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Kition Resheph pillars

The Kition Resheph pillars are two Phoenician inscriptions discovered in Cyprus at Kition in 1860.[1][2] They are notable for mentioning three cities - Kition, Idalion and Tamassos.

They currently reside in the Louvre: AO 7090[3] (CIS I 10) and AO 4826 (CIS I 88).[4]

The reference to Kition in the inscriptions was compared to a bilingual reference to the city in one of the earliest known Athenian Greek-Phoenician inscriptions (see here for image).[5]

AO 7090 (CIS I 10)

The Kition inscription in the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum (CIS I 10)

Four line Phoenician inscription on a marble block, found in autumn 1861 in Kition (today, part of Larnaca), and obtained by Demetrios Pierides.[6] The inscription mentions its date as year 21 of Pymiaton, the last king of Kition, i.e. in 336/7. The inscription is dedicated to Canaanite god Resheph.[7][8] The inscription is as follows:[9][10]

  1. On the sixteenth day of the month of Bul, the year 21 of the reign of Pumayyaton, king of Citium,
  2. Idalion and Temessus, son of king Milkyaton, king of Citium and Idalion. This altar
  3. and two altar hearths are what was offered by bd', the priest of Resheph-of-the-arrow (ršp ḥṣ), the son of Yakon-
  4. shalom, of the son of Eshmunadon, to his lord Resheph-of-the-arrow. May he bless (him)!

AO 4826 (CIS I 88)

The Idalion Inscription in the Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum (CIS I 88)

Seven line Phoenician inscription on a marble block, thought to have served as the base for a statue, as the upper face includes the holes which may have held the clamps for the feet of a statue.[11]

The provenance is unknown, and has been variously given as Idalion and Kition. It was found in 1860 in its secondary use in a mosque in Nicosia (20km north of ancient Idalion),[11] however Melchior de Vogüé wrote that "it had been brought from Larnaca" (where ancient Kition is located).[11]

The inscription mentions its date as year 6 of the reign of Milkyaton, king of Citium and Idalium, which is the year 387. The inscription is as follows:[9][12]

  1. On the sixth day of the month of Pa..., the year 3 of the reign of Milkyaton, king of Citium and
  2. Idalion, son of Baalrom. This is the statue offered and erected 'and' (by) [… Rashap-]
  3. -yaton son of Izratiba'al, the royal interpreter, to his lord Melqart, (since) he he[ard (his) voice]…
  4. Fulfilled this vow and fulfilled the intentions expressed in this vow by [… son of Rashap-yaton]
  5. the royal interpreter… commissioned... and ... statues on the steps... commissioned...
  6. Abd-Pummay and Abd-Melqart, two sons of Adoni-shemesh, of the son of Rashap-yaton, the [ro]yal interpreter, in the year 6
  7. of the reign of Milkyaton, king of Citium and Idalion, since Melqart heard their voice. May he bless them.

It was discovered by Crusader historian Emmanuel Guillaume-Rey in Nicosia, where it had been brought from Larnaca and served as a mount at the door of the qadi. Guillaume-Rey had deposited at the French consulate, who sent it to the Louvre.[11][13]



  1. ^ Caquot & Masson 1968, p. 295–321.
  2. ^ Levy 1864, p. 1.
  3. ^ AO 7090
  4. ^ [ AO 4826
  5. ^ Levy 1864, p. 5:"Das Erstere steht fest als Benennung von Citium, einer der neun Hauptstädte Cypern's, durch die Inschrift Athen, 2, 2"
  6. ^ Vaux 1863, p. 396: "M. Pierides was also fortunate enough to obtain one of two Phænician inscriptions recently found in Cyprus; the other fell to the lot of a French traveller, and is the least perfect, though the longest. The one in M. Pierides' possession was found last autumn in Larnaka. It consists of four lines, and is but little injured, the end of the first line only being wanting. The French one has once had seven lines; but it is now very indistinct. Both are in white marble, and record the name of Malek-Itan, King of Cittium (a town, in all probability, to be identified with the modern Larnaka). On M. Pierides' inscription, Thamas, a son of Malek-Itan, King of Cittium, is mentioned ; and another name occurs—that of Ican-Salem, which I have not met with elsewhere, except on one of Mr. Davis's Carthaginian inscriptions which I am now editing for the British Museum."
  7. ^ Ewald 1862a, p. 457 and Ewald 1862b, p. 543
  8. ^ de Vogüé 1862, p. 244-252.
  9. ^ a b Münnich 2013, p. 246-248.
  10. ^ de Vogüé 1867b, p. 114.
  11. ^ a b c d de Vogüé 1867b, pp. 114–120: "Ce bloc a servi de base à une statue; on voit encore sur la face supérieure les trous des crampons qui fixaient les pieds de l'idole. Il a été découvert par mon ami M. Guillaume Rey, à Nicosie, où il avait été porté de Larnaca el servait de montoir à la porte du cadi. M. Rey le fit déposer au consulat de France, où je le trouvai, le fis enlever et transporter à Paris : il est aujourd'hui au musée du Louvre."
  12. ^ de Vogüé 1867b, p. 115.
  13. ^ Vaux 1863, pp. 394‑398.
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Kition Resheph pillars
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