maandag 10 november 2014

Phoenicians in Memphis


MEMPHIS – Mennoefer - mnp


The old town is situated close to nowadays Caïro. There are 6 Phoenician inscriptions in which there are 18 persons named. I follow the survey of Magnanini as an entry.


CIS I 97 Neo-Punic on a sphinx KAI 138

‘zrb‘l bn mskn

‘rkrḥ wzybq[t]


Mskn = Misken (poor fellow) (Benz p.142, Krahmalkov p.298)


‘zrb’l = ‘Azrubaal (Baal is his help). Exceedingly common. (p.Benz 167-170, 376 and Krahmalkov p. 364). Other historical persons are named Hasdrubal.

Another solution can be: ‘Azorbaal (Baal help!). Historical person: Ozerbaal (DCPP 338).


’rkrḥ = ’erk-ruh (patience) (Benz p.63, Krahmalkov p.73) Pu.


Zybq[t] = Ziboq (Benz p.188-189, Krahmalkov p.171) Pu. Ph


So we encounter four names, of which we only know the relation of the father Misken and the son Azrubaal. It is not clear in what relation they stand with Erk-ruh and Ziboq.

We see by the way the name Zybqt (Zyboqot) also in an inscription (RES 360, KAI 70) from Avignon from the 3rd century BC as a priestess, daughter of Abdešmun, son of ---- etc (Amadasi p.183) and in an inscription (CIS I 132, KAI 62) from the 2nd century BC at Malta by the people of Gaulus (gwl) at the sanctuaries of Sadambaal and Astarte as Zybqm (Zyboqom). See: Amadasi p.33.




KAI 38 Eph.1.152-158

2nd -1st  century BC Memory stone with Horus and a crocodile.

There are 10 persons named in this inscription, which falls apart in two segments. First there is the pedigree of the one, who makes the dedication, and then follows the pedigree of the central person: the mother with her four sons?!


------                unknown person


‘bdmilk{t}      ‘Abd-Milkot (servant of Milkot) Historical person: Abdimilkutti/Abdimilkot

   |                                           (Benz p.155, Krahmalkov p.356) ph.pu. (DCPP 3).

   |                    ‘Abd-milk (servant of Milk) Historical person: Abdimilk (DCPP 2-3)

   |                                           (Benz p.155, Krahmalkov p.356) ph,pu.

Bnb‘l               Bin-Ba‘al (son of Baal) (Benz p.89, Krahmalkov p.106) ph.


‘bdmlkt           See: above


Bnb‘l               See: above


‘bdmlkt           See: above [x ḥn‘štrt]? See below


P‘l‘štrt             Pa‘ol-‘Astart (Astart act) (Benz p.176. Krahmalkov p.403) ph.


Persons are named to their ancestors, but that skips over one generation.


[‘bdmlkt]?                  X         ḥn‘štrt = ḥanna-‘Aštart (Astart be gracious to her!)



|                                   |                                   |                                   |

‘bd’sr                          bnb‘l                           ‘bdšmš                                    p‘l‘štrt

‘Abd-’siri                    see: above                   ‘Abd-šemeš                see: above

(Servant of Osiris)                                         (Servant of Semes)

(Benz p.149,                                                  (Benz p.164,

Krahmalkov p.354)                                        Krahmalkov p.358)


It is probable, that the husband of Hanna-Astarte is the third Abdmilkot, but not completely certain. He is named separately!


Magnanini p.64.


Complete text of KAI 38:


Hmṭn’ [z] yṭn[’t] ’nk p‘l‘štrt bn ‘bdmlkt bn bnb‘l bn ‘bdmlkt bn bnb‘l


bn ‘bdmlkt [t—‘l ’?] dt šmr n’lky lrbty l’lm ’drt ’s ’lm ‘štrt wl’lnm ’š


’l[. yb] rk ’y[tyw’tb]ny ‘bd’sr w bnb‘l w ‘bdšmš wp‘l‘štrt w‘t ’mnm ḥn‘štrt


[wy]tn ln ḥm wḥym l‘n ’lnm wbn ’dm


This giving was done by Paolastart, son of Abdmilkot, son of Binbaal, son of Abdmilkot, son of Binbaal, son of Abdmilko[t ----] ---- to my lady, to the powerful Isis, to Astart and to her gods, who govern in health(?) and bless her and her sons Abdosiris and Binbaal and Abdsemes and Paolastart and with their mother Hanna-astart. Every morning(?) we are thankful for the life with their gods and their human sons.

Magnanini p.64.




RES 2 = 59 = 917. Eph.III 118

Tablet close to the pyramid of Unes.


’bnn     = vocalisation and meaning uncertain (Benz p.54, Krahmalkov p.29) ph


ḥn        = ḥen (hb) (divine grace, favour, generosity, benefaction) (Kramalkov p.189)

            = or: misspelling for ḥn’= ḥanno (May He be gracious to him!)

                        (Benz 117-122) pu (Krahmalkov p.189) (DCPP 207-210 historic persons)


Complete text and translation:

Lhn bn ’bnn = of Hanno, daughter of ’bnn.


In the original text of signs we read a ḥ in the beginning, but in the translation of Magnanini it becomes a h by mistake.

M.Lidzbarski read hnbt as one word. The name hnbt however we can’t find in any Phoenician dictionary. It must be separate and it is far more logical.

Magnanini p.64.




Magnanini p.65. On an urn. Names are lacking. Only two words are visible.

‘lt        = has many meanings: on, upon, over, in charge of, to, into, from, for (the benefit of)

                         Incumbent upon. (Krahmalkov p.).

Ṣmḥ     = Ṣemaḥ (hb) = shoot, offspring, son, legal successor (Krahmalkov p.417)


The inscription is made bilingual: demotic and Phoenician.



Mnp (ph)

Mn-nfr (eg), mnpy (aram), (hb).



DCPP = E.Lipinski ed. Dictionnaire de la civilisation phénicienne et punique, Brepols, Turnhout, 1992.