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E00864: Greek graffito with an acclamation for the good fortune of the 'Marianoi', probably a group venerating *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033). Found at Xanthos (Lycia, south-west Asia Minor). Probably 5th-7th c.

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posted on 19.11.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
νικᾷ ἡ τυχὴ τõν Μαριανõν

'Long live the Marianoi! (literally, 'May the fortune of the Marianoi triumph!')

Text: Hansen & Le Roy 1976, 336.

History

Evidence ID

E00864

Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Graffiti

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

550

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

550

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Xanthos

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

Xanthos Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Cultic confraternities

Source

Graffito from the Letoon in Xanthos (Lycia, southern Asia Minor), on a stone block at the door of the temple's cella.

Discussion

The graffito is an acclamation for the good fortune of the 'Marianoi', an otherwise unattested group, probably venerating *Mary (the Mother of Jesus) or deriving its name from a church dedicated to the saint, or from a district called after the church. The editors dated this graffito to a period prior to the 7th c. when the Letoon was destroyed. One can, however, suppose that it comes already from the mid-6th c. because of its similarity to the inscriptions of the 'Michaelitai' guild from Sagalassos. Their inscriptions, almost identical in form, were cut on pieces of architecture and pottery and read: 'Long live the Michaelitai in the entire city and (her) territory' (νικᾷ ἡ τύχη Μιχαιλιτῶν κατὰ πᾶσαν πόλιν κὲ χώραν, see E00917). Perhaps both 'Michaelitai' and 'Marianoi' were associations concerned with the cult of their saints. But, nevertheless, these names are puzzling. The formula νικᾷ ἡ τύχη is also characteristic of circus factions rather than pious brotherhoods, and implies some kind of rivalry.

Bibliography

Edition: Hansen, E., Le Roy, Ch., "Au Létôon de Xanthos: Les deux temples de Léto", Revue Archéologique (1976), 336. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 26, 1447.

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