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Home / Monuments / Menekrates Tomb Monument

Menekrates Tomb Monument

A cenotaph burial monument in honor of Menecrates who was consul of Corfu in Oianthia, a city near today's Galaxidi. It bears an inscription according to which the municipality, recognising its work, erected the monument with the help of his brother Praximenis who came for this purpose from his homeland. The inscription in the Corinthian alphabet dates back to 600 BC and is one of the oldest surviving Greek inscriptions. Respectively, the architectural type of the cenotaph is placed chronologically in 570/540 BC and finds a unique parallel in Lindos of Rhodes, the cenotaph in honour of Cleobulus, which has not been accurately dated.

The monument was unveiled in 1843 during the British occupation of the island, during public works. It has since suffered significant damage due to its exposure and fragile material. It is a circular cenotaph that steps on a prominent base and consists of five structures of soft, yellowish, local porphyry according to the isodomic system. Its conical roof is not the original, but it must be similar to that. The monument is covered with stones in the form of radial tiling and ends at the top in a central rectangular plinth.

The monument of Menecrates is located on the outskirts of the cemetery that developed during the archaic times in the north of the ancient city and extends outside the walls, opposite the gate of the port of Alkinoos. Its use continued during the Hellenistic period and was limited during the Roman period.

Signs were often placed on the tombs, simple or complex, which are often unique works of art. A unique example is the 'lion of Menecrates' kept in the Archaeological Museum of Corfu and was named so, as it was initially the impression that it was placed on the central rectangular plinth of the cenotaph of Menecrates.

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