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E00923: Two Greek inscriptions enumerating members of one or two bodies probably venerating *George (soldier and martyr, S00259). Both found at or near Seleukeia/Seleucia Sidera (Pisidia, west central Asia Minor). Probably the 4th or 5th c.

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posted on 02.12.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Inscription 1:

A slab reused in the southern wall of a house in modern Bayat (ancient Seleukeia / Seleucia Sidera), to the north of modern Isparta (Pisidia, central Asia Minor). H. 0.62 m; W. 0.62 m. First recorded by Gustav Hirschfeld before 1879. Seen again in September of 1885 by the so-called Wolfe Expedition to Asia Minor, funded by Miss Catharine Lorillard Wolfe, an American art collector of New York, and led by John R. Sitlington Sterrett. Revisited by Hans Rott's expedition in 1906.

θ̣(εο)ῦ συνερ[(γίᾳ) καὶ Χ]ριστ(οῦ) καὶ Ἁ[γίου Πν(εύματος)].
        τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωργίου ΠΡΩΤC||||
        συνοδία ἐρ(γεπιστάτου) Ἀβραμίου καὶ [- - -]
4       ὑποπροάγοντα Ἀντίπατρο[ν]·
        Πορφύρις, Ἀντιφῶν, Ἄρις, Παῦλος,
        Ἡράκλις, Μενεμά[χ]ις (?), Παῦλος,
        Κυριακός, Στρατόνικος, Αὐξάνων,
8       Ζωτικός, Τιμόθις, Ἄτταλος,
        Ἰωάννης, Κοτόνης, Γ{εσ}ενέσ[ιος](?) Γενέσιος,
        Παῦλος τεχνίτης, Φίλιππος,
        Κόνων, Χρυσανθία, Ἀλέξανδ[ρος],
12     Φίλιππος

1. θ̣(εο)ῦ συνερ[(γίᾳ) καὶ Χ]ριστ(οῦ) καὶ Ἁ[γίου Πν(εύματος)] Grégoire, [ἔτο]υς υνʹ. ἔρ[γον Χ]ριστ(ιανὸν) καὶ ἅ[γιον] (?) Sitlington Sterrett || 2. perhaps Πρώτο[υ] (κώμης), ΠΡΩΤC|||| copy by Rott, ΠΡΩΤ|||| = πρώτ[η] Sitlington Sterrett PHI, πρωτο(μάρτυρος) Weber Grégoire Robert, πρωτομάρτυρος i.e. μεγαλομάρτυρος Halkin || 3. ἐρ(γεπιστήσαντος) Sitlington Sterrett, ἐρ(γεπιστάτου) Ramsay Grégoire

'By the he[lp] of God [and Ch]rist and the H[oly Spirit]. The (...) association (synodia) of Saint George. When Abramios was the superintendent of works (er(gepistates)) and [- - -] Antipatro[s], junior village head man (hypoproagon). Porphyris, Antiphon, Aris, Paulos, Heraklis, Menema[ch]is (?), Paulos, Kyriakos, Stratonikos, Auxanon, Zotikos, Timothis, Attalos, Ioannes, Kotones, Genes[ios] (?), Genesios, Paulos, artisan, Philippos, Konon, Chrysanthia, Alexand[ros], Philippos.'

Text: Grégoire 1908, 277-281.

Inscription 2:

A slab reused in a fountain in modern Isparta (ancient Baris, near ancient Seleukeia / Seleucia Sidera, Pisidia, central Asia Minor). H. 0.92 m; W. 0.68 m. Found in June 1884 by John R. Sitlington Sterrett during his journey across central Asia Minor. Revisited by Hans Rott's expedition in 1906.

θ(εο)ῦ συνερ(γίᾳ) καὶ Χριστ̣(οῦ) καὶ Ἁγίου Π̣ν(εύματος).
    τοῦ ἁγίου Γεοργίου συνο-
    δία Ἐστυαηνῶν· Εἰωάννης
4   πρεσβύτερος, ἐρ(γεπιστάτης) Ἄβράμις,
    [προ]άγων Ἀντῶνις·
    Εἰωάννης, Ἀρτέμων,
    Μ[α]ίκις, Ζωτικός, Φίλιππο[ς],
8   Κλήμεντ[ος, Κ]υριακός,
    Θ[ε]όδου[λος, Ἀ]ρτέμων,
    Μαρτύρις, [Ζ]ωτικός,
    Ἀλέξανδρος, Διμίτριος,
12 Ἄτταλος, Ζωτικός,
    Φίλιππος, Πατ[ρίκιος (?)]

