Saint NameSisinnios (unspecified) : S00608
Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744
Anaunian Martyrs (Sisinnius, Martyrius, Alexander), ob. c. 397 : S00605
Saint Name in SourceΣησή[ν]ηος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before500
Evidence not after600
Activity not before500
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcDorylaion
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Dorylaion
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsAwarding privileges to cult centres
SourceA white marble stele with yellow and grey streaks, used as a boundary stone. H. 0.87 m; max. W. 0.43 m; Th. 0.11 m. The middle section of the stele is narrower: W. 0.35 m; Th. 0.10 m. Found at Eskişehir, ancient Dorylaion (Phrygia, central Asia Minor).
DiscussionThe inscription indicated the boundaries of a property belonging to a church dedicated to Sisinnios. The name was bore by a Cappadocian Christian perhaps of Persian origin, martyred in c. 397 in Italy, near Sanzeno, together with two companions: *Martyrios and *Alexander (that constitute the group of the so-called *Anaunian martyrs), by pagan peasants they tried to convert at the command of Vigilius, bishop of Trent. Their remains were sent by Vigilius to Simplicianus, bishop of Milan, and to John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople (see E01086), together with letters describing their martyrdom. A certain *Sisinnios was also believed to have been a powerful protector against evil powers. He was often depicted on horseback, and his name was put on Greek charms, phylakteria. There is little evidence of the veneration of western martyrs in Asia Minor, it is therefore unlikely that the saint mentioned here was the Sisinnios martyred in northern Italy.
For the cult of Sisinnios (one of the Anaunian martyrs), see: Pizzolato 2002; Quacquarelli & Rogger 1985; Cagni & Sironi 1984; Harris 1906, pp. 82-86. For the two letters by Vigilius: To Simplicianus, bishop of Milan and To John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, see: Pizzolato 2002, pp. 141-214; Menestò 1985, pp. 151-170 (the editions in AASS, 29 V and PL 13, coll. 549-558 contain corrupted versions of the texts).
Lines 4-6 contain a reference to another church or charitable institution named after a male saint, but his name is not preserved.
Though this inscription does not say so explicitly, boundary stones were usually bestowed upon sanctuaries by emperors.
Dating: 6th c. (?) Based on other boundary stones, authorised by 6th c. emperors.
MAMA V, no. 55.
Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1397: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1397
Acta Sanctorum, 29 V (for the Acts of the Martyrdom of the Aunanian Martyrs).
Cagni, G., Sironi, E., “Contributo alla tradizione del testo delle lettre di S. Vigilio di Trento”, Studi Barnabiti 1 (1984), 209-226.
Harris, J.R., The Cult of the Heavenly Twins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1906), 82-86.
Destephen, S., "Martyrs locaux et cultes civiques en Asie Mineure", in: J.C. Caillet, S. Destephen, B. Dumézil, H. Inglebert, Des dieux civiques aux saints patrons (IVe-VIIe siècle) (Paris: éditions A. & J. Picard, 2015), 92.
Haspels, E.C., The Highlands of Phrygia (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1971), 211, note 36.
Halkin, F., “Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure”, Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 326.
Menestò, E., "Le lettre di S. Vigilio", in: I martiri della Val di non e la relazione pagana alle fine del IV secolo, ed. A. Quacquarelli and I. Rogger (Bologna: EDB, 1985), 151-170.
Pizzolato, L.F., Studi su Vigilio di Trento (Milano: Vita e Pensiero, 2002).
Vigilius of Trent, Letter to Simplicianus, bishop of Milan and Letter to John Chryzostom, bishop of Constantinople (PL 13, coll. 549-558).
Bulletin épigraphique (1938), 457.