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Greek/an inscription from an ancient greek mosaic


Dear Maria,

Hello... I have asked you some questions about the Ancient Greeks and Romans a number of times in the past. I am always grateful for your expert and timely feedback.

Here is my current query:

In the Museum of Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey) is a Roman period mosaic of Priapus & the "Evil Eye".  

This is a Roman Period mosaic (2nd cen. AD). On the mosaic is an inscription which reads: KAI CY

My questions about it are as follows:

1- Is this inscription (Kai Cy) Ancient Greek or Latin?

2- What does it mean?

3- Finally, how would you pronounce it in modern English?

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards and many many thanks in advance,



yes, I remember that you have asked me some questions and I'm glad to help you again.

As for the Roman Period mosaic (2nd century AD) of Priapus, the  god of fertility, and the Evil Eye in Antakya Museum with the inscription KAI CY, here are my answers:

1-the two words KAI CY are written  in Ancient Greek and  stand for KAI ΣΥ,  since  the capital letter   C in CY is  the so-called “lunate sigma”, an alternate form of the sigma, the  18th letter of the ancient Greek alphabet usually written as Σ in its upper case.

2-KAI CY, alternate form for KAI ΣΥ,  can mean either  “and you” or “you too”, as KAI corresponds to “and” or “too”, while “CY / ΣΥ is the 2nd person singular pronoun meaning “you”.
In short, this ancient Greek inscription means that Priapus can offer his apotropaic protection from evil spirits and spells to friends too, besides the inhabitant of the house  where the mosaic is placed.

3- As for the pronunciation of KAI  CY / ΣΥ , note that:

-KA is pronounced as “ca” in “car”
-I is pronounced as “y” in you”

-C / Σ is pronounced as “s” in “sell”
-Y is pronounced as “hu” in “human”.

Best regards,



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I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning ANCIENT GREEK. So, do not ask me please questions regarding MODERN GREEK as it is different from Ancient Greek either in spelling/meaning or in pronunciation.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy) and my thesis was about ancient Greek drama (Aeschylus).

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