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E01006: Fragmentary Greek inscription probably commemorating the consecration of a church of *Konon (one of the several homonymous martyrs of Anatolia), constructed as a vow by a pious confraternity (spoudaioi). Found at Amorion (Galatia, central Asia Minor). Probably late 6th or 7th c.

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posted on 20.12.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
[ἐν ὀνό]̣ματι τοῦ Κ(υρίο)υ κὲ [δεσπότου]
[Ἰησο]ῦ Χριστοῦ το[ῦ θεοῦ·]
[ἐγκαίνι]̣α τοῦ ἁγίου κὲ ̣ἐ[νδ(όξου) μά-]
[ρτυρ]̣ο̣ς Κόνωνος ἐ̣π[ὶ τοῦ]
[ἁγιω]τά{τα}του ἡμῶ[ν ἐπι-]
[σκ(όπου) Μά]ρκου τοῦ ὁσιω[τ(άτου) πρε-]
[σβυτ]έρου κὲ ἡγου̣μ[ένου.]
[Χριστ]όφορος ὑπὲ[ρ σω-]
[τηρ]ίας τῶν κ̣αρπ̣οφ[ορο-]
[ύντω]ν εἰσπουδ̣έω̣ν [μη(νὸς) Μ-]
[αρτί]ου, ἐνδ(ικτίωνος) ιʹ· [ἀμήν]

1-2. [ἐν ὀνό]̣ματι τοῦ Κ(υρίο)υ κὲ [υἱοῦ | Ἰησο]ῦ Χριστοῦ τὸ [. . . .] Ballance || 3. [. . . .] ̣α τοῦ ἁγίου Ballance || 5. [ἁγιο]τά{τα}ου (?) || 10. εἰσπουδ̣έω̣ν = σπουδαίων Mango apud Ballance

'[In the na]me of the Lord and [Master, Jesu]s Christ, th[e God. The consecratio]n (of the church) of the holy and g[lorious marty]r Konon un[der] our [most ho]ly [bishop Ma]rkos, the most ho[ly presbyt]er and abb[ot]. [Christ]ophoros (made a vow) fo[r deliveran]ce of the contrib[uting] devout ones. [In the month of March], the tenth ind(iction). [Amen].'

Text: Ballance 1992, 211.

History

Evidence ID

E01006

Saint Name

Konōn, gardener martyr in Magydos of Pamphylia : S00177 Konōn, martyr in Iconium of Lycaonia (central Asia Minor) : S00429 Konōn, martyr in Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) : S00430

Saint Name in Source

Κόνων Κόνων Κόνων

Type of Evidence

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

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

641

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

641

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Amorion

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

Amorion Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Places Named after Saint

  • Monastery

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Vow

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Ecclesiastics - abbots Other lay individuals/ people

Source

A grey marble column base, found in the summer of 1991 at the Byzantine church in the Lower Town at Hissarköy (ancient Amorion, Galatia, central Asia Minor) by the archaeological mission directed by Martin Harrison. The base was located in the north-east corner of the nave. It was originally square in plan, but was recut to an octagon, which damaged the edges of the inscription. H. 0.9 m (text field: 0.42 m); W. c. 0.66 m (text field: c. 0.3 m); Th. 0.57 m; letter height 0.02-0.04 m. It was designed to carry a column c. 0.45 m in diameter.

