ἔνθα ἐτέθη πρῶτον ὁ ἅγιος Τριβίμι<ο>ς.
ἅγιοι μάρτυρες, πρεσβεύσαται ὑπὲρ ἀφέ-
σεως τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν μου.
'St. Tribimios was formerly deposited here. Holy martyrs, intercede for the remission of my sins. Prayer of the bishop Polyeuktos'.
Text: Brixhe, Hodot 1988, no. 14B. Trans. P. Nowakowski.
Saint NameTribimios, martyr of Sillyon (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor), ob.249-251 : S00428
Unnamed martyrs (or name lost) : S00060
Saint Name in SourceΤριβίμι<ο>ς
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Evidence not before350
Evidence not after600
Activity not before350
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSillyon
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Sillyon
Cult activities - PlacesBurial site of a saint - tomb/grave
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsPrayer/supplication/invocation
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
Cult Activities - RelicsBodily relic - entire body
Transfer, translation and deposition of relics
Noted absence of relics
SourceAn inscription on a sarcophagus made of white marble. It was found on the slope near the acropolis in Sillyon (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor). The lid was reused and originally came from the tomb of a certain Eumelos, son of Dionysios (2nd cent.). Sides of the sarcophagus are decorated with crosses and a tabula ansata.
DiscussionThe inscription says that the sarcophagus had been the original grave of the martyr before his relics were moved. The relics could have been transferred to a nearby martyr shrine. The bishop who moved the relics asks some anonymous martyrs for intercession for remission of his sins.
A passage from Passio Antiquior SS. Sergii et Bacchi (ch. 30, ed. I. van de Gheyn, see EXXXXX) shows that original tombs of martyrs attracted pilgrims because they were regarded as places where miracles were very likely to happen: πολλὰ δὲ σημεῖα καὶ ἰάσεις ἐπιτελοῦνται πανταχοῦ μὲν ὅπου ἐστὶν ἅγιον αὐτοῦ λείψανον, μάλιστα δὲ ἐν τῷ μνήματι ἔνθα ἔκειτο τὸ πρότερον ('Many signs and healings happen in the place where his holy body is deposited, especially at the memorial where it had been buried earlier', trans. P. Nowakowski). We can trace similar beliefs also in a much popular text, which is the Life of St. Hilarion of Gaza by Jerome (ch. 33, ed. A.A.R. Bastiaensen): Cernas usque hodie miram inter Palaestinos et Cyprios contentionem, his corpus Hilarionis, illis spiritum se habere certantibus. Et tamen in utrisque locis magna quotidie signa fiunt, sed magis in hortulo Cypri, forsitan quia plus illum locum dilexerit/'Even at the present day one may see a strange dispute between the people of Palestine and the Cypriotes, the one contending that they have the body (corpus), the other the spirit (spiritus) of Hilarion. And yet in both places great miracles (signa) are wrought daily, but to a greater extent in the garden of Cyprus, perhaps because that spot was dearest to him' (trans. W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley), see: E00694. Hilarion was originally buried in a secret tomb on Cyprus, but his body was later moved to Gaza.
There is no reliable way to date this inscription, though the movement of relics is very unlikely to have occurred before the later 4th century.
Brixhe, C., Hodot, R., L'Asie Mineure du Nord au Sud (Nancy: Presses Universitaires, 1988), no. 14B.
Destephen, S., Prosopographie du Diocese d'Asie (325-641) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 3, Paris: Association des amis du centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2008), Polyeuktos.
Destephen, S., "Martyrs locaux et cultes civiques en Asie Mineure", in: J.C. Caillet, S. Destephen, B. Dumézil, H. Inglebert, Des dieux civiques aux saints patrons (IVe-VIIe siècle) (Paris: éditions A. & J. Picard, 2015), p. 91.
Bulletin épigraphique (1990), 921.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 356
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 38, 1440