Idalion Tablet

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Line drawing of inscription.

The Idalion Tablet is a 5th-century BCE bronze tablet from Idalium (Greek: Ιδάλιον), Cyprus. The tablet is inscribed on both sides, the script of the tablet is in the Cypriot syllabary and the inscription itself is in Greek. The tablet records a contract between "the king and the city" and mentions a reward given to a family of physicians for providing free health services to casualties during the siege of Idalion by the Persians.[1]

Approximately two lines of the text state as follows:

"...they ordered Onasilon the (son) of Onasikupon the physician and the brothers to heal the men those in the battle wounded without fee."[2]

Cypriot syllabary and Greek[edit]

Idalion Tablet made from bronze, 5th century BC.

The quote from the text covers the end of the 2nd line (one and a half Greek words, side 1), and continues through the 3rd (40 total characters), and into the 4th line. The text is read from right to left. The following is the English translation, and below is the Greek translation, associated with the Cypriot characters; (line 3 starts with Cypriot character ro (looking like 'loop of rope, open end down', loop, top half of character), line 4 starts with Cypriot ma, a distinctive Cypriot syllabic character, (an X, with a small upside-down-karat, topping, and between the X):

"...they ordered Onasilon the (son) of Onasikupron the physician and the brothers to heal the men those in the battle wounded without fee."[2]
"...anógon-(a-no-ko-ne) Onasilon-(o-na-si-lo-ne) ton Onasikuprón-(to-no-na-si-ku-po-(Line 3)ro-ne) ton iatéran-(to-ni-ja-te-ra-ne) kas-(ka-se) tos-(to-se) kasignétos-(ka-si-ke-ne-to-se) iasthai-(i-ja-sa-ta-i) tos-(to-se) (=men)a(n)thrópos-(a-to-ro-po-se) tos-(to-se) i(n) tái-(i-ta-i) makhái-(ma-ka-i) ikmamenos-(i-ki-(Line 4)ma-me-no-se) aneu-(a-ne-u) misthón-(mi-si-to-ne)..."[2]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Chadwick 1987, p. 55: "In the fifth century, however, we have an important document from the city of Idalion. It is a large bronze tablet (fig. 35) engraved on both sides with a long inscription. It records a contract entered into by 'the king and the city' and gives a reward to a family of physicians who had operated a free health service for the casualties, when the city was besieged by the Persians."
  2. ^ a b c Chadwick 1987, p. 56.