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Greek dedicatory inscription discovered in Sicilian town


A dedicatory inscription by a gymnasium instructor has been found hidden in a house wall in the town of Centuripe (Greek Kentoripa) in the province of Enna, Sicily.

Greek dedicatory inscription discovered in Sicilian town
Archeosicilia photo
A fragment of a local limestone slab with an inscription in Greek dating back to the second century BC reveals a piece of daily life in the Greek town.

Alessandro Barbagallo, who found the artefact in the wall of a house where it had been reused as building material, immediately contacted the President of the SiciliAntica Headquarters of Centuripe, Giordana La Spina.

To ascertain the archaeological significance of the discovery, Prof. Antonietta Brugnone, holder of the chair of Greek Epigraphy at the University of Palermo, and one of the leading experts at a national level, determined that: "The inscription has at least five lines of writing and is the dedication of a gymnasiarch (or more gymnasiarchs) to the guardian deities of the gymnasium, Hermes and Heracles.

About seventy years ago, a few tens of metres from today's discovery, a fragment of marble was found with a similar inscription, suggesting the existence of a place of worship still to be discovered.

The gymnasiarch was the head of the gymnasium, an institution that constituted the centre of the Greek educational system.

In the gymnasium, young people, divided by age groups, practiced various sport (running, throwing the discus and javelin, boxing) and military disciplines, participated in social activities, competitions, religious ceremonies, attended lectures from teachers of literary subjects and music.

The gymnasiarch was a leading figure in the community who, in the exercise of his mandate, had to manage the staff of the buildings, coordinate the work of the masters of the various disciplines or, in smaller centres, replace them.

Source: Archeosicilia [September 22, 2017]
TANN

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