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E00891: Greek inscription with an invocation of God followed by the names of four Archangels: *Michael (S00181), *Gabriel (S00192), *Istrael (S00690), and *Raphael (S00481). Found in the territory of Hierapolis (Phrygia, west central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 25.11.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
κύριε βοήθι· ααααα Μιχαὴλ ε Γαβριὴλ, Ἰστραὴλ, Ῥαφαήλ

'Lord, help! AAAAA Michael and (?) Gabriel, Istrael, Raphael.'

Text: Ramsay 1897, 541, no. 404.

History

Evidence ID

E00891

Saint Name

Michael, the Archangel : S00181 Gabriel, the Archangel : S00192 Raphaēl, the Archangel : S00481 Istrael : S00690

Saint Name in Source

Μιχαήλ Γαβριήλ Ῥαφαήλ Ἰστραήλ

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

650

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

650

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hierapolis

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

Hierapolis Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Source

A slab found by William Mitchell Ramsay in 1888 at Thiounta, near Hierapolis (Phrygia, central Asia Minor). Ramsay gives no description of the object.

Discussion

The inscription begins with an invocation of God, followed by five letters alpha and the names of four archangels. Ramsay supposed that the alphas stood for five abbreviated words ἅγιος and that each of them should have corresponded to an archangel, so one of the figures was missing. One can, however, interpret them as quasi-magical invocations or erroneously enumerated vowels corresponding to heavenly spheres that were often associated with archangels. For a similar case, see E00810 (Miletos, Caria / Karia, western Asia Minor).

Bibliography

Edition: Ramsay, W.M., Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia, vol. 1, part 2: West and West-Central Phrygia (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1897), 541, no. 404. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1117: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1117 Further reading: Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 330-331.

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