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E00872: Eight fragments of a frieze from the interior of a church, with a Greek dedicatory poem mentioning *Michael (the Archangel, S00181), other commanders of the Heavenly Host and founders of the sanctuary. Found near Aizanoi (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 22.11.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Scrolls (§) on Fragments A, G and H mark line ends of the metric verses. The text on Fragments A and H seems to be pentameters and on Fragment G a hexameter.

A: [- - -]ης § προφρονέως ναῖο̣ν [.]ε θεόφρονες ἁγ[- - -]
B: [- - -] πατρὸς ἑοῦ Θεοδωρ[- - -]
C: [- - - οὐ]ρανίης φρικτῆς ἡγεμόνες στρατ[ίης - - -]
D: [- - - ἀλι]τροσύνης [.]ον Μιχαὴλ π[- - -]
E: [- - -]λον οἶκον τοῦτον ὑπ[- - -]
F: [- - -] ος ἐδείμα[το - - -]
G: [- - -]̣οι § ἠδ' ἀλόχῳ Θ̣ε[- - -]
H: [- - -]̣η τεκέων § ἐσθλὰ χαριζόμενοι κα[- - -]

Α. [τ]ε MAMA || ἄγ[γελοι, ἅγ[ιοι, ἅγ[ν- (?) MAMA || E. τὸν κα]λόν Tuğrul, ἀγλ]α̣ὸν Roueché in MAMA || ὑπ[ούργησον (?) or ὑπ[ὲρ εὐχῆς (?) || F. ὃς MAMA || G. Θ̣ε[οδώρου (?)

A: '[- - -] keeping God in mind willingly dwelt [- - -]'
B: '[- - -] of his father Theodor[- - -]'
C: '[- - -] commanders of the dreadful heavenly army [- - -]'
D: '[- - -] of sin [- -] Michael [- - -]'
E: '[- - -] this house [- - -]'
F: '[- - -] he built [- - -]'
G: '[- - -] and for the wife of The[odoros? - - -]'
H: '[- - -] making a fortunate gift for [- - -] of (their) children [- - -]'

Text: MAMA IX, no. 552.

History

Evidence ID

E00872

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

650

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

650

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Aizanoi

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

Aizanoi Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people Women Children

Source

Eight fragments of a frieze almost certainly from the interior of a church. All of the fragments come from two villages (Karaköy Ören and Tavşanlı), close to Aizanoi (Phrygia, central Asia Minor), and may originate from a church in the ancient city. Fragment A: grey and white marble, seen by Christopher W.M. Cox in Tavşanlı, reused in a house, H. 0.35 m, W. 2.125 m, letter height 0.04-0.06 m. Fragment B: white marble with grey streaks, reused as a trough, seen by Cox in Tavşanlı, H. 0.32 m, W. 1.31 m, Th. 0.49 m. Fragment C: piece of a marble architrave, seen by L. Tuğrul in Tavşanlı, H. 0.37 m, W. 1.78 m, Th. 0.61 m, letter height 0.055 m. Fragment D: piece of a marble architrave, seen by Tuğrul in Tavşanlı, H. 0.35 m, W. 1.89 m, Th. 0.53 m, letter height 0.06 m. Fragment E: piece of a marble architrave, seen by Tuğrul in Tavşanlı, H. 0.47 m, W. 1.36 m, Th. 0.77 m, letter height 0.05 m. Fragment F: broken white and grey marble building stone, probably a lintel or architrave, seen by Cox in Karaköy Ören, H. c. 0.4 m, W. 0.61 m, Th. 0.6 m, letter height 0.0475 m. Fragment G: broken greyish white marble block, seen by Cox in Karaköy Ören, H. 0.44 m, W. 1.22 m, Th. 0.57 m, letter height 0.05 m. Fragment H: greyish white marble block, partially buried, seen by Cox in Karaköy Ören, H. 0.28 m, W. 2.555 m, Th. 0.12 m (visible), letter height 0.055 m.

Discussion

This monumental inscription was presumably originally displayed in a church, on an elaborately moulded entablature (e.g. an architrave with bead-and-reel decoration) which ran around the interior of the sanctuary, as in the church of Saints Sergios and Bakchos in Constantinople. The text preserved on Fragment D refers to *Michael the Archangel and on Fragment C to other (arch)angels as commanders of the Heavenly Host. The founders of the church are mentioned in Fragments B, G and H. The text on Fragments A and H seems to be pentameters and on Fragment G a hexameter.

Bibliography

Edition: Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua IX, no. 552. Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten, no. 16/23/03 (only fragments A; C; D; E). Reference works: Bulletin épigraphique (1965), 386. Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 361. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 38, 1296.

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