Always read the plaque

On my list of podcasts is 99% Invisible, whose creator, Roman Mars (and is there a better name that Roman Mars?) Has the above as his personal motto.

One sees lots and lots of carved stone plaques like this at every ancient Greek site, of which there are many in Turkey.

ancient plaqueplaque detail







I always wondered what they said. Celebrating great victories? Dedications to the gods? Finally, at a fabulous place called Patara, my question was answered.

Honorary Inscription of the people of Patara for Marcus Antonius Idagras

The people of Patara has honoured – with the people having introduced the motion concerning the honours for him – Marcus Antonius Idagras, son of Antipatros, citizen of Rome and of Patara, who was general of the Lycran League (selected) from al Lycians ambassador on behalf of the demos and of the Lycians to the (Roman) imperatores and received privileges to the advantage of the League and through his request obtained¬† discharge of 600 (fellow) citizens from military service; who at Argos won the boys’ pankration as the first of the Lycians, and at the Rhomaia organized by the Lycian League every four years as isolympic games (won) the boys and the teenagers’ pankration, and at the Letoa organized by the Lyclan League¬† and at the Rhomaia at Rhodes (won) the boys’ pankration; who also won other holy and stephanitic contests, with a golden wreath and a bronze statue, because he is an excellent man in the tradition of his ancestors.

Its a completely typical plaque. I have a similar one from a board I was on for a time. Nothing changes except the medium.

“Because he is an excellent man in the tradition of his ancestors.” I love that.