1. θ(εο)ῦ συνερ(γίᾳ) καὶ Χριστ̣(οῦ) καὶ Ἁγίου Π̣ν(εύματος) Grégoire, [ἔτο]υς υνʹ. ἔρ(γον) καὶ Χρισ(τοῦ) καὶ ἁγίου . Ν[- - -] Sitlington Sterrett || 3. ΕΣΤΥΑ|||ΝΩΝ Sitlington Sterrett Robert, ΕΣΤΥΛΗΝΟΝ copy by Rott || 4. ἐρ(γεπιστήσας) Sitlington Sterrett, ἐρ(γεπιστάτης) Ramsay Grégoire

'By the help of God and Christ and the Holy Spirit. The association (synodia) of Saint George of the inhabitants of Estya: Ioannes, presbyter, Abramios, superintendent of works (er(gepistates)), Antonios, village [head] man ([pro]agon). Ioannes, Artemon, M[a]ikis, Zotikos, Philippo[s], Klement[os, K]yriakos, Th[e]odou[los, A]rtemon, Martyris, [Z]otikos, Alexandros, Demetrios, Attalos, Zotikos, Philippos, Pat[rikios (?)].'

Text: Grégoire 1908, 277-281.
Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity




Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, martyr in Nicomedia or Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Saint Name in Source

Γεωργίος, Γεοργίος

Type of Evidence

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



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Seleucia Sidera

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

Seleucia Sidera Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of a community

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Women Officials Merchants and artisans Other lay individuals/ people


Both inscriptions, very similar to each other and found in neighbouring places, offer us lists of members of one or two groups venerating *George. The name of the group given in Inscription 1 differs slightly from that used in Inscription 2 and, therefore, it has been disputed by the editors, whether we are dealing with the same organisation or with two different bodies. The inscription from Bayat says that the group's name was τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωργίου ΠΡΩΤC|||| συνοδία. The damaged word, visible after the name of George, was originally reconstructed by Sittington Sterrett (who read it ΠΡΩΤ||||) as πρωτή ('first'). This allowed him to identify the group as 'the first association of Saint George'. However, on his examination the stone, Hans Rott noticed traces of one more letter in the discussed word (ΠΡΩΤC||||) and, based on this reading, Wilhelm Weber completed the name of the group as τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωργίου πρωτο[μάρτυρος] συνοδία, i.e. 'the association of Saint George, the First Martyr'. Weber did not explain why the epithet “First Martyr”, normally characteristic of *Stephen, was this time given to George, but the issue was later raised by Henri Grégoire. He supposed that the meaning of the word had been misunderstood by the author of the inscription, who had used it in the sense 'the great martyr' / μεγαλομάρτυς. The second inscription cannot be used to verify these readings, because the name of the group is rendered there: τοῦ ἁγίου Γεοργίου συνοδία Ἐστυαηνῶν / 'the association of Saint George of the inhabitants of Estya'. Though the name of the village was, again, differently read by Sitlington Sterrett (ΕCΤΥΑ|||ΝΩΝ) and Rott (ΕCΤΥΛΗΝΩΝ), Sitlington Sterrett's reading is supported by the evidence of another inscription from Bayat, seen by William Ramsay in 1884 and 1886 (see Grégoire 1908, p. 281). Its first two lines read: Ἐτσυηνοὶ Δι[ὶ] | Γαλακτίνῳ / 'The inhabitants of Etsya for Zeus Galaktinos'. Ramsay and Grégoire concluded that Estya and Etsya were alternate spellings of the same name and that the village must had been located in the Valley of Bayat, close to Seleukeia / Seleucia Sidera. Based on the fact that in Inscription 2 the name of the group includes the name of a village, we may suggest that the word ΠΡΩΤC|||| in Inscription 1 is also a toponym and complete the line, for example as: τοῦ ἁγίου Γεωργίου Πρώτο)[υ] (κώμης) | συνοδία / 'The association of Saint George of (the village) of the First (milestone)'. For a similar village name, see E00798. After the name(s) of the group(s) the inscriptions give us lists of members of the board. Inscription 1 says that the group was directed by Abramios, superintendent of the building works and Antipatros, junior village head man. Inscription 2 contains a slightly different list with Ioannes, presbyter, Abramios, superintendent of building works (perhaps the same person as in Inscription 1), and Antonios, village head man. After the board follow names of regular members or contributors to a certain undertaking. In Inscription 1 we find 22 persons, among them a woman (Chrysanthia) and an artisan (technites). Inscription 2 gives us only names of 17 men. The identity of these organisations can be interpreted in several different ways. Perhaps we are dealing with two different bodies. But as Abramios, superintendent of the building works, appears in both texts, we can suppose that they could be two local branches of one association that shared the same chairman. It is also possible that these two inscriptions were erected by one association, but at different moments in time or that the lists do not include all members, but only people who contributed to a certain undertaking. The guild(s) could be concerned with raising funds for the construction of church(es) dedicated to George. Dating: In a letter dated 17.09.2016 Denis Feissel noted that the inscriptions might even date to the 4th c., as suggested by the relatively low number of 'typically Christian' names mentioned in the text and by the forms of letters (as seen in unpublished photographs from his collection).


