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Panyassis of Halicarnassus

Panyassis (Πανύασσις, also written Πανύασις, Panyasis; circa 505-500 - circa 455-450 BC) was a Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus, Caria (today Bodrum, Turkey). Only fragments of his poetry have survived, and what little is known of his life and works has been gleaned from mentions by later ancient authors and a few inscriptions.

The main source of information about Panyassis is the Suda (Σοῦδα), a Byzantine encyclopedia written in Greek in the 10th - 11th centuries AD (probably around 970 AD). Although the information in the Suda is largely culled from the works of ancient authors, many now lost, its reliability is often considered questionable.

"Panyasis, son of Polyarchus; of Halicarnassus, a soothsayer and epic poet; [it was he] who gave new life to epic poetry, which had dried up. Duris [Duris of Samos] wrote that he was the son of Diocles and from Samos, but [became] a Thurian in the same way as Herodotus.

It is recorded that Panyasis was a cousin of Herodotus the historian; for Panyasis was the son of Polyarchus, while Herodotus was the son of Lyxes, Polyarchus' brother. But some have recorded that it was not Lyxes [sc. who connects the two of them], but that [it was] Rhoea, the mother of Herodotus, a sister of Panyasis. Panyasis was alive in the 78th Olympiad [468-465 BC], but according to some [he was] much older; for he was alive at the time of the Persian Wars. He was killed by Lygdamis, third tyrant of Halicarnassus.

Among poets he is ranked behind Homer, and according to some, also behind Hesiod and Antimachus. He wrote a Heracleias in 14 books, consisting of 9,000 verses, and an Ionica in pentameter, which is about Codrus and Neleus and the Ionian colonies, and consists of 7,000 verses."

Suda, Πανύασις, pi, 248. In Greek with an English translation at Suda On Line.

Panyassis was perhaps a cousin or uncle of the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus, but is not mentioned in the Histories. His name is thought to be Carian rather than Greek, which has led scholars to believe that he was of mixed Carian and Greek ancestory, and probably from an aristocratic family.

He was executed by The tyrant Lygdamis II of Halicarnassus (Λύγδαμις Β') [1], perhaps following an unsuccessful uprising. Herodotus fled or was exiled to the island of Samos, returning later to take part in the overthrow of Lygdamis. However, finding himself unpopular there, due to "spite" or "envy", he joined the Athenians who founded the pan-Hellenic colony of Thurii (Θούριοι) in southern Italy around 444-443 BC. According to the translation above, the Greek historian Duris of Samos [2] wrote that Panyassis also emigrated to Thurii [3].

He was the author of two epic poems: Herakleia (Ἡράκλεια), relating the mythical adventures of the hero and half-god Herakles, written in 9,000 hexameters divided into 14 books [4]; and Ionika (Ἰωνικά), concerning the histories of the Ionian cities of Anatolia (Asia Minor) from the time of the legendary or mythical colonization by Neleus, the son of the Athenian king Kodros [5], said have consisted of 7,000 verses written in pentameter. Although Herodotus wrote that the Greeks in Caria were Dorians and Halicarnassus was a colony of Troezen in the Peloponnese, both he and Panyassis wrote in the Ionic Greek dialect. [6]

Pausanias also referred to Panyassis as son of Polyarchos ("Πανύασσις δὲ ὁ Πολυάρχου"), mentioned that he composed an epic poem on Herakles ("Ἡρακλέα"), and that he also wrote about the adventures of Theseus and Peirithous. [7]

The Suda mentions Panyassis as a teacher of the poet Antimachos of Colophon (Ἀντίμαχος ὁ Κολοφώνιος, although perhaps from Claros), author of a version of the epic Thebais (see the note in Homer part 1) and an elegiac poem about his mistress Lyde.

"Antimachos of Colophon, son of Hyparchus; grammarian and poet. Some have listed him as a servant of the poet Panyas[s]is, but altogether mistakenly: he was his pupil, and also [a pupil] of Stesimbrotus. He lived before Plato."

Suda, Ἀντίμαχος, alpha, 2681. At Suda On Line.

The Roman rhetorician Quintilian (circa 35-100 AD), after discussing the reputations of the poets Hesiod and Antimachos, compared critics' estimation of Panyassis' works with those of the other two.

