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E00867: Inscription on a plaque, perhaps from an altar, dedicated by a member of the city council, mentioning *Constantine (emperor, ob. 337, S00186) and *Helena (empress and mother of Constantine, ob. 328, S00185) as saints. Found in Andeda (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor). Probably 7th-9th c.

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posted on 20.11.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Inscription on a plaque once mounted on an altar:

On side:

+ τοῦ ἁγίου Κοσταντίνου +
κὲ τῖς ἁγίας Ἑλένις

On front:

εὐχὶ Φιλίπο + ̀ ́ομενου
ἀμί[ν]

3-4. εὐχὶ Φιλίπο(υ) <Κ>ομεν<ί>ου | ἀμί[ν] Smith, εὐχὶ Φιλίπο[υ πολιτε]υομένου | ἀμί[ν] Ramsay Grégoire, εὐχὶ Φιλίπο + ̣υομένου | ἀμίν Halkin, ̣υομένου = <ἡγ>ουμένου (?) Rizos

On side: '+ Of saint Constantine and saint Helena +'
On front: 'Vow of Philip(p)o(s) + (...). Amen.'

Text: Smith 1887, no. 38.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

History

Evidence ID

E00867

Saint Name

Constantine the Great, emperor, ob. 337 : S00186 Helena, empress, mother of Constantine, ob. 328 : S00185 Konstantinos (unspecified) : S01746

Saint Name in Source

Κοσταντῖνος Ἑλένα

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

650

Evidence not after

900

Activity not before

650

Activity not after

900

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Andeda

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

Andeda Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Altar

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Vow

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials

Source

An oblong marble plaque reused in a mosque in Andeda (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor). The surface is polished and decorated with an encircled cross. Arthur H. Smith supposed that it had once been mounted on an altar.

Discussion

The first part of the inscription contains the names of the emperor Constantine I and of his mother Helena, given in the genitive case. Both figures are called saints (ἅγιοι). The meaning of the second part of the inscription is problematic. It certainly begins with a votive formula, followed by several letters of the name of a certain Philippos, presumably the donor of the object (ΦΙΛΙΠΟ). Then a large cross is carved in the middle of the line and to the right of the cross one can read ̀ ́ΟΜΕΝΟΥ. Arthur Smith supposed that the inscription labelled an altar, dedicated to the emperor Constantine and his mother Helena as saints. He reconstructed the second part of the inscription as 'the vow of Philippos, son of Komenios' / εὐχὶ Φιλίπο(υ) <Κ>ομεν<ί>ου. William Ramsay disagreed with this reconstruction and preferred to complete the phrase as 'the vow of Philippos, member of the city council' / εὐχὶ Φιλίπο[υ πολιτε]υομένου | ἀμί[ν]. He commented that the engraver must have omitted one of the successive syllables πο in the words Φιλίππου and πολιτευομένου. Ramsay's reconstruction was accepted by Henri Grégoire and Henri Leclerq. François Halkin was more careful and preferred to reprint the phrase as Φιλίπο + ̣υομένου | ἀμίν. François Cumont did not reprint the text and did not discuss these completions. Efthymios Rizos advised me to interpret the word ̣υομένου as the genitive case of ἡγούμενος (superior of a monastery) with erroneously spelt diphthong: υο instead of ου. Dating and significance: The inscription certainly postdates the reign of Constantine (ob. 337). If the donor was really a member of the city council, this would allow for dating the inscription to the late antique period, as politeuomenoi are well attested in the 4th/7th c. (see, for instance: Koptisches Sammelbuch, ed. M. Hasitzka, vol. 1, no. 242, l. 8: a document which the heads of the guilds of Edfu address to Liberios, the most renown politeuomenos and pagarch of the city, dating to AD 649). The drawing of the inscription shows that the engraver used the ligature ου, which is often in the 6th and later centuries, but very unlikely to occur in the 4th c. Late antique dating would make the inscription an extremely early and important attestation to the cult of Constantine and his mother, providing that the author of the inscription did not use the word ἅγιος in the meaning 'of blessed memory', referring to every deceased Christian, not specifically saints. However, such an early date may be questionable as comparable evidence from this period is scarce. See, for example E00970 and E01150. Therefore, it is more reasonable to suppose that the altar was dedicated in a somewhat later period, for example the late 7th-9th c. If we accept that Philippos was a superior of a monastery (ἡγούμενος), this does not contradicts a late antique date, but at the same time is better reconcilable with possible middle Byzantine dating.

Bibliography

Edition: Grégoire, H. (ed.), Recueil des inscriptions grecques chrétiennes d'Asie Mineure, vol. 1 (Paris: Leroux, 1922), no. 312. Ramsay, W.M., Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. 1, part 2: West and West-Central Phrygia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), 557, no. 436. Smith, A.H., "Notes on a tour of Asia Minor", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 8 (1887), 255. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1622: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1622 Further reading: Cumont, F., "Les inscriptions chretiennes de 1'Asie Mineure", Mélanges de l'école française de Rome 15 (1895), no. 108. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 87. Leclercq, H., "Phrygie", Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et liturgie, vol. 14/1 (Paris: Librarie Letouzey et Ané, 1939), 796, no. 28.

Licence

Exports

Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

Categories

Licence

Exports