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E00815: Floor-mosaic with a Greek inscription invoking an unnamed *Archangel. From the narthex of a church located between Miletos and Didyma (Caria, western Asia Minor). Probably late antique (5th-7th c.).

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posted on 30.10.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
ἐπὶ Νουνεχίου
πρεσβυ[τ]έρου κὲ οἰ-
[κο]νόμου ἐγέ-
[νο]ντο τὰ ἔργα.
[ἀ]ρχάνγελε σ
[- - -]

5-6. [ἀ]ρχάνγελε, σ|[ῴζε or [ἀ]ρχάνγελε, σ|[κέπε (?) rather than σ|[ὺ βοήθει] Herrmann Wiegand

'These works (or: buildings) were done under Nounechios the presbyter and steward (oikonomos). O Archangel, [- - -].'

Text: Milet VI/2, no. 966.

History

Evidence ID

E00815

Saint Name

Archangels (unspecified) : S00191

Saint Name in Source

ἀρχάνγελος

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.) Archaeological and architectural - Cult buildings (churches, mausolea)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

451

Evidence not after

650

Activity not before

451

Activity not after

650

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Miletus

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

Miletus Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy

Source

Greek mosaic floor inscription. H. 30 m; W. 0.4 m. Found in 1903 in the southern part of Miletos that remained unfortified in the Byzantine period, to the southwest of the modern village Akköy, in the narthex of the church Hagia Paraskevi, in front of the main entrance. Published by Theodore Wiegand in 1904.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the completion of floor-mosaics or the construction of unnamed buildings (τὰ ἔργα) under the presbyter and steward Nounechios. Given the character of the find-spot (narthex, at the main entrance to the church) one can suppose that this is the building inscription for the whole church or at least for the pavement of the narthex. The inscription ends with an invocation of an unnamed *Archangel. Wiegand supposed that the mentioned *Archangel was *Michael but this is uncertain, as we know that both *Michael and *Gabriel were venerated nearby in Miletos (see E00811 and E00812). Göcmen, Niewöhner, Raubo 2013, 223 suggest that the church was originally dedicated to an archangel and renamed Hagia Paraskevi in the middle Byzantine period. Wiegand tried to reconstruct the invocation in a very unconventional way: [ἀ]ρχάνγελε, σ|[ὺ βοήθει]. The following formulas are much more probable: [ἀ]ρχάνγελε, σ|[ῴζε or [ἀ]ρχάνγελε, σ|[κέπε. Dating: The inscription is likely to postdate the council of Chalcedon (451) as one of its canons states that a steward (oikonomos) must be appointed in every church. The building is likely to predate the troubles of the seventh century.

Bibliography

Edition: Scheibelreiter-Gail, V., Die Mosaiken Westkleinasiens. Tessellate des 2. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. bis Anfang des 7. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. (Vienna: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2011), 324, no. 96. Scheibelreiter, V., Stifterinschriften auf Mosaiken Westkleinasiens (Tyche Supplement 5, Vienna: Holzhausen, 2006), no. 34. Herrmann, P. (ed.), Milet. Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899, vol. 6: Die Inschriften von Milet, part 2 (Berlin – New York 1998), no. 966. Grégoire, H., Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 224(5). Wiegand, Th., "Dritter vorläufiger Bericht über die von den Königlichen Museen begonnenen Ausgrabungen in Milet", Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (1904), 89. Inscriptiones Chistianae Graecae database, no. 1724: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1724 Further Reading: Destephen, S., Prosopographie du Diocèse d'Asie (325-641) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 3, Paris: Association des amis du centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2008), s.v. Nounechios 4. Göcmen, D., Niewöhner, P., Raubo, B., "Hagia Paraskevi", in: Niewöhner, P., "Neue spät- und nachantike Monumente von Milet und der mittelbyzantinische Zerfall des anatolischen Städtewesens", Archäologischer Anzeiger, (2013/2), 223. Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1956), 185.

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