Erotic Curse Tablet from the Heroön of Opheltes at Nemea

“Located in the southwestern part of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea (Fig. 1), the Heroön of Opheltes played an important role from the Archaic to the Early Hellenistic period, when the Nemean Games were held in the sanctuary.1 Its importance lay in the fact that the Games were believed in antiquity to have originated as funeral games in honor of the dead baby hero Opheltes, a connection made explicit in numerous literary sources and artistic representations. The shrine thus marked the location of his grave and served as the focal point of his cult, which entailed burned animal sacrifice, libations, and small votive offerings, as excavation of the shrine since its discovery in 1979 has made abundantly clear.”*

Sarcophagus showing the death of Opheltes
Bronze figurine of Opheltes, 300 B.C.E., Nemea

ἀποϲ{ϲ}τρέφω Εὐβούλαν
ἀπὸ Αἰνέα, ἀπὸ τοῦ̣
προϲώπο̣ υ̣ , ἀπὸ τῶν ὀ[φ-
θαλμῶν, ἀπὸ τοῦ ϲτόμ[α
τοϲ̣, ἀπὸ τῶν τιθθίν,
ἀπὸ τᾶϲ ψυχᾶϲ,
ἀπὸ̣ τᾶϲ γαϲτρ̣,
ἀπ̣ὸ τ]οῦ [ψ]ωλ̣ί̣ου, ἀπὸ τοῦ πρω-
κ̣τοῦ̣ , ἀφ᾿ ὅ̣λου τοῦ ϲώμα
τοϲ̣ . ἀποϲτρέφω Εὐβού-
λαν ἀπ᾿ Αἰνέα

I turn Euboula away from Aineas: from his face, from his eyes, from his mouth, from his chest, from his soul, from his belly, from his erect penis, from his anus, from all his body. I turn Euboula away from Aineas.

*Bravo, J. (2016). Erotic curse tablets from the Heroön of Opheltes at Nemea. Hesperia  (85), 1. 121-152.

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