Saint NameConstantine the Great, emperor, ob. 337 : S00186
Helena, empress, mother of Constantine, ob. 328 : S00185
Konstantinos (unspecified) : S01746
Saint Name in SourceΚοσταντῖνος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before650
Evidence not after900
Activity not before650
Activity not after900
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcAndeda
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Andeda
Cult activities - PlacesAltar
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsVow
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesOfficials
SourceAn 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.
DiscussionThe 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.
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
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.