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E01024: Fragmentary Greek epitaph for a woman, possibly buried close to a sanctuary or relics of a saint (whose name is lost), expressing her embarrassment at this honourable location. Found near Tyana (Cappadocia, central Asia Minor). Probably late antique.

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posted on 27.12.2015, 00:00 by Bryan
+ γυνή τις τ' ἅ̣μ[αρ-]
τίαις πολαῖς ̣π[εριπε]-
σοῦσα πλησί[ον σου]
κεῖμαι. δυσω̣π[οῦμαι]
σε τὸν ἀνάμ̣ν[ηστον . .]
[.]άτονον σ[
̣τὸν ἀγαθό[ν· εὔχου]
[ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ]

2-3. ̣π[εριπε]|σοῦσα Rizos, Ι[- - -]|σουοα Nollé || 4-8. δυσω̣π[οῦμαί] | σε τὸν ἀναγι[νώσκον|τ]α, τὸν θ(εὸ)ν σ̣ύ, [τὸν ....]|̣ιον ἀγαθ̣ό[ν, εὔχου | ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ] Feissel || 7-8. [εὔχου | ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ] or [εὔχεθε | ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ]

'+ I, a woman [encumbered with] many si[n]s, lie ne[xt to you]. I feel ashamed (before you), the well-esteemed [- - -] you (?) [- - -] the good one. [Pray] for me!'

Text: I. Tyana, no. 114; lightly modified.

History

Evidence ID

E01024

Saint Name

Saints, name wholly or largely lost : S01744

Image Caption 1

Photograph. From: I. Tyana 2, Tafel 119.

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Funerary inscriptions

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

800

Activity not before

400

Activity not after

800

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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Prayer/supplication/invocation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women

Source

A light-brown tuff rock found near Sian Bey Camii/Büyük Cami (area of ancient Tyana, Cappadocia, eastern Asia Minor). H. 0.37 m; W. 0.255 m; Th. 0.585 m; letter height 0.02-0.025 m. A squeeze and a photograph were made by Dietrich Berges. 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 for an unnamed woman, which may record a burial ad sanctos. According to the first edition the deceased says that she was buried close to a renowned, well remembered and benevolent figure, probably a saint, which makes her feel ashamed of her sinful life. The epithet used to describe this character is ἀνάμνηστος/'well-remembered', though another epithet, ἀείμνηστος/'always-remembered', would better fit a funerary eulogy. Johannes Nollé notes that this may be a reference to ἀνάμνησις – the commemoration of a saint. Unfortunately, the name of the figure is lost. On the other hand, a completely different interpretation of the second part of the text was suggested by Denis Feissel, based on the examination of the photograph published together with the transcription. Feissel points out that the epitaph is actually a model example of funerary prose (and poetry) in which the deceased addresses a potential reader or a passer-by. This interpretation is mostly based on the different reading of the last word in line 5. Instead of ἀναμν[ηστὸν Feissel reads here ἀναγι[νώσκον|τ]α/'you who are reading it'. The complete restoration by Feissel is as follows: δυσωπ[οῦμαί] | σε τὸν ἀναγι[νώσκον|τ]α, τὸν θ(εὸ)ν σύ, [τὸν ....]|ιον ἀγαθό[ν, εὔχου | ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ]/'I feel ash[amed] before you who are rea[ding it], may God be with you, [- - -] the good.' The interpretation of lines 7-8 depends on whether we accept Feissel's reconstruction. It is certain that they contain remnants of a request for a prayer on behalf of the deceased. In Nollé's edition it was presumably addressed to the putative saint. But there is also a possibility that the prayer was requested from readers of the epitaph, especially if we reconstruct the formula in the plural form: [εὔχεθε | ὑ]πὲρ ἐμο[ῦ]. For other epitaphs from the area of Tyana, marking burials ad sanctos, see E01017, E01022, E10123.

Bibliography

Edition: Die Inschriften von Tyana, no. 114 (after Berges' squeeze and photograph). Reference works: Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 486.

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