"Panyasis is regarded as combining the qualities of the last two poets [Hesiod and Antimachus], being their inferior in point of style, but surpassing Hesiod in the choice of his subject and Antimachus in its arrangement." [8]

Marble herm bust of Panyassis of Halicarnassus at My Favourite Planet

Marble herm bust of Panyassis.

Augustan period (27 BC - 14 AD) copy
of a mid 2nd century BC Greek original.
Found on 10 February 1757 in the
rectangular peristyle of the Villa of the
Papyri, Herculaneum. Height 49 cm.

National Archaeological Museum,
Naples. Inv. No. 6152.
From the Farnese Collection.

See "Portraits" of Panyassis below.
Panyassis "Portraits" of Panyassis  

As with several "portraits" of other famous ancient Greeks (see for example Herodotus and Homer), the extant sculptures depicting of Panyassis are thought to be works of imagination, made long after his death. In many cases the modern identifications of the persons depicted are also questionable.

The herm bust from the Villa of the Papyri, Herculaneum (photos, right and above right), described as "frowning man with short beard" is said to have been identified from a faint Greek inscription on the back of the herm in irregular letters, perhaps a graffito by a bored student: "Πανύασσις ò ποιητής λυπερότατός 'εστι" (Panyassis the poet is dull). The skeptic philosopher Karneades (Καρνεάδης, circa 213-129 BC), the Stoic Zeno Citiacus (Ζήνων ὁ Κιτιεύς, circa 334-262 BC), and the Athenian orator Aeschines (Αἰσχίνης, 389-314 BC) have also been suggested. It has also been pointed out that the head is similar to those of the "Pseudo-Seneca" portraits, which may represent Seneca the Younger, Hesiod or Aristophanes. One of the finest examples of around a dozen known copies of the "Pseudo-Seneca" was discovered at the Villa of the Papyri in 1754.

Another marble herm bust thought to depict Panyassis (or Zeno Citiacus) was found at the Villa dei Quintili, Via Appia, Rome, and is now in the Torlonia Museum of the Villa Albani-Torlonia, Rome (photo, below right). A Roman period copy, made of Greek marble, of a Greek original of around 200 BC. Height 47 cm. Inv. No. 65 (not on display).


A marble head also believed to depict Panyassis is now in the North Gallery of Petworth House, Sussex, England. Thought to be a Flavian period (69-96 AD) copy of a Hellenistic Greek original of the early 2nd century BC. Height 28.8 cm. The head was attached by 18th century restorers to a non-related headless statue of a seated male figure, once thought to depict Demosthenes, which was formerly in the Palazzo Barberini, Rome.

"Male portrait statue in sitting posture ... The head, like the statue, is of Pentelic marble, and they accord very well together; nevertheless it had originally nothing to do with the body, as is conclusively shown by the inventory of the Barberini Collection compiled in 1738 (Docum. ined. per servire alla storia dei Musei d'Italia, IV. p. 57), for we find the statue among the 'rottami di statue', where it is described as 'una statua a sedere, più grande del naturale, con una spalla ed un braccio nudo, senza testa e braccio manco, alta pal. 5 on. 8.' The body is of good and very simple composition and execution, and is undoubtedly Attic."

Adolf Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain (English edition, translated by Charles Augustus Maude Fennell), Petworth House statue gallery, No. 19, pages 607-608. Cambridge University Press, 1882. At the Internet Archive.

See also:

Documenti inediti per servire alla storia dei musei d'Italia, Volume Quarto, page 57. Ministero della pubblica istruzione. Tipografia Bencini, Firenze, Roma, 1880. At the Internet Archive.

The head:

The statue:

Petworth House and its art collection are now owned by the National Trust, which describes the statue as:

"Seated Figure of a Philosopher
400 BC - 300 BC Pentelic marble,
NT 486325"

The herm bust of Panyassis from Herculaneum at My Favourite Planet

The herm bust of Panyassis from
Herculaneum, now in the Naples Museum.

Herm bust of Panyassis, Torlonia Museum, Rome at My Favourite Planet

Marble herm bust of Panyassis
in the Torlonia Museum, Rome.

