The text of a Laconian inscription recorded by Fourmont is re-examined and found to be part of an early lex sacra relating to the cult of a goddess, probably Demeter. Restoration of the text is attempted and, despite many uncertainties, the general structure and meaning are established. The first sentence deals with the weaving or dedication of certain garments by the votaries; the second excludes unmarried women from participation in the rites.
Tr.: If I were to tell of suffering and bad billets, of scanty provisions ill set-out—but what was there we did not complain of when we did not get the day's ration? But, as for the dry ground, there was an even greater abomination in that; for our beds were close to the enemy's walls—for from heaven and earth they drenched us with the moisture of meadows, a constant affliction, making the wool of our cloaks foul.
Mr.Mitford has kindly provided me with a photograph and impression of a Cyprian text of uncertain provenance, which he assigns to the fifth or fourth century B.C. An account of the text has been published by Mr. Mitford in Minos, VI. i , 37–47. I print below my interpretation, which differs in some respects from his. The characters on the stone are for the most part clearly legible, and even where there is damage to the surface of the stone restoration (...) is practically certain. (shrink)
Tr.: ‘Zeus, whoe'er he be, if so to be called is pleasing to him, thus do I name him—I have naught, when I weigh all things in the balance, to count their equal, save Zeus if it behoves me to strike truly this vain burden born of anxiet ‘He that at the outset was great, flourishing with all-conquering boldness, will not stay to accomplish anything; he, as soon as he was born, met his conqueror and is gone. But a man (...) who willingly hails Zeua as victor will achieve wisdom in full measure—. (shrink)