturae ∙ causa ∙

    reliquias ∙ eius ∙ posterorumque ∙ eius ∙ inferri ∙ quod ∙ si quis ∙ ad-

    versus ∙ hoc ∙ quis ∙ fecerit ∙ tunc ∙ is ∙ qui ∙ fecerit ∙ poenae ∙ nomine ∙

    pontificibus ∙ aut ∙ antescolaris ∙ virginum ∙ (sestertium) ∙ L ∙ m(ilia) ∙ n(ummum) ∙ inferre ∙ de-

    bebit ∙ ideo ∙ quia ∙ me ∙ pos ∙ multas ∙ iniurias ∙ parentem ∙ sibi ∙ amnegaverit ∙

    et ∙ A(ulo) ∙ Lelio ∙ Apeliti ∙ clienti ∙ karissimo ∙ quem ∙ boluerit ∙ do<n>ationis ∙ causa ∙ sarcofa-

    gum ∙ eligat ∙ sibi ∙ opter ∙ quod ∙ in tam ma<g>na ∙ clade ∙ non ∙ me ∙ reliquerit ∙ cuius ∙ beneficia ∙ abeo

  • This is a great find. I'll work on the Greek eventually unless someone else wants to! Up for grabs.

    I ran the first Latin part through Google Translate:

    Dis Cerellia Fortunata, my dearest wife, with whom I have lived 40 years without any complaint, Marcus Antonius Encolpus made for himself and Antonius Athenaeus his dearest freedman and their freedmen and liberties and their posterity except ∙ Marcus Antonius Athenianus, whom I forbid to have access to that monument nor the path around the entrance to have none in it, nor for the sake of burial to bring the remains of him and his descendants, because if anyone does anything against this, then the one who did it in the name of punishment to the pontiffs or to the "antescolaris" virgins will have to bring 50,000 sesterces in money, because he has denied me many wrongs to his parent and to Aulus Laelius Apelitis, the dearest client whom he chooses for the donation of the sarcophagus, he chooses for himself, because he has not left me in such a great defeat, whose benefits I leave.

    ("antescolaris" is a kind of teacher)

  • Translated:

    Marcus Antonius Encolpus: Unbelieving Epitaph (From Greek)
    Skepticism about the afterlife is not recent. Even in societies of millennia past that might strike us as being immensely superstitious, th...

    "Dis" is not part of his wife's name, but seems to relate to the word discedere, "to depart". He built the tomb after she died (departed), for both of them, as well as for their liberti, freed slaves.

  • Oh, Greek culture and language were ubiquitous in the Mediterranean. "Magna Graecia" is Greater Greece

    Magna Graecia - Wikipedia

  • Translated:…colpus-carellias.html?m=1

    "Dis" is not part of his wife's name, but seems to relate to the word discedere, "to depart". He built the tomb after she died (departed), for both of them, as well as for their liberti, freed slaves.

    That's a great find, Joshua! Well done!

    I had just begun to translate the Greek, and, yep, That's a good fluid translation there! I'm going to paste their translation here because it's too good for people to miss if they don't click the link:

    Do not pass by my epitaph, dear passer-by.

    Stop. Read and learn, and when you understand, go on:

    There is no Charon waiting on a boat in Hades.

    No judge named Aeacus, no dog called Cerberus.

    All of us who've gone dead down here are now no more

    Than rotting bone and ash. I've told it as it is

    And have no more to say. Now, passer-by, go on

    And know I keep the rule of dead men: tell no tales.

    This tomb's just stone. So bring no myrrh or garlands.

    Do not waste money on a fire.

    If you want to gift me something, you should have

    Done it when I was still alive.

    If you mix wine with ash you just get mud.

    Besides, the dead do not drink wine.

    Just sprinkle some soil. Say: what I was before

    I was, I have become once more.

  • Good stuff guys. The Greek looks something like

    "μή μου παρέλθῃς τὸ ἐπίγραμμα, ὁδοιπόρε,

    ἀλλὰ σταθεὶς ἄκουε καὶ μαθὼν ἄπι.

    οὐκ ἔστι ἐν Ἅδου πλοῖν, οὐ πορθμεὺς Χάρων,

    οὐκ Αἰακὸς κλειδοῦχος, οὐχὶ Κέρβελος κύων.

    ἡμεῖς δὲ πάντες οἱ κάτω τεθνηκότες

    ὀστέα τέφρα γεγόναμεν, ἄλλο δὲ οὐδὲ ἕν.

    εἴρηκά σοι ὀρθῶς. ὕπαγε, ὀδοιπόρε,

    μὴ καὶ τεθνακὼς ἀδέλεσχός σοι φανῶ.

    [μὴ μύρα, μὴ στεφάνους στήλλῃ χαρίσῃ λίθος ἐστίν.]

    μηδὲ τὸ πῦρ φλέξεις. ἰς κενὸν ἡ δαπάνη.

    ζῶντί μοι, εἰ τι ἔχεις, μετάδος. τέφραν δὲ μεθύσκων

    πηλὸν ποιήσεις καὶ οὐκ ὁ θανὼν πίεται.

    τοῦτο ἔσομαι γὰρ ἐγώ, σὺ δὲ τούτοις γῆν ἐπιχώσας.

    εἰπέ. ὅτι οὐκ ὢν ἧν. τοῦτο πάλιν γέγονα."

    Which is something like "Do not pass by my epitaph, traveler, but stand and listen. But, having learned, depart. There is no boat in Hades, no ferryman Charon, no key-bearer Aeacus, no Cerberus. We have all become ashes, bones of the dead below, and there is no other way. I have spoken rightly to you. Now go on! Traveler- do not let me, who has died, appear to you as a ghost. Please refrain from presenting fragrances or sending floral arrangements. This is just stone. Do not kindle the fire. It is a waste of effort. Give what you have to the living. For the dead, mixing ashes with clay will suffice, and the dead do not drink. Having returned to the earth, this is what I will be to you. Tell them: 'He who did not exist, came into being - (then) he went back!'"

    Mελετᾶν οὖν χρὴ τὰ ποιοῦντα τὴν εὐδαιμονίαν.

    It is necessary to study what produces wellbeing.

    Edited 7 times, last by Bryan ().

  • Speaking of Epicurean tombs, I came across another inscription that incorporates the "fui, non fui, no sum, non curo" epitaph. This inscription comes from the tombstone of a Greek Gladiator named Antiochas (c. 2nd-century BCE)





    Ἀ̣τιοχᾶ[ς] [ὁ πρὶν] Ἐφέσις.

    [Ο]ὐκ ἤμην [καὶ] γενάμην·

    οὐκ ἰμὶ καὶ [ο]ὐ μέλι μοι·

    χ̣[α]ίρετε παρoδῖται.

    Antiochas formerly named Ephesios.

    I was not alive and was born.

    I am no longer alive and do not mind.

    Hello, passers-by!