See: Carlo Lodovico Visconti,
I monumenti del Museo Torlonia,
riprodotti con la fototipia, descritti da
Carlo Lodovico Visconti
, Volume II,
, Tavolo XVII. Tipografia Tiberina
di F. Setth, Rome, 1885. At the Arachne
website, University of Köln Archaeological Institute.

There is a short description of the bust
as "Personaggio greco incognito. Erma"
in Volume I, No. 65, pages 41-42.
Panyassis Ancient inscriptions associated
with Panyassis
A decree from Halicarnassus

Part of an inscribed marble stele which had been cut in two, discovered in Bodrum in 1858 by the British archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton [9], mentions "Lygdamis", "Apollonides, son of Lygdamis", and "Phormion, son of Panyassis".

Written in Ionic Greek, the fragments are thought to be part of a law passed during a conference between Lygdamis and the people of Halicarnassus and Salmakis to regulate the transfer of certain lands and houses, the ownership of which had been in dispute. The Lygdamis mentioned is thought to be tyrant Lygdamis II of Halicarnassus, Apollonides his son, and Phormion could possibly the son of Panyassis the poet.

It is also thought that Lygdamis was still in power at the time of the decree, or had perhaps returned to power following an uprising, under a compromise made with the people of Halicarnassus and Salmakis. The passing of the law has been tentatively dated to 445 BC, before Herodotus' supposed emigration to Thurii in 444-443 BC. However, other scholars have argued an earlier date, as the earliest Athenian Tribute List [10], for 454 BC, mentions Halicarnassians rather than Lygdamis, and therefore the successful uprising (or "revolution") to overthrow him, in which Herodotus is said to have taken part, may have occurred before this date.

The law may have restored property confiscated from opponents of Lygdamis after the previous uprising which led to the execution of Panyassis. In this case, the land belonging to Panyassis may have been returned to "Phormion, son of Panyassis". Both he and "Megabates, son of Aphyasis" are described as holding office at Salmakis (Σαλμακίς), the settlement or district to the southwest of Halicarnassus (today the promontory Kaplan Kalesi). It is notable that the law mentions "Halicarnassians and Salmakitans" as separate communities. It has been suggested that Salmakis was where the Carians lived, which may add support to the idea that Panyassis was from a Carian family.
  Squeezes of the inscribed marble slabs found in Bodrum at My Favourite Planet

Facsimiles of copies of the two fragments
of the inscription found in Bodrum by
Charles Thomas Newton. Height 122 cm.

The restored stele is now in the
British Museum. Inv. No. 1868,1025.1
(Inscription 886). Not on display.
Acquired in 1868.
The "Literaten-Epigramm", an inscription found in Rhodes,
honouring Andron, Herodotos and Panyassis

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Inscription IG XII 1, 145 (SEG 36, 975).

Part of a pilaster capital, which had been reused as a threshold for a house, was found around 1890 by the Russian philologist Sergey Andreevich Selivanov (1864-1908) [11], in the Jewish quarter of Rhodes [12]. The top of the badly worn stone is broken and the first of line of the inscription is missing. The remaining lines, written in Ionic Greek, show an epigram eulogizing Halicarnassus as a renowned centre of culture which produced Andron [13], Herodotos and Panyassis, thought to have been written in the late Hellenistic period, 2nd - 1st century BC.

It is thought that the slab originally came from Halicarnassus and, like a number of other ancient stones found at Rhodes, had probably been used as ballast in a ship before being discarded at or near the port. The inscription, known as the "Literaten-Epigramm", has only been studied intermittently by a few German scholars who all found it difficult to read the worn lettering, and even more difficult to agree on an exact translation or interpretion. Consequently a number of different versions have been published [14].

One reading of the inscription:

λ̣ά̣ϊ̣ν̣ο̣[ν Ἀ]σ̣συρίη [χῶμ]α Σεμι[ρά]μιος
ἀλλ̣’ Ἄ̣ν̣δ̣ρ̣ωνα̣ οὐκ ἔσχε Νίνου πόλις, οὐδὲ παρ’ Ἰνδοῖς
ῥ̣ι̣ζ̣οφυὴς Μουσέων πτόρθος ἐνετρέφετο
[κοὐ] μ̣ὴ̣ν̣ Ἡροδότου γλύκιον στόμα καὶ Πανύασσιν
ἡ̣[δυ]ε̣π̣ῆ̣ Βαβυλὼν ἔτρεφεν ὠγυγίη,
ἀ̣λλ’ Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ κραναὸν πέδον. ὧν διὰ μολπὰς
κ̣λ̣ει̣τὸν ἐν Ἑλλήνων ἄστεσι κῦδος ἔχει.

