Saint NameProkopios from Scythopolis, martyr in Palestine, ob. 303 : S00118
John, a blind Egyptian martyred in Palestine, ob. 309 : S00647
John (unspecified) : S00043
Saint Name in SourceΠροκόπιος
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Formal inscriptions (stone, mosaic, etc.)
Evidence not before527
Evidence not after565
Activity not before527
Activity not after565
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcVerinopolis
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Verinopolis
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - independent (church)
Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and CustomsSeeking asylum at church/shrine
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesMonarchs and their family
SourceStone block, seen and copied by J.G.C. Anderson in 1899 at Babali, to the north of Kerkennis Kale (area of ancient Verinopolis, Galatia, central Asia Minor). When recorded, it was kept in the yard of a house. There is no published detailed description of the monument.
DiscussionThe inscription marked the boundaries of a church or an estate belonging to a church dedicated to martyrs Prokopios and John. Franz Cumont, the first editor, suggested that Prokopios was to be identified with the homonymous martyr of Kaisareia/Caesarea Maritima (Palestine), killed under Diocletian and mentioned by Eusebius (E00296). He was famous for being the first Diocletianic martyr in that region. As for John, Cumont identified him with a blind Egyptian, likewise martyred in Palestine and known to Eusebius (E00388), or with the person who tore the copy of the edict initiating the Great Persecutions, publicly displayed in Nikomedia (Eus. HE VIII 5). However, these suppositions lack any justified basis, and François Halkin rightly avoids any attempt to identify the martyrs. Given the location of the inscription, it is possible that Prokopios was the martyr of Kaisareia in Cappadocia, a companion of Quartus, recorded in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum (see: E02766). But a pair of local martyrs is also possible.
Dating: 527-565, as the phrasing of the inscription resembles that of boundary stone inscriptions granted by the emperor Justinian (e.g. E00976; E00996).
Anderson, J.G.C., Cumont, F., Grégoire, H., Studia Pontica, vol. 3, part 1: Recueil des inscriptions grecques et latines du Ponte et de l'Arménie (Brussels: Lamertin, 1910), no. 254.
Amelotti, M., Migliardi Zingale, L., (eds.), Le costitutioni giustinianee nei papiri e nelle epigrafi (Milan: Giuffrè, 1985), 132, 135.
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), 104.
Feissel, D., Documents, droit, diplomatique de l'Empire romain tardif (Bilans de recherche 7, Paris, 2010), 48.
Halkin, F., "Inscriptions grecques relatives à l'hagiographie, IX, Asie Mineure", Analecta Bollandiana 71 (1953), 95-96.
Delehaye, H., "Bulletin des publications hagiographiques", Analecta Bollandiana 30 (1911), 336.