Saint NameKonōn, 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 SourceΚόνων
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Inscribed architectural elements
Inscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before400
Evidence not after641
Activity not before400
Activity not after641
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcAmorion
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Amorion
Cult activities - Liturgical Activity
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Places Named after Saint
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsVow
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy
Ecclesiastics - abbots
Other lay individuals/ people
SourceA 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.
DiscussionThe 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.).
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
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.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 478.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 42, 1193.