A prose translation:

"Assyria has the stone mound of Semiramis, but the city of Ninevah did not bring forth an Andron, nor did such offspring of the Muses shoot from the ground among the Indians. Primeval Babylon did not nourish a tongue sweeter than that of Herodotos, nor raise Panyassis with his sweet words, but the rugged earth of Halikarnassos did. Through their songs does she enjoy a renown among the cities of the Hellenes."

Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen [see note 14] suggested that the epigram is by the poet Antipatros of Sidon (Ἀντίπατρος ὁ Σιδώνιος) or a contemporary imitator. More recently Signe Isager commented: "Antipater is a man of a varied vocabulary and I cannot say that I found immediate resemblances to the Salmakis-epigram in the language of his known poems. Also he seems, as a rule, to write in Doric while the Halikarnassian poems [the inscriptions] are both written in Ionic/epic." Signe Isager, The pride of Halikarnassos, page 16 (see below).
The "Salmakis Inscription", an epigram from Bodrum,
honouring Herodotos, Panyassis and other writers

Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Inscription SEG 48-1330.

The large, well-preserved inscription of sixty lines of elegiac couplets in two columns was found in summer 1995 on the remains of an ancient limestone wall in situ at Kaplan Kalesi (Salmakis), southwest of the harbour of Bodrum (see the map of Bodrum on the Herodotus page), and is now in the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Like the inscription from Rhodes, the "Salmakis Inscription" (also referred to as "The Pride of Halikarnassos") has been dated to the 2nd - 1st century BC (perhaps around 150-100 BC), and is also an epigram in praise of Halicarnassus as the birthplace of famous literary figures.

Herodotus, the first author to be named, is called "the prose Homer of history", the second is Andron, and the third Panyassis, "the glorious master of epic". The list of artists born in Halicarnassus continues with the epic poet Cyprias, author of the Iliaka, Menestheus, Theaitetos, the comic poet Dionysios, the tragedian Zenodotos, the singer Phanostratos, the historian Nossos and the "prudent poet" Timocrates.

Height of the stone 51.2 cm, width 133.4 cm. Height of the inscribed area 43.8 cm, width 104 cm.

The inscription was first published by Signe Isager of the Danish Institute at Athens:

Signe Isager, The pride of Halikarnassos: Editio princeps of an inscription from Salmakis. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 123 (1998), pages 1–23. PDF document at the University of Cologne.

As the title suggests, the article represents the first analysis of the inscription which has since been discussed in further publications. It includes photos of the stone, as well as facsimiles, a transcription and translation (which Isager modestly describes as "an attempt") of the inscription and a clearly written commentary on the text.

Isager also compares the inscription to the "Literaten-Epigramm", and says: "It is obvious that the metaphoric language of this poem is close to the Salmakis-poem. The letter-forms too are very similar in the two inscriptions. In fact it is not impossible that they have a common author."

In the next year Hugh Lloyd-Jones published his translation (much grander and more eloquent) and commentary:

Hugh Lloyd-Jones, The pride of Halikarnassus. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 124 (1999), pages 1–14. PDF document at the University of Cologne.

The inscription was the subject of an international symposium held in 2000 at the Castle of Saint Peter in Bodrum. The proceedings were published in:

Signe Isager, Poul Pedersen, The Salmakis Inscription and Hellenistic Halikarnassos. University Press of Southern Denmark, 2004. Volume 4 of Halicarnassian studies. ISSN 1395-1475.

The website of the University of Southern Denmark has a section about Danish archaeological research at Bodrum. The article The Salmakis Fountain by Signe Isager includes photos of the inscription, a Danish translation and a bibliography.
Panyassis Notes, references and links

1. Lygdamis II of Halicarnassus

For further information about Lygdamis II of Halicarnassus, see the note on the Herodotus page.