Discussion

The inscription probably commemorates the consecration (ἐγκαινία) of a church of Konon. Its poor state of preservation makes the reconstruction hypothetical, but the general sense of the text is clear. There are at least three Anatolian saints, who bore the name Konon, and we do not know which one is referred to. *Konon, martyr of Isauria (south-eastern Asia Minor) was said to have lived in the times of the Apostles (1st/2nd c.). He enjoyed the special protection of *Michael the Archangel and led a life of holiness. He was credited with working many miracles. *Konon of Magydos (Pamphylia, southern Asia Minor) was a gardener and martyr under the emperor Decius. It is claimed that he came from Nazareth and was a relative of Christ (if this declaration is to be taken literally, and not as a metaphor for the Christian religion, creating a bond between the followers and the Saviour). *Konon, martyr of Ikonion (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor) died under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). Philipp Pilhofer drew our attention to the fact that a March date, as restored in the inscription, may point to Saint Konon of Bidana as he was venerated on 5 and 6 March. Lines 1-2 contain an introductory formula. Michael Ballance read it as [ἐν ὀνό]̣ματι τοῦ Κ(υρίο)υ κὲ [υἱοῦ | Ἰησο]ῦ Χριστοῦ τὸ [. . . . | . . . .]̣α / '[In the na]me of the Lord and (his) [Son, Jesu]s Christ, the [. . . .]', but a much better completion is [ἐν ὀνό]̣ματι τοῦ Κ(υρίο)υ κὲ [δεσπότου | Ἰησο]ῦ Χριστοῦ το[ῦ θεοῦ· | ἐγκαίνι]̣α, which is an abridged version of the introductory formula ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ δεσπότου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν / 'In the name of the Lord and Master Jesus Christ, the God and our Saviour', well documented in papyri (e.g. P.Köln 7.319; BGU 1.255 and many others). This formula was introduced by the emperor Maurice, as an obligatory beginning of documents. The formula is first attested in extant documentary sources in 591, but John of Nikiou claimed that it had been imposed at the outset of the reign of Maurice (c. 582). Phocas abolished it after 602 and exchanged for a Τrinitarian formula which was in use until the reign of Heraclius, when Maurice's formula was reinstated, see: Bagnall & Worp 1981. It seems that the author of our inscription was familiar with Maurice's formula and considered it an appropriate beginning for an important commemorative text. However, as our inscription is not a document, its author was not obliged to follow the recommendations of the imperial office as strictly as officials did. For this reason it is safer to date the inscription to the period “later 6th or 7th c.” than claim that it was created precisely under Maucrice (582-602) or Heraclius (610-641). Michael Ballance observed that the inscription lacked a verb denoting the foundation or dedication of the sanctuary, but if we accept that line 3 begins with the noun ἐγκαινία / 'consecration', the verb is not necessary. The function of Markos, mentioned in line 6 is puzzling. Ballance argued that he was a bishop, and reconstructed the word ἐπίσκοπος in the lacuna, before his name. He added that Markos was at the same time also addressed as presbyter and abbot, which is strange. Perhaps the name of the presbyter and abbot was omitted by the stone-cutter or the reconstruction of Markos' function as bishop is erroneous. Anyway, the reference to an abbot gives us the basis for a supposition that the sanctuary of Konon was a monastic church. Lines 8-9 say that the sanctuary was founded by a certain Christophoros, on behalf of the spoudaioi, a pious confraternity, which also contributed to the construction. Dating: Probably 6th-7th c. (based on the introductory formula, reconstructed in lines 1-2, which was in use after 582 or 591; on the other hand Michael Ballance argued that the letter forms pointed to the 5th c.).

Bibliography

Edition: Lightfoot, Ch. S. (ed.) with contributions by Th. Drew-Bear, and N. Tsivikis, Amorium Reports 5: A Catalogue of Roman and Byzantine Stone Inscriptions from Amorium and its Territory, together with Graffiti, Stamps, and Miscellanea (Istanbul: Ege Yayınları, 2017), 55, no. T146A. Ballance, M., "An inscription of the Later Roman Empire period in the church", in: R.M. Harrison, M. Ballance, C. Mango, "Amorium excavations 1991. The fourth preliminary report", Anatolian Studies 42 (1992), 211. Inscriptiones Christianae Graecae database, no. 1315: http://www.epigraph.topoi.org/ica/icamainapp/inscription/show/1315 Further reading: Bagnall, R.S., Worp, K.A., "Christian invocations in the papyri", Chronique d'Égypte 56 (1981), 112-133. 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), 102. Ivison, E.A., "Amorion in the Byzantine Dark Ages (seventh to ninth centuries)", in: J. Henning (ed.), Post-Roman Towns, Trade and Settlement in Europe and Byzantium, vol. 2: Byzantium, Pliska, and the Balkans (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2007), 25–59. Ivison, E.A., "Kirche und religiöses Leben im Byzantinischen Amorium", in: F. Daim, J. Drauschke (eds.) Byzanz – das Römerreich im Mittelalter, vol. 2/1: Schauplätze (Mainz: Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum; Forschungsinstitut für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, 2010), 318-320, Abb. 11 and 12. Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 478. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 42, 1193.

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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