Menekratis’ Monument

This funerary monument is a cenotaph in honor of Menekratis, consul of Corfu in Ianthia. It bears an inscription stating that the municipality, recognizing his work, erected the monument with the help of his brother Praximenis who came from his homeland, Ianthia, to Corfu for this purpose. The Corinthian alphabet inscription is dated to 600 BC and it is one of the oldest preserved Greek inscriptions. The architectural type of the cenotaph is placed chronologically in 570/540 BC and finds sole parallel in Lindos, Rhodes, the cenotaph in honor of Kleovoulos which has not been dated precisely. The monument was discovered in 1843 during the period of British rule on the island, during public works. Since then it has undergone significant damage due to its exposure and friable material. This is a circular cenotaph which rests on prominent base and consists of five blocks of soft, yellowish, porous stone in ashlar masonry. The conical roof is not the original, but should be similar to that. The monument is covered by stone-like radial keramoseos and ends at the top in a central rectangular plinth. The monument of Menekratis is at edge of the cemetery which was built during the ancient times at the north of the ancient city and extends outside the walls, opposite the gate of the port of Alkinoos. The use of the cemetery continued during the Hellenistic period but was limited during the Roman period. On the graves, often, simple or complex marks were placed which, most of the times, were unique works of art. A sifnificant example of that is the “Menekratis' Lion “which is kept in the Archaeological Museum of Corfu . It is named after Menekratis because, originally, there was the impression that the lion was placed on the central rectangular plinth of the Menekratis’ cenotaph.

Site Details

LOCATION Garitsa, Corfu
PERIOD 6th century BC
CREATED BY Rania Epoglou