2. Duris of Samos

Duris of Samos (Δοῦρις ὁ Σάμιος, circa 350 BC - after 281 BC), a Greek historian who was tyrant of Samos at some period before the island came under the control of Ptolemy.


Athenaeus, The Deipnosophists, Book 8 (excerpts), chapter 18. At

Suda, Λυγκεύς, lambda, 776. At Suda On Line.

3. Panyasssis of Samos went to Thurii?

The sentence from the Suda reads:

"Δοῦρις δὲ Διοκλέους τε παῖδα ἀνέγραψε καὶ Σάμιον, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ Ἡρόδοτος Θούριον."

All translations agree that the first clause states, "Duris recorded that Panyasis was the son of Diocles and from Samos, ...". However, the apparently simple second clause is unclear and has been translated in several ways, including:

"... but [became] Thurian, just like Herodotus too [became Thurian]."

"... and in the same way too he wrote that Herodotus was Thurian."

"... and in the same way too Herodotus wrote that Panaysis was from Thurii."

"... and in the same way too he wrote that Herodotus the Thurian was from Samos."

Each translation suggests a different scenario. The discussion concerning Duris' possible reasons for stating that Panyassis or Herodotus - or both - were Samians include suggestions that he/they may have had family connections with the island, or that it was an attempt to claim the cultural kudos for Samos as the homeland of the writer or writers, perhaps in a way similar to the claims by various cities to be birthplace of Homer. It has also been suggested that the text is corrupt. Unfortunately, we do not have Duris' original text and no other known text by an ancient author supports the claims that Panyassis was from Samos or connected with Thurii.

4. Fragments of Heraclea by Panyassis

See: Martin L. West (editor, translator), Greek Epic Fragments from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC (Loeb Classical Library L497), "Panyassis, Heraclea", pages 188-217. Harvard University Press, 2003. At the Internet Archive.

5. Ionian history

For further information about the Greek colonization of western Anatolia (Asia Minor),
see A brief history of Ephesus (Ionians) and History of Pergamon (Aeolians).

6. The Ionic dialect in Halicarnassus

For discussion of the use of Ionic Greek at Halicarnassus, see the note on the Herodotus page.

7. Pausanias on Panyassis

See: Pausanias, Description of Greece, Book 9, chapter 11, section 2 (Herakleia); Book 10, chapter 8, section 9 (Herakleia) and chapter 29, section 9 (Theseus and Peirithous). At Perseus Digital Library.

In 10, 8, 9 Pausanias used a quote from the Herakleia in which Panyassis wrote that the Castalian Spring (Κασταλία) at Delphi was a daughter of the river god Achelous (Ἀχελῴος):

"Ascending from the gymnasium along the way to the sanctuary [of Apollo] you reach, on the right of the way, the water of Castalia, which is sweet to drink and pleasant to bathe in. Some say that the spring was named after a native woman, others after a man called Castalius. But Panyassis, son of Polyarchus, who composed an epic poem on Heracles, says that Castalia was a daughter of Achelous. For about Heracles he says:

'Crossing with swift feet snowy Parnassus
He reached the immortal water of Castalia, daughter of Achelous.'"

Παρνησσὸν νιφόεντα θοοῖς διὰ ποσσὶ περήσας
ἵκετο Κασταλίης Ἀχελωΐδος ἄμβροτον ὕδωρ.

8. Quintilian on Panyassis

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (circa 35 - circa 100 AD) was a Roman rhetorician from Hispania. His only surviving work is Institutio Oratoria (Institutes of Oratory), a twelve-volume textbook on rhetoric, published around 95 AD, at the end of the reign of Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD).

Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria, Book 10, chapter 1, section 54. At Perseus Digital Library.

9. Newton's inscription from Bodrum

The fragment of a white marble slab, probably part of a stele, had been cut in two and used as jambs for a window of a house in the Greek quarter of Bodrum, at the eastern harbour of the town (see the map of Bodrum on the Herodotus page). It had earlier been placed face down and used as a threshold.

The first eight lines of the inscription are badly damaged and difficult to read. Several scholars admitted to being baffled by the obscure language in which it was written, and were unable interpret the exact meaning and significance of the law.