Edition: Inscription 1: Laflı, E., "Greek inscriptions and inscription fragments from Seleuceia Sidera in Pisidia (south-western Turkey)", Orient Express. Notes et nouvélles d´archéologie oriéntale (1999), 2, 60, no. 2. Grégoire, H., "Notes épigraphiques", Revue de l'instruction publique en Belgique 51 (1908), 277-281. Weber, W., "Die Inschriften", [in:] H. Rott and others (ed.), Kleinasiatische Denkmäler aus Pisidien, Pamphylien, Kappadokien und Lykien (Studien über christliche Denkmäler 5 & 6, Leipzig: Dietrich, 1908), 351, no. 12 (from Rott's copy). Sitlington Sterrett, J.R., The Wolfe Expedition to Asia Minor (Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 3, 1884-1885, Boston: Damrell and Upham, 1888), 333, no. 465 (from his own copy). Hirschfeld, G., "Vorläufiger Bericht über eine Reise im südwestlichen Kleinasien", Monatsbericht der Preuss. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin - 20. März 1879. Gesammtsitzung der Akademie, 313. Inscriptiones Graecae Christianae Database, no. 1129: Inscription 2: Grégoire, H., "Notes épigraphiques", Revue de l'instruction publique en Belgique 51 (1908), 277-281. Weber, W., "Die Inschriften", [in:] H. Rott and others (ed.), Kleinasiatische Denkmäler aus Pisidien, Pamphylien, Kappadokien und Lykien (Studien über christliche Denkmäler 5 & 6, Leipzig: Dietrich, 1908), 354, no. 18 (from Rott's copy). Sitilington Sterrett, J.R., An Epigraphical Journey in Asia Minor (Papers of The American School of Classical Studies at Athens 2, 1883-1884, Boston: Damrell and Upham, 1888) 118, no. 89 (from his own copy). Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae Database, no. 1128: Further reading: Cumont, F., "Les inscriptions chretiennes de l'Asie Mineure", Mélanges de l'école française de Rome 15 (1895), nos. 261-262. 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), 93. Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 331. Ramsay, W.M., The Historical Geography of Asia Minor (Royal Geographical Society Supplementary Papers 4, London: John Murray, Albemarle Street 1890), 177. Robert, L., Hellenica. Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques, vol. 10: Dédicaces et reliefs votifs. Villes, cultes, monnaies et inscriptions de Lycie et de Carie. Inscriptions et topographie. Inscriptions de Phocée et des Dardanelles. Péripolarques. Monnaie de Thibron (Paris: La librairie d'Amérique et d'Orient Adrien Maisonneuve, 1955), 239-245.



Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity