Saint NameThekla, follower of Apostle Paul : S00092
Type of EvidenceInscriptions - Funerary inscriptions
Evidence not before460
Evidence not after600
Activity not before460
Activity not after600
Place of Evidence - RegionAsia Minor
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcSeleucia ad Calycadnum
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Seleucia ad Calycadnum
Cult activities - PlacesCult building - monastic
Cult activities - Places Named after Saint
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits
SourceInscription engraved on the rock face, above the entrance to a rock-cut chamber tomb in a cemetery to the south of Silifke (ancient Seleucia ad Calycadnum, Isauria, south-eastern Asia Minor). Letter height: 0.033 m. The tomb was explored by Paul Åström in the 1950s.
DiscussionThe inscription labels a rock-cut chamber tomb. Paul Åström read in line 1 only one word, παραστατικόν, and was unable to say, whether it was followed by the name or names of the deceased, buried there. The inscription is, however, understandable even without these names, as the label of a collective tomb belonging to a monastery. Moreover, we have several similar labels of collective graves from Isauria and Cilicia, which specify only the institutional owner and say nothing about the buried people (see E01045, E01061, E01063, E01064, E01065, E01068, E01070). Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that line 1 is complete.
Åström guessed that the female patron saint of the monastery, was Thekla, follower of the Apostle Paul, as Seleukeia/Seleucia was her primary cult centre. For an epitaph of nuns from a local monastery of *Thekla, see E01037.
The tomb is called παραστατικόν, which can be literally translated as 'fit for standing by'. This (as well as θήκη παραστατική) was a term used to designate tombs that is peculiar to Seleukeia.
Dating: If the monastery, mentioned in the inscription, was connected to the sanctuary of Thekla at Seleukeia, re-founded by the emperor Zeno, the inscription must postdate the 460s/470s. But cf. Pilhofer 2018, 169, note 351 where the author is skeptical about the restoration of the name of this saint.
Hagel, St., Tomaschitz, K., (eds.), Repertorium der westkilikischen Inschriften (Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Denkschriften der philosophisch-historischen Klasse 265, Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1998), no. Sel 154.
Åström, P., "Greek inscriptions from Seleukia in Cilicia", in: Teodorsson, S.-T., (ed.), Greek and Latin Studies in memory of Cajus Fabricius (Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis, 1990), no. 2.
Pilhofer, Ph., Das frühe Christentum im kilikisch-isaurischen Bergland (Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur 184, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter, 2018), 169, note 351.
Chroniques d'épigraphie byzantine, 501.
Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 40, 1311.