Sir Charles Thomas Newton (1816-1894) and Richard Popplewell Pullan (1825-1888), A History of Discoveries at Halicarnassus, Cnidus and Branchidae.

Volume I, Plates, Inscription No. 1, Plate LXXXV. Day and Son, London, 1862. At University of Heidelberg Digital Library.

Volume II, Part 2, Appendix No. III: Greek inscriptions, Halicarnassus, Inscription No. 1 (text to Plate LXXXV), pages 671-686. Day and Son, London, 1863. At the Internet Archive.

Edward Lee Hicks and George Francis Hill, A manual of Greek historical inscriptions, No. 27, Halikarnassos in the time of Herodotos; Lygdamis, B.C. 460-455, pages 39-42. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1901. At the Internet Archive.

The inscription had been first noticed by James Caulfeild, 1st Earl of Charlemont (1728-1799), who visited Bodrum November 1749 and was the first modern traveller to recognize it as the site of ancient Halicarnassus. At the time the slab was unbroken, and he copied the inscription "in very old and as yet unintelligible Greek" in his diary, but he never published it, and appears to have ignored letters from Edward Daniel Clarke requesting information about inscriptions he had seen in Halicarnassus. It was finally published by Gustav Hirschfeld in 1893:

C. T. Newton (editor), The collection of ancient Greek inscriptions in the British Museum,
Part IV, Section I, Gustav Hirschfeld, Knidos, Halikarnassos and Branchidae, No. DCCCLXXXVI (886), pages 49-54. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1893. At the Internet Archive.

Hirschfeld included a facsimile of the copies of the inscription made by Newton and Lord Charlemont, the restored text in Greek and an English translation:

"At a conference of the Halicarnassians and Salmakitans with Lygdamis, in the sacred Agora, on the fifth of the month Hermaion, during the prytany of Leon, son of Oassassios and Saryssollos son of Theikyilo... it was resolved (in regard to) the Mnemones * :

Neither land nor houses shall be surrendered (for sale) to the Mnemones of the time when Apollonides son of Lygdamis, and Panamyes, son of Kasbollis at Halikarnassos, and Megabates, son of Aphyasis, and Phormion, son of Panyassis at Salmakis, held office.

But if anyone wishes to go to law about land or houses he must prefer his claim within eighteen months from the date of this resolution; and in accordance with the law as hitherto, dikasts shall be sworn (to decide) on the facts as known to the Mnemones.

But if anyone prefers a claim after that term of eighteen months, the person in possession of the land or houses must take an oath, to be administered by the dikasts after having received (as a fee) half a hekte; the oath shall be taken in the presence of the claimant; and those shall be the legal possessors of land and houses, who held the land and houses at the time when Apollonides and Panamyas were Mnemones unless they have sold the property since.

If anyone wishes to anull the law, or proposes that it should be anulled, his property shall be confiscated and dedicated to Apollo, and he shall be banished forever; if he does not possess property to the value of ten staters, he is himself to be sold abroad and shall not be allowed to return to Halikarnassos.

The preferring of claims shall be open to every one of the Halikarnassians who does not transgress that which has been sworn to and has been written down accordingly in the temple of Apollo"

* Mnemones (μνήμονες) were local magistrates or municipal officers acting as registrars, recording titles, contracts and judicial decisions. The office is mentioned by Aristotle.

Aristotle, Politics, Book 6, section 1321b, line 34 onwards: in English, in Greek. At Perseus Digital Library.

Newton suggested that another inscription from Halicarnassus concerning the registration of lands and houses, found in the Castle of Saint Peter in Bodrum by the diplomat and archaeologist Alfred Biliotti (1833-1915), may have been related to the same law.

See: Charles Thomas Newton, Essays on art and archaeology, pages 106-107 and 433-451. Macmillan and Co., London, 1880. At the Internet Archive.

10. Athenian Tribute Lists

For further information about Athenian tribute lists or quota lists,
see History of Stageira and Olympiada part 5.

