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E01017: Greek epitaph with an invocation of *Konon (one of the several homonymous martyrs of Anatolia), probably indicating a burial ad sanctos. Found near Tyana (Cappadocia, central Asia Minor). Probably 6th c. or later.

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posted on 23.12.2015, 00:00 by pnowakowski
+ ἅγιε Κόνον, σὲ κατέφυγα

+ μνίμι Θεο-
δοσίω γεν-
αμένου πάν-
των δοῦλος.
Κ(ύρι)ε, συνχόρισον.
+

'+ Saint Konon, I seek my refuge at your side. + The tomb of Theodosios, former servant of everyone. Lord, forgive! +'

Text: I. Tyana, no. 17.

History

Evidence ID

E01017

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

Κόνον Κόνον Κόνον

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

500

Evidence not after

1000

Activity not before

500

Activity not after

1000

Place of Evidence - Region

Asia Minor

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Tyana

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

Tyana Nicomedia Νικομήδεια Nikomēdeia Izmit Πραίνετος Prainetos Nicomedia

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Other lay individuals/ people

Source

A limestone funerary plaque. H. 0.6 m; W. 0.8 m. Found in 1906 at former Semendere/modern Ovacık close to ancient Tyana (Cappadocia, central Asia Minor) by the expedition directed by Hans Rott. Edited by Wilhelm Weber. Tyana was one of the most prominent cities in Cappadocia, the capital of the province of Cappadocia Secunda (after its creation by the emperor Valens in 372) and the rival city of Kaisareia/Caesarea.

Discussion

The inscription is the epitaph of a certain Theodosios. The deceased declares that he seeks refuge with a martyr named Konon: ἅγιε Κόνον, σὲ κατέφυγα. There are three Anatolian saints, who bore the name Konon, and we cannot tell 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 was 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 Iconium (Lycaonia, central Asia Minor) died under the emperor Aurelian (270-275). The expression ἅγιε Κόνον, σὲ κατέφυγα may indicate a burial ad sanctos (close to a sanctuary dedicated to Konon) or at least special devotion of the deceased or of his family to the saint. But a metaphorical meaning is also possible: Wilhelm Weber points at parallel passages in Psalm 45,1: ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν καταφυγὴ καὶ δύναμις / 'God is our refuge and strength' and in the Acts of Karpos, Papylos, and Agathonikē (2nd c. martyrs, probably connected to the city of Thyatira): Κύριε, βοήθει, πρὸς σὲ γὰρ κατέφυγα / 'Lord, help, because I seek refuge at your side' (46). Interestingly, Theodosios is called 'former servant of everyone' / γενόμενος πάντων δοῦλος. Normally, one would expect the formula δοῦλος τοῦ ἁγίου or τῶν ἁγίων / 'servant of saint' or 'of saints', widely diffused in Anatolia, or the formula πάντων φίλος / 'everyone's friend', which was also quite popular in central Asia Minor (see E00978 and E01004). Perhaps here both formulas were inadvertently merged into one. On the other hand, Johannes Nollé suggests that the formula πάντων δοῦλος is a reminiscence of a passage from the Gospel of Matthew: οὐχ οὕτως ἔσται ἐν ὑμῖν· ἀλλ’ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν μέγας γενέσθαι ἔσται ὑμῶν διάκονος, καὶ ὃς ἂν θέλῃ ἐν ὑμῖν εἶναι πρῶτος ἔσται ὑμῶν δοῦλος / 'But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant' (Matthew 20,26). Dating: Probably 6th c. or later, based on the occurrence of the 'servant-of-all' formula and on the letter forms.

Bibliography

Edition: Die Inschriften von Tyana, no. 17. 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), no. 85. Further reading: Harnack, A., "Die Akten des Karpus, des Papylus und der Agathonike. Eine Urkunde aus der Zeit Mark Aurels", in: Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, vol. 3, part 3/4 (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, 1888), paragraph 46.

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