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E00926: Greek inscription commemorating the offering of a column to a church of *Mannis (a local martyr, S00611, or possibly *Menas, soldier and martyr of Abu Mena, S00073). Found at Ikonion (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor). Probably later 5th or earlier 6th c.

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posted on 03.12.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
Μωσῆς διά(κονος), υἱὸς
Νησίου Πουπλίου
πρεσβ(υτέρου) Ἰσαυρουπόλεος,
εὐξάμενος ὑπὲρ ἑαυτοῦ
[κ]αὶ τοῦ οἴκου αὐτοῦ
ἐκαρποφόρησεν τὸν κίονα
εἰς τὸν ἅγιον Μάννιν
Μ

8. Μ = (τὸν) μ(άρτυρα?), Μ = μ' i.e. the 40th column in the church Ramsay 1918

'Deacon Moses, son of Nesios, son of Pouplios (or: son of Nesios Pouplios/Publius), presbyter of Isauroupolis, having sworn a vow for himself and his household, offered this column to Saint Mannis.'

Text: Ramsay 1883, no. 41.

History

Evidence ID

E00926

Saint Name

Mannis : S00611 Menas, soldier and martyr Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source

Μάννις Μάννις

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

450

Evidence not after

535

Activity not before

450

Activity not after

535

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Ikonion

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

Ikonion Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Other lay individuals/ people

Source

The inscription is on a column seen in a mosque at Ikonion (Lykaonia, central Asia Minor) by William Ramsay. There is no description.

Discussion

The inscription commemorates the offering of a column by a deacon to a church of a certain Saint Mannis in Ikonion. The deacon says that his grandfather Pouplios/Publius (or his father, if the name is to be read Nesios Pouplios, none of which is properly a praenomen) was a presbyter in Isauropolis (Isaura Nova, modern Dorla): a nearby place in the same province. The deacon must have moved to Ikonion, otherwise he too would have indicated his home. Saint Mannis, the dedicatee, is an otherwise unattested saint, probably a local martyr, as the name is quite distinct and characteristic of Lycaonia. But Ramsay, the editor of the inscription, believed that the name, and the saint behind it, represented a continuity from a pre-Christian Anatolian divinity, and that 'Mannis' was an alternative native spelling of the name of Saint *Menas, the famous Anatolian martyr of Egyptian origin (S00073). He commented: “The old Anatolian divine name Mannis is to be regarded as a byform (native) of Manes, and both as the original from which the Greek name of the god Men was formed. The intention was to impart Greek form and meaning to an Anatolian name, and when the Greek-speaking church invented the Christianised form of the native god as Menas, the local belief in Lycaonia still clung to the Anatolian form Mannis, and spoke of the saint by the familiar name, which the people had been accustomed to apply to the god.” Dating: Probably 5th or earlier 6th c.: suggested by William Ramsay (1883), who noted that the name Isauroupolis was used in the acts of early councils, e.g. in the acts of the council of Chalcedon (451), and in Hierocles' Synecdemus (c. 535), but never later. In his later paper Ramsay (1918) adds that a date at the beginning of the 5th c. is even more probable, because of the use of the Roman praenomen Pouplios/Publius by the father and the disuse by the son of Latin nomenclature.

Bibliography

Edition: Ramsay, W.M., "The utilisation of old epigraphic copies", The Journal of Hellenic Studies 38 (1918), 151-152. Ramsay, W.M., "Unedited inscriptions of Asia Minor", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 7 (1883), no. 41. Further reading: Delehaye, H., Les origines du culte des martyrs (Bruxelles : Société des Bollandistes, 1912), 191-192. Destephen, S., Prosopographie du Diocese d'Asie (325-641) (Prosopographie chrétienne du Bas-Empire 3, Paris: Association des amis du centre d'histoire et civilisation de Byzance, 2008), Môès, Nèsios 2. 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), 65, note 14; 89. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 388.

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