11. Sergey Andreevich Selivanov

Sergey Andreevich Selivanov (Сергей Андреевич Селиванов, 1864-1908), referred to in western publications as Sergius Selivanov, was a Russian philologist who studied at Moscow University and the Saint Petersburg Historical and Philological Institute. As a student he wrote a work about the history of Caria (1888) and another about Samos and Priene (1890). In 1890, after graduating he visited Greece, where he wrote a number of articles about inscriptions in Russian and Latin. On his return to Russia he published the book Essays (or Sketches) on the ancient topography of the island of Rhodes (Очерки древней топографии острова Родоса. Kazan University Press, 1892), and was a lecturer at Novorossiysk University. Unfortunately, information about Selivanov's life, career and works appears to be even more scarce than that for Panyassis.

See: Селиванов, Сергей Андреевич (in Russian) at Wikipedia.

12. The Jewish quarter of Rhodes

For further information about the "Juderia", the Jewish quarter of Rhodes, see:

The History of the Jewish Community of Rhodes at

13. Andron of Halicarnassus

Andron of Halicarnassus (Ἄνδρων), a 4th century BC Greek historian mentioned by Plutarch in conjunction with the 5th century historian Hellanikos of Mytilene (see Herodotus).

Plutarch, Theseus, chapter 25. At Perseus Digital Library.

14. Study of the Rhodes inscription

When Selivanov saw the stone he was only able to make out a few words of the inscription which he published in Essays on the ancient topography of ancient Rhodes, page 123, No. 2 [see note 11].

The relationship between Selivanov and other archaeologists and philologists working in Greece at the time is unclear, but just a few years later the German archaeologist Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen (1864-1947) found it difficult to discover the location of the inscription.

"Den von Selivanov gefundenen Stein habe ich mit vieler Mühe wieder entdeckt..."
("After considerable effort I have rediscovered the stone found by Selivanov...")

Inschriften aus Rhodos (see below)

In a later article von Gaertringen related that he was shown to the location, at the house of "Karkenly-oglu", by a local man ("ein braver Orientale") in early 1895, and sent it to Berlin in the same year (Ein Gedicht aus Halikarnassos, see below).

Working from a squeeze he had made, it took von Gaertringen a number of attempts to decipher and translate it, and give it the general form it now has. In 1940, during World War II, the classical philologist and epigraphist Werner Peek (1904-1994) found the inscription again in the epigraphical department of the Pergamon Museum (much of the collection had been moved to bomb-proof shelters) and made a new squeeze. Von Gaertringen, Peek and a few other scholars have since attempted to improve and emend the transcription and translation.

The German archaeologist Franz Winter (1861-1930) suggested that the stone may have supported a double herm of Herodotus and Panyassis, and that it may have stood in a gymnasium or library.


Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, Inscriptiones Graecae, Volume XII, Fasciculus I, Inscriptiones Rhodi, Chalces, Carpathi cum Saro, Casi, No. 145, page 49. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. Georg Reimer, Berlin, 1895. At the Internet Archive.

Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, Inschriften aus Rhodos, in: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archaeologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, Band XXI (1896), Anhang II, No. 145, pages 61-62. Barth und von Hirst, Athens, 1896. At the Internet Archive. An expanded and updated addition to the entry in Inscriptiones Graecae.

Karl Heinrich Johannes Geffcken (1861-1935), Griechische Epigramme, No. 203, page 83. Carl Winters Universitätsbuchhandlung, Heidelberg, 1916. At the Internet Archive.

Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, Ein Gedicht aus Halikarnassos, Hermes, Volume 76, Number 2, pages 220-222. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1941. At

Von Gaertringen's wartime article, with his revised reading of the inscription, is followed in the same publication by a short remark by Peek, who did not entirely agree with him.

Werner Peek, Zum Epigramm aus Halikarnass, Hermes, Volume 76, Number 2, pages 222-223. Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart 1941. At

Werner Peek, Zu griechischen Epigrammen, Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Band 31 (1978), pages 247-264 (this inscription: "Herodot und Panyassis", pages 256-258 and Tafel XIII). Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, 1978. At

Peek's article provides the only published photos of the inscription (Tafel XIII), taken by the author.

Joachim Ebert (1930-1999), Das Literaten-Epigramm aus Halikarnass. Philologus, Band 130, Heft 1-2 (Feb 1986), pages 37-43. De Gruyter, Berlin (Akademie-Verlag, Berlin until 2013).
Photos and articles © David John, except where otherwise specified.
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