Sophie de Renneville, Cynisca, voor 1823

Σπάρτας μὲν [βασιλῆες ἐμοὶ] πατέρες καὶ ἀδελφοί,
ἅ[ρματι δ’ ὠκυπόδων ἵππων] νικῶσα Κυνίσκα
εἰκόνα τάνδ’ ἔστασε. μόν[αν] δ’ ἐμέ φαμι γυναικῶν
Ἑλλάδος ἐκ πάσας τό[ν-]δε λαβν στέφανον.
Ἀπελλέας Καλλικλέος ἐπόησε.
(IG V.1.1564a)

[Kings] of Sparta were [my] fathers and brothers.
Having been victorious with a c[hariot of swift-footed horses,] I,
Cynisca, set up this statue. I declare that alone amongst the women
of all Greece, I took this crown.
Apelles the son of Callicles made this.
(tr. Sarah Brown Ferrario)

Ἀρχιδάμου δὲ ὡς ἐτελεύτα, καταλιπόντος παῖδας, Ἆγίς τε πρεσβύτερος ἦν ἡλικίᾳ, καὶ παρέλαβεν ἀντὶ Ἀγησιλάου τὴν ἀρχήν. ἐγένετο δὲ Ἀρχιδάμῳ καὶ θυγάτηρ, ὄνομα μὲν Κυνίσκα, φιλοτιμότατα δὲ ἐς τὸν ἀγῶνα ἔσχε τὸν Ὀλυμπικὸν, καὶ πρώτη τε ἱπποτρόφησε γυναικῶν, καὶ νίκην ἀνείλετο Ὀλυμπικὴν πρώτη. Κυνίσκας δὲ ὕστερον γυναιξὶ καὶ ἄλλαις, καὶ μάλιστα ταῖς ἐκ Μακεδονίας, γεγόνασιν Ὀλυμπικαὶ νῖκαι, ὧν ἡ ἐπιφανεστέρα ἐς τὰς νίκας ἐστὶν αὐτῆς. δοκοῦσι δὲ οἱ Σπαρτιᾶταί μοι ποίησιν καὶ ἔπαινον τὸν ἀπ’ αὐτῆς ἥκιστα ἀνθρώπων θαυμάσαι. ὅτι γὰρ μὴ τῇ Κυνίσκᾳ τὸ ἐπίγραμμα ἐποίησεν ὅστις δή, καὶ ἔτι πρότερον Παυσανίᾳ τὸ ἐπὶ τῷ τρίποδι Σιμωνίδης τῷ ἀνατεθέντι ἐς Δελφούς, ἄλλο δή γε παρὰ ἀνδρὸς ποιητοῦ Λακεδαιμονίων τοῖς βασιλεῦσιν οὐδέν ἐστιν ἐς μνήμην.
(Pausanias 3.8.1-2)

Archidamus left sons when he died, of whom Agis was the elder and inherited the throne instead of Agesilaus. Archidamus had also a daughter, whose name was Cynisca; she was exceedingly ambitious to succeed at the Olympic games, and was the first woman to breed horses and the first to win an Olympic victory. After Cynisca other women, especially women of Lacedaemon, have won Olympic victories, but none of them was more distinguished for their victories than she. The Spartans seem to me to be of all men the least moved by poetry and the praise of poets. For with the exception of the epigram upon Cynisca, of uncertain authorship, and the still earlier one upon Pausanias that Simonides wrote on the tripod dedicated at Delphi, there is no poetic composition to commemorate the doings of the royal houses of the Lacedaemonians. (tr. Henry Arderne Ormerod)



Δημήτριος Ἀρτεμιδώρου ὁ καὶ Θρασέας Μάγνης ἀπὸ Μαιάνδρου Ἴσιδι εὐχήν·
τάδε ἐγράφηι ἐκ τῆς στήλης τῆς ἐν Μέμφει, ἥτις ἕστηκεν πρὸς τῷ Ἡφαιστιήωι·
Εἶσις ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ τύραννος πάσης χώρας·
καὶ ἐπαιδεύθην ὑπὸ Ἑρμοῦ καὶ
γράμματα εὗρον μετὰ Ἑρμοῦ, τά τε ἱερὰ καὶ τὰ δημόσια γράμματα, ἵνα μὴ ἐν τοῖς αὐτοῖς πάντα γράφηται.
ἐγὼ νόμους ἀνθρώποις ἐθέμην, καὶ ἐνομοθέτησα ἃ οὐθεὶς δύναται μεταθεῖναι.
ἐγώ εἰμι Κρόνου θυγάτηρ πρεσβυτάτηι.
ἐγώ εἰμι γυνὴ καὶ ἀδελφὴ Ὀσείριδος βασιλέως.
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ καρπὸν ἀνθρώποις εὑροῦσα.
ἐγώ εἰμι μήτηρ Ὥρου βασιλέως.
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἐν τῷ τοῦ Κυνὸς ἄστρῳ ἐπιτέλλουσα.
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ παρὰ γυναιξὶ θεὸς καλουμένη.
ἐμοὶ Βούβαστος πόλις ᾠκοδομήθη.
ἐγὼ ἐχώρισα γῆν ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ.
ἐγὼ ἄστρων ὁδοὺς ἔδειξα.
ἐγὼ ἡλίου καὶ σελήνης πορέαν συνεταξάμην.
ἐγὼ θαλάσσια ἔργα εὗρον.
ἐγὼ τὸ δίκαιον ἰσχυρὸν ἐποίησα.
ἐγὼ γυναῖκα καὶ ἄνδρα συνήγαγον.
ἐγὼ γυναικὶ δεκαμηνιαῖον βρέφος εἰς φῶς ἐξενεγκεῖν ἔταξα.
ἐγὼ ὑπὸ τέκνου γονεῖς ἐνομοθέτησα φιλοστοργῖσθαι.
ἐγὼ τοῖς ἀστόργως γονεῦσιν διακειμένοις τειμωρίαν ἐπέθηκα.
ἐγὼ μετὰ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ Ὀσίριδος τὰς ἀνθρωποφαγίας ἔπαυσα.
ἐγὼ μυήσεις ἀνθρώποις ἐπέδειξα.
ἐγὼ ἀγάλματα θεῶν τειμᾶν ἐδίδαξα.
ἐγὼ τεμένη θεῶν ἱδρυσάμην.
ἐγὼ τυράννων ἀρχὰς κατέλυσα.
ἐγὼ φόνους ἔπαυσα.
ἐγὼ στέργεσθαι γυναῖκας ὑπὸ ἀνδρῶν ἠνάγκασα.
ἐγὼ τὸ δίκαιον ἰσχυρότερον χρυσίου καὶ ἀργυρίου ἐποίησα.
ἐγὼ τὸ ἀληθὲς καλὸν ἐνομοθέτησα νομίζεσθαι.
ἐγὼ συνγραφὰς γαμικὰς εὗρον.
ἐγὼ διαλέκτους Ἕλλησι καὶ βαρβάροις ἔταξα.
ἐγὼ τὸ καλὸν καὶ αἰσχρὸν διαγεινώσκεσθαι ὑπὸ τῆς Φύσεως ἐποίησα.
ἐγὼ ὅρκου φοβερώτερον οὐθὲν ἐποίησα.
ἐγὼ τὸν ἀδίκως ἐπιβουλεύοντα ἄλλοις ὑποχείριον τῷ ἐπιβουλευομένῳ παρέδωκα.
ἐγὼ τοῖς ἄδικα πράσσουσιν τειμωρίαν ἐπιτίθημι.
ἐγὼ ἱκέτας ἐλεᾶν ἐνομοθέτησα.
ἐγὼ τοὺς δικαίως ἀμυνομένους τειμῶ.
πὰρ’ ἐμοὶ τὸ δίκαιον ἰσχύει.
ἐγὼ ποταμῶν καὶ ἀνέμων καὶ θαλάσσης εἰμὶ κυρία.
οὐθεὶς δοξάζεται ἄνευ τῆς ἐμῆς γνώμης.
ἐγώ εἰμι πολέμου κυρία.
ἐγὼ κεραυνοῦ κυρία εἰμί.
ἐγὼ πραΰνω καὶ κυμαίνω θάλασσαν.
ἐγὼ ἐν ταῖς τοῦ ἡλίου αὐγαῖς εἰμί.
ἐγὼ παρεδρεύω τῇ τοῦ ἡλίου πορείᾳ.
ὃ ἂν ἐμοὶ δόξῃ, τοῦτο καὶ τελεῖται.
ἐμοὶ πάντ’ ἐπείκει.
ἐγὼ τοὺς ἐν δεσμοῖς λύωι.
ἐγὼ ναυτιλίας εἰμὶ κυρία.
ἐγὼ τὰ πλωτὰ ἄπλωτα ποιῶ ὅταν ἐμοὶ δόξῃ.
ἐγὼ περιβόλους πόλεων ἔκτισα.
ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ Θεσμοφόρος καλουμένη.
ἐγὼ νήσσους ἐγ βυθῶν εἰς φῶς ἀνήγαγον.
ἐγὼ ὄμβρων εἰμὶ κυρία.
ἐγὼ τὸ ἱμαρμένον νικῶ.
ἐμοῦ τὸ εἱμαρμένον ἀκούει.
χαῖρε Αἴγυπτε θρέψασά με.
(IG XII Supp. 14)

Demetrios son of Artemidoros, also called Thraseas, from Magnesia on the Maeander, fulfilled his vow to Isis. The following text was copied from the inscription in Memphis which is positioned in front of the temple of Hephaistos:
I am Isis the tyrant of the whole land.
I was educated by Hermes and
with the help of Hermes devised both sacred and secular scripts, so that everything should not be written in the same script.
I established laws for humans, and created legislation which no one has the power to change.
I am the eldest daughter of Kronos.
I am the wife and sister of King Osiris.
I am she who invented crops for humans.
I am the mother of King Horus.
I am she who rises in the Dog Star.
I am she who is called God by women.
By me was the city of Boubastos built.
I divided earth from heaven.
I appointed the paths of the stars.
I regulated the passage of sun and moon.
I invented fishing and seafaring.
I made justice strong.
I coupled woman and man.
I arranged that women should bring babies to the light after nine months.
I legislated that parents be loved by their child.
I inflicted punishment on those who are not affectionately disposed towards their parents.
I , with my brother Osiris, ended cannibalism.
I showed initiations to humans.
I taught them to honour images of the gods.
I founded sanctuaries of the gods.
I ended the rule of tyrants.
I ended murders.
I forced women to be loved by men.
I made justice stronger than gold and silver.
I legislated that truth be considered a fine thing.
I invented marriage contracts.
I assigned languages for Greeks and barbarians.
I made good and evil be distinguished by nature.
I made nothing more respected than the oath.
I delivered the person plotting unjustly against another into the hands of the person plotted against.
I inflict punishment on chose acting unjustly.
I legislated mercy for the suppliant.
I honour those who avenge themselves with justice.
By me justice is mighty.
I am mistress of rivers, winds and sea.
No one is held in honour without my assent.
I am mistress of war.
I am mistress of the thunderbolt.
I calm and agitate the sea.
I am in the rays of the sun.
I accompany the passage of the sun.
Whatever I decide is actually accomplished.
To me everything yields.
I free those in chains.
I am mistress of seamanship.
I make the navigable unnavigable whenever I decide.
I built the walls of cities.
I am she who is called Thesmophoros*.
I raised islands from the deep to the light.
I am mistress of rainstorms.
I conquered fate.
To me fate listens.
Hail Egypt who nourished me.

* ‘Lawgiver’, an epithet normally applied to the Greek goddess Demeter.

(tr. Mary Beard, John North & Simon Price, with their note)