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E00790: Greek graffito with an invocation of the God of *George (soldier and martyr, S00259), asking Him to rouse the spirits of a (? circus) faction. Found in Ephesos (western Asia Minor). Probably late antique (5th-6th c.).

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posted on 16.10.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
ὁ θεὸς Γιοργίου
ἀνέγιρον τὸ
μέρος το̣ν ὖδες

3. το̣ν = τὸ (= ὃ) or τῶν Roueché

'The God of George, rouse the spirits of the faction you know!'

Text: Roueché 2007.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Ephesus Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people Crowds


Graffito scratched on the statue base edited in I. Ephesos 526, found in Ephesos (western Asia Minor), on the Embolos street.


The graffito offers us an invocation of the God of the martyr *George. He is asked to support one of the factions, presumably a circus faction (literally 'to rouse their spirits'). This kind of invocation cannot be dated with any certainty, but must be late antique since provincial circus factions disappear in the seventh century. There is a very similar inscription, this time invoking the God of the *Archangels, from the area of Kibyra in Caria, western Asia Minor (see E00844). Alan Cameron argues, unconvincingly, for a dating of this second inscription to the reign of Phocas (602-610).


Edition: Roueché, Ch., "Interpreting the signs: anonymity and concealment in Late Antique inscriptions", in: H. Amirav, B. ter Haar Romeny (eds.), From Rome to Constantinople. Studies in Honour of Averil Cameron (Leuven; Dudley, MA: Peeters, 2007), 221-234. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (2009), 619. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 57, 1119; 58, 1330. For similar invocations see: Cameron, Al., Circus Factions. Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), 2, 148-149.

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