• r2-150-10
    Stele of Menandros Apoloniou with gorgoneion in pediment and inscription, overview. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Stele of Menandros Apol(l)oniou with Gorgoneion in Pediment and Inscription

3rd C. AD?, Roman
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 4426
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Funerary Relief
Inscription Text
Μένανδρος Α-
πολωνίου ζ[ων]
μνήμειαν καὶ α-
ὑτῷ καὶ Κλ[···
]ν̣η τῆ σuμβίῳ κ-
αὶ τέκνοις καὶ
ἐκγόνοις καὶ γ-
νησίνῳ ἀπελευ-
θέρῳ καὶ Σ[··] τη/
θυγάτρι αὐτοῦ.

Text according to G. Petzl and H. Malay:

		Ἀπολλωνίου ζῶν
	4	τὸ μνημεῖ[ο]ν ἑ-
		[α]υτῷ καὶ Καρ[πί]-
		[μῃ] τῇ συμβίῳ
		[κ]αὶ τέκν[ο]ις καὶ
	8	ἐκγόνοις καὶ [Ὀ]-
		νησίμῳ ἀπελευ-
		θέρῳ καὶ Ζόῃ τῇ
		θυγατρὶ αὐ[το]ῦ.
Inscription Translation

Hanfmann and Ramage:

In his lifetime, Menandros son of Apol(l)onios set up a memorial to himself and the Kl . . . ne his wife, and his children and descendants and lawful freedman and S . . . te his daughter.


“Menandros, son of Apollonios, has built the tomb during his lifetime for himself and for Karpime, his wife, and for the children and descendants and for the freedman Onesimos and for the latter’s daughter Zoe.”
Inscription Comment
B-Grid Coordinates
ca. W0 / S270
S of HoB area, W0/S270, ca. 20 S of CW section 30, at a place with at least two Roman-built chamber tombs.

The stele tapers markedly upward. It had a simple profile projecting over the l. and r. sides. A steep pediment (int. H. 0.20; int. W. 0.31) has a crude gorgon’s head. The bottom of the pediment is constituted by six horizontal flower calyxes, and indistinct plants, possibly vines, go up the sides of the pediment. In the corners of the pediment are heart-shaped objects (two palmette leaves?). The flat-faced, long-jawed gorgoneion has most of the surface of her face split off. On top, the hair is parted in the middle and surmounted by an oval ornament (?). She has a glowering, contracted brow and rather large, popping eyes. Two individual locks (snakes) swing from the temple and cheek on each side. A third pair is tied under the jaw.

Below the pediment there is an inscription of eleven lines which was carved over an area where an earlier inscription had been erased.

The sides of the stele are worked with a large claw chisel; the back is very roughly trimmed with a trimming hammer. Rustic work, 3rd C. A.D.? The gorgoneion seems to be contemporary with the second inscription.

H. 1.01; W. at base 0.435; Th. 0.12-0.14; H. of letters ca. 0.02-0.025.

Cf. a stele from Aquincum, now in the Musée de Budapest, with a crude gorgon in the pediment, Cumont, Recherches, pl. X. He suggests (p. 155 n. 4) that perhaps Medusa on some stelai represents the face of the moon, the end of the voyage of the souls, carried there by the winds.

See Also
See also: M14, No. 668.
Published: BASOR206, 32.