Inscription with dedication of the People of Cyrene to their protector Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus
Plaster cast.
67 BCE. Copy.
SEG IX 56 = SEG XX 730.
Inv. No. MCR 176.Rome, Museum of Roman CivilizationPhoto by Olga Lyubimova

Inscription with dedication of the People of Cyrene to their protector Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus.

Plaster cast.
67 BCE. Copy.
SEG IX 56 = SEG XX 730.
Inv. No. MCR 176.

Rome, Museum of Roman Civilization
(Roma, Museo della civiltà romana).

London, British Museum.
Sanctuary of Apollo, Cyrene, Libya. Original: The British Museum, London (inv. no. 1861,1127.43).
1 and 2. Two rectangular marble bases, each inscribed on one face with identical texts. Found at Cyrene, one in 1860, within the Temple of Apollo (now in the British Museum), the other in 1927, in front of the same Temple (left in situ).

1. E. Smith and R. M. Porcher, A History of the Discoveries at Cyrene (London, 1861) 109; R. Lanciani, Bullettino dell’ Istituto 1874, 110; W. Rossberg, Quaestiones de rebus Cyrenarum (Frankenberg, 1876) 23; SGDI 4853; IGRR I, 1040; F. H. Marshall, Catalogue of Greek and Roman Inscriptions in the British Museum IV (1916), 1054; Dittenberger, Syll.3 750; see also Mommsen, St. R.3 II, 656, n. 2.

2. (pl. XIII, 1.) G. Oliverio, Africa Italiana II (1928), 141; L’Annee épigraphique 1929, 11; Archäologischer Anzeiger 1929, col. 412; Bulletin épigraphique 1930, P. 216; SEG IX, 56.

Letters, first century B.C.: 0,025.

Photographs: British Museum (I) and Cyrene Photographic Archive, E.948 (2).

Γναῖον Κορνήλιον Λέντολον
Ποπλίω υἱὸν Μαρκελλῖνον πρεσ-
βευτὰν ἀντιστράταγον τὸν
πάτρωνα καὶ σωτῆρα Κυραναῖοι.

See P-W IV, col. 1389, no. 228, for the identity of Marcellinus; some modern writers, notably Rossberg and Oliverio, l.c., have thought that he should be identified with the quaestor Lentulus Marcellinus (P-W IV, col. 1390, no. 231), who is said by Sallust to have been sent to Cyrene in 75 B.C. (Histories II, fr. 43). There is, however, no doubt that the MS of Sallust gives the quaestor’s praenomen as P. (so I am assured by Professor Bloch in a letter).

The title legatus pro praetore refers to the position of Marcellinus as Pompey’s legate in charge of operations against the pirates off the Libyan coast in 67 B.C. (see Florus I, 41, 9, and Appian, Mithr. 95) and to the powers conferred on such legates under the Lex Gabinia. The only earlier instance of the title appears to be ILS 37, probably of 73 B.C., where Mommsen, l.c. above, suggested that the holder was in fact an acting governor whose position was, therefore, not quite analogous.

J. Reynolds

Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, son of Publius, legatus pro praetore, patron and saviour (was honoured by) the Cyreneans.

No. C162. A second statue base with an identical inscription is known (SGDI 4853 = IGR. I. 1040 = IGBM. IV. 1054 =Syll3. 750). Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus (cos. 56 bc, RE 228) was a legate of Pompey in 67 bc in the war against the pirates, and this is probably when he became their patron. He seems to have been involved in important decisions concerning the province’s disposition (Reynolds, op. cit.).

C. Eilers
© 2009.Photo: O. Liubimova.
© 1962. Text of the description: Reynolds J. Cyrenaica, Pompey and Cn. Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus // JRS. Vol. 52. P. 97, No. 1.
© 2002. Text of the description: Eilers C. Roman Patrons of Greek Cities. Oxford, 2002. P. 267, No. C162.
Keywords: epigraphia epigraphy inscription iscrizione epigrafia epigraphik epigrafik inschrift épigraphie roman romano romana romani römisch römische romaine honorary onoraria ehreninschrift honorifique plaster cast calco in gesso gips abguss abguß gypse plâtre γύψο gnaeus cornelius lentulus marcellinus g368 son of publius legate propraetor patron benefactor people cyrene base statue honorific seg ix 56 xx 730 inv no mcr 176 copy 